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Does Green Tea Have Caffeine?

Mar 18,2024 | TeaTsy Team

Yes, green tea does contain caffeine, a stimulant known for its ability to enhance focus and increase alertness, thereby boosting productivity. 

While often bypassed in favor of more traditional caffeine sources like coffee, green tea presents a unique blend of benefits. It not only provides a moderate caffeine boost but also delivers this with a gentler impact, avoiding the harsh peaks and troughs associated with coffee. 

However, it's essential to balance the advantages, such as improved cognitive function and potential health benefits, against potential drawbacks like anxiety and sleep issues, particularly with excessive consumption. 

The following article will explore in detail the caffeine content of green tea and how to drink it in moderation to stay mentally alert.

Green Tea 

What is Caffeine, and What Does it Do 

Simply put, caffeine is a natural stimulant or energy booster that reduces any feeling of tiredness in your body. Caffeine was first introduced into the market around the 1800s when a scientist first isolated it. Since its discoveries, many people have enjoyed its consumption as a psychoactive substance that gives energy. 

Caffeine works by targeting your central nervous system by reducing the effect of the key neurotransmitter that causes tiredness (adenosine). When this happens, you have a strong and intense energy boost, increased alertness, and focus. At the peak of its power, caffeine also triggers your adrenal gland (adrenaline). 

The adrenaline released into your body due to this effect can increase your athletic function, mental alertness, endurance, and strength. The impact of caffeine is visible among athletes, corporate employees, and anyone who engages in rigorous mid- to high-level activities. 

Does Green Tea Have Caffeine?

Without much Ado, Green tea does have Caffeine. Some intricacies are worth mentioning when you want to know about the caffeine content in green tea. Generally, green tea is known for its health benefits and has been a major beverage for ages. 

However, its caffeine content is slightly lower than its counterparts, like black tea, coffee, etc. However, one thing you have to know is that green tea offers a more balanced caffeine content and other benefits than black tea and coffee. 

All thanks to the presence of L-theanine that syncs with caffeine, green tea intake also provides a sharper focus and body calmness in addition to the energy boost derived from caffeine. 

There are a series of factors that contribute to the amount of caffeine that’s present in green tea. The most obvious factor is the type of green tea you opt for. For instance, loose-leaf tea passes through a medium-level oxidation process, so they are more caffeinated than tea bags that were subjected to an intense oxidation cycle before being brought to the shelf. 

Another important factor is the steeping time. This depends on the water temperature you intend to use for steeping and the amount of time your green tea will be steeped. A cold-brewing green tea will have a much higher caffeine content than hot water. Also, the longer the brewing time, the higher the amount of caffeine that will be released. 

Lastly, the harvest season also influences the amount of caffeine in green tea. Early harvested green tea often contains more caffeine than last harvested green tea. The oxidative rate of green tea leaves tends to increase when they have outgrown certain months and been exposed to much sunlight on the field. 

How Much Caffeine Does Green Tea Have

How Much Caffeine Does Green Tea Have?

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, a 10-ounce cup of green tea contains 37.5mg to 60mg of caffeine. However, this is a ballpark estimation that most people cite as the gold standard of the amount of caffeine in green tea. 

The estimated amount of caffeine in green tea is less than what’s found in similar amounts of coffee cups. As stated above, the FDA estimate is like a ballpark figure that needs to be adjusted based on some factors to get the estimated amount of caffeine in green tea. The following are the factors that can influence the caffeine content in green tea. 

Loose Leaf or Tea bags 

Green tea bags require a long steeping time before they achieve the desired flavor. Therefore, they provide more caffeine than leaf tea, which takes less time. 

Read how long does tea last?

Tea Types 

There are different varieties of green tea, and each type contains different amounts of caffeine. 

  • Matcha green tea is a famous breed of green tea grounded in powder. It is known for its vibrant green leaves and is considered to contain about 60-70mg of caffeine per 8-ounce cup. 
  • Gyokuro is a popular Japanese green tea that is vibrant green, grown in shade, and steamed. This type of green tea includes a balanced blend of caffeine and other beneficial compounds, most commonly L-theanine. Gyokuro green tea has 35-50 mg of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup. 
  • Sencha green tea is typical of its steamed vegetable flavor. This type of green tea is grown in sunlight with little shade and has a moderate amount of caffeine—30-40 mg per 8-ounce cup. 

Steeping Time 

Generally, the longer you steep your green tea, the more caffeine you get. The standard ISO-recommended brewing time to extract the maximum caffeine from green tea is 6 minutes. This was done for testing purposes and can not be repeated for normal tea-making.

As for the actual tea-making, it’s factual that leaving the tea in the water for an extended period will give you more caffeine compared to a shorter period. The reason is that caffeine will slowly trickle out of the tea and concentrate in the water. 

How Much Caffeine Should I Consume In a Day?

Caffeine is a thrilling substance that boosts energy and reinvigorates your body. Despite the obvious benefits of caffeine, it’s important to gauge how you consume it. Arbitrary caffeine consumption has side effects ranging from anxiety to insomnia and others. 

Some factors contribute to the amount of caffeine you should consume per day. The first one is your body sensitivity. If your body develops resistance to caffeine, you should reduce your caffeine intake to the minimum level. 

Also, your health depends on how you consume caffeine. You should stay away from caffeine or reduce its intake to the minimum If you have health issues like heart disease, ulcers, and high blood pressure. 

There are various variations in responsible caffeine intake for healthy individuals, pregnant women, and teens. According to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, a healthy adult can take 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. This translates to taking 8-10 cups of green tea per day. 

This is a safe threshold that any idea of going beyond that can lead to excessive intake. Also, less than 100 milligrams of caffeine is recommended for teens, albeit a huge discouragement for children and adolescents for caffeine intake. Lastly, pregnant women should talk to a doctor about the amount of caffeine they can take per day. 

Ready for some green tea? Savour the sweetness of green tea using Chinese tea sets

Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea has multitudes of benefits. Since time immemorial, kings and commoners have seen it as a powerhouse of enjoyment and health benefits. Green tea's nutritional effect can be traced back to its source plant (Camilla Sinensis). 

Green tea is derived from the unoxidized leaves of these plants, which are packed with antioxidants and health-promoting compounds. The following are the well-researched health benefits of green tea. 

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

As stated earlier, green tea is a complete package of essential amino acids (L-theanine) and psychoactive compounds (Caffeine). This is a very great combination that eliminates any stress and anxiety. 

Various studies have cited the effect of caffeine intake on stress and anxiety. Green tea is a great source of caffeine. Even an 8-ounce (230 mil) cup of green tea will provide 20-30 milligrams of caffeine. 

Remember, caffeine is a key substance that secretes adrenaline and eliminates the influence of Adenosine in your brain. Therefore, taking a few cups of green tea will reduce stress and anxiety.

Additionally, green tea contains high concentrations of L-theanine. This amino acid provides your body with an incredible amount of relaxation and focus. It was estimated that consuming 200-400 milligrams of L-theanine per day can also help reduce anxiety and stress. 

Green Tea Improves Brain Power and Cognitive Function 

Studies have shown the undoubted power of green tea in stopping neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, Alzheimer's, and others. Drinking green tea provides your body with an incredible amount of antioxidants that mitigate the effects of cell damage leading to these diseases. 

The presence of caffeine and L-theanine in green tea also plays a key role in this regard. These two components, most importantly L-theanine, are also important in boosting brain power and work memory function.

Increase Bone Health 

Generally, green tea has more profound osteo-protective properties than any other tea. It was established that drinking green tea can reduce the risk of osteoporosis in women. This assertion was based on the presence of antioxidant enzymes that lower the influence of pro-inflammatory mediators and increase bone-forming cells. 

Green Tea Promotes Fat Burning

Studies have shown a direct correlation between green tea consumption and weight management. This assertion can be attributed to the presence of flavonoid and caffeine compounds that can help in your bids to break down fat in the body. 

Remember, maximum fat oxidation occurs during exercise. The intensity of this exercise can only be achieved with the right amount of caffeine and flavonoids in the body, which your intake of green tea can supply. 

Helps in Managing Arthritis and other Inflammatory Disease 

Research has shown that green tea contains a potent antioxidant that can help fight against inflammatory diseases. The key green tea property that makes this happen is polyphenols. 

Polyphenols are an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that includes phenolic acid, flavonoid, and procyanidin compounds. Green tea polyphenols regulate the inflammatory-causing mechanisms by activating the antioxidant defense system. 

Caffeine Content in Green Tea Compared to Other Caffeinated Drinks

The following table compares the caffeine content in green tea to other popular caffeinated drinks. 

 

Beverage Category Drink Size (floz) Caffeine (mg)
Green Tea

Green Tea (brewed) 8

30-50

Matcha (powdered green tea) 1/2 tsp

35

Coffee

Brewed Coffee (depending on roast)

8

80-100

Espresso

1

50-60

Americano

8

70-100

Latte (depending on size & espresso)

12

120-170

Frappuccino (coffee based)

16

Varies*

Black Tea Black Tea (brewed)

8

30-50

White Tea White Tea (brewed)

8

6-60

Soda Cola

12

30-40

Mountain Dew

12

50

Energy Drinks Red Bull

8

80

Monster Energy Drink

16

160

As you can see in this table, green tea contains much lower caffeine content than others. This lower caffeine content is not a problem whatsoever because of the presence of L-theanine in green tea. 

L-theanine is an important amino acid that functions with caffeine to provide a balanced, more stable feeling and body balance that no other caffeinated drink can provide. 

green tea contains caffeine

Final Thought 

There’s no doubt that green tea has adequate caffeine content. It was established that a 230ml cup of green tea contains 30-50 milligrams of caffeine. This is a wonderful discovery that substantiates the beneficial effects of green tea on everyone. 

Caffeine has been proven to be an effective source of psychoactive properties. These properties are important to reduce stress and anxiety. At the same time, it increases your daily productivity. 

However, in order not to get carried away with the benefit that comes with caffeine intake, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that a healthy adult should only consume 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. This translated to taking 8-10 cups of green tea daily. 

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