Green tea has been part of a healthy diet for thousands of years. And it's not only the ancients who have discovered the benefit. Now, medical science has proven the value of this subtle and often tasty beverage. But what about consuming green tea on an empty stomach?
With so many finding weight loss and diabetes control/reversal success by following Intermittent Fasting (IF) protocols, many are also being introduced to the benefits of green tea...and that's leading them to ask that very question.
(Click here to read what makes drinking green tea the perfect beverage during intermittent fasting)
IF ideally calls for the consumption of nothing but water during the fasting periods. Because some find this tiresome, they've experimented with adding black coffee, black coffee with artificial sweeteners or natural sweeteners that don't change blood sugar much (such as stevia and monk fruit) and adding teas.
That brings us back to that big question: is it safe to drink green tea on an empty stomach?
Green tea not only supplies caffeine to give us a gentle energy boost, but it also contains antioxidants and substances that contribute to lowering blood pressure. It's proven to help decrease rates of esophageal cancer—and potentially other cancers as well—and has a positive influence on blood cholesterol.
(This post discusses the connection between green tea and lowering blood pressure)
According to IF guru, author, and nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung—who many turn to as one of the ultimate authorities in intermittent fasting—adding tea during the fasting period does not appreciably raise blood sugar. And in the case of green tea, it can have small but measurably positive influences on metabolism.
Green tea contains polyphenol, which helps with fat oxidation and the rate at which the body uses calories. Dr. Fung encourages people to drink on up, both during fasting and during feeding periods.
However, there is a catch-22 with deriving benefits from green tea while fasting. In addition to its many benefits, green tea is also high in tannins, which increase stomach acids. For most, this won't be a problem. But in someone with peptic ulcers or gastric reflux, it may cause heartburn or other stomach distress.
In that case, consuming green tea on an empty stomach might not be the best option for you.
(Learn all about tannins and the science behind green tea in this post)
Some health experts warn of an acidic stomach for some. However, other sources claim the opposite: that green tea is a more gentle alternative than either black tea or coffee.
This might make a difference in particular for those who are doing IF, as the only beverages allowed aside from water all have some component of possibly causing stomach acidity on an empty stomach/during fasts. The question is whether or not this is tolerable to the individual.
The only way to know whether green tea can be consumed comfortably during your own fasting periods is to go ahead and give it a try. Remember, green tea is beneficial to us whether we are fasting or not, so there's no harm in trying. We have few choices for drinks during fast periods, and there's no reason to discount green tea as a viable and potentially quite beneficial option.
Do you want to shop for green tea products you'll enjoy whether you're fasting or not? Click here to find an incredible selection to choose from!
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This post was first published in 2020, but it was updated in 2022 just for you.
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