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Is it Okay to Drink Green Tea on an Empty Stomach?

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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?  

As numerous individuals experience success in weight loss and diabetes management through Intermittent Fasting (IF) protocols, many are discovering the advantages of green tea, prompting them to inquire about it.

(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 teas.

Drinking Green Tea on an Empty Stomach

That brings us back to that big question: is it safe to drink green tea on an empty stomach? Let's first watch this video and find out if it is really safe.

First of all, Green Tea is Healthy

Yellow Tea Mug

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.)

Green Tea has Benefits During Fasting

Intermittent fasting and Green Tea

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 effects on metabolism.

Green tea contains polyphenols, which help with fat oxidation and the rate at which the body uses calories. Dr. Fung encourages people to drink up, both during fasting and during feeding periods.

Alert: It also can Cause Stomach Upset on an Empty Stomach

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 for 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.)

My morning ritual

Weighing the Opinions

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 or during fasts. The question is whether or not this is tolerable for 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!

Did you learn a lot from this post? Here are three more to read next:

This post was first published in 2020, but it was updated 13.6. 2024 just for you. 

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