Wait – isn’t tea a healthy drink? At the very least, it is healthier than coffee, right? Everyone knows that.
It is common knowledge – backed up by science – that tea has a lot of health benefits.
- It has anti-cancer properties.
- It boosts your immune system.
- It helps you focus and concentrate.
- It helps relieve stress.
- It tastes good, making you feel good. 🙂
So, how did the topic of disadvantages of tea come up?
Because there are some downsides to tea.
Types of teas
First, let’s make a distinction between “real/true teas” and “herbal teas”.
True teas are:
- Green tea
- Black tea
- White tea
- Oolong tea
They all come from the plant camellia sinensis.
All other teas are herbal teas. These aren’t the subject of this article. Instead, we will focus on the real teas.
Disadvantages of tea
Circling back to our original question, what are the disadvantages of tea?
This is the most obvious and benign disadvantage to drinking tea. Just like with coffee or red wine, tea can color your teeth if you’re not careful. Drinking water and brushing your teeth after drinking tea should help avoid this from happening. If worse comes to worse, your dentist can take care of the problem.
On a more serious note, drinking tea can mess with your sugar levels. You may think that this problem is only associated with carbonated drinks, but it is easy to overlook the amount of sugar you ingest when you drink tea.
If you add, say, a teaspoon of sugar to your cup of tea and you drink 2 to 3 cups a day, that’s 2 to 3 teaspoons of sugar. With one teaspoon containing 16 calories, you’ll be ingesting 48 calories of sugar. This may not seem much but if you drink more cups and add that to the sugar found in other food you eat the whole day, you won’t be doing yourself a favor.
More so, pre-made and bottled teas may contain even more sugar. So make sure you read the label before you down that drink.
Caffeine has health benefits, but only to a certain extent. Some people can’t tolerate it (people with heart problems, for example), and too much caffeine will do more harm than good.
While, in most cases, tea does not contain as much caffeine as coffee, the caffeine content may still have negative effects.
You may feel jittery. If you drink tea late in the afternoon or in the evening, you might have trouble falling asleep.
This may be something that hasn’t occurred to you, but yes, tea can have these effects just as much as coffee can. The key is being aware of how your tea consumption affects you and making adjustments if necessary.
Sour stomach, stomach aches, and even Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can arise from drinking a lot of tea. How much is too much?
There are different opinions on this, but a good amount is 2 to 3 cups per day.
If you already have a history of stomach problems, then it is wiser to drink only 1 to 2 cups.
Inhibits iron absorption
Who would have thought?
Iron is important in our diet because it helps red blood cells transport oxygen to all parts of the body. This makes it part of the processes that produce energy that we need. Iron deficiency leads to low energy and constant fatigue.
Even if we eat iron-rich food or take supplements, it is not a guarantee that the iron will be absorbed by our body; and tea can be one of the reasons iron is not absorbed efficiently. This does not mean you can’t drink tea anymore, but researchers suggest that tea should be drunk in between meals – before or after – and not during.
Moderation and awareness
The benefits of tea cannot be overlooked just because it has its disadvantages. The important thing is to be aware of both sides of the coin. Know what good tea can do for you and make the most of that. Know what bad tea can do to you, and make adjustments so you don’t “get in trouble”.
Are you a tea lover? Have you experienced other disadvantages of tea? Do share them with us in the comments.