Eating anything right before going to bed is bad, right?
In reality, it depends on your overall health and what you’re eating before bed.
Researchers agree that eating foods high in sugar, greasy foods and junk foods before bed are a bad habit to get into, especially if you have problems with acid reflux or other similar conditions.
However, more and more research suggests that eating healthy snacks before bed can be beneficial to your health.
Many say that drinking green tea before bed might be one of the smartest choices you can make. We’ll lay out some of the facts and let you make your own choice.
General Nutritional Value
Before we start looking at the benefits of drinking green tea before bed, let’s look at its overall nutritional value.
To begin with, as long as you don’t add sugar, green tea is a zero-calorie drink.
Brewed green tea includes:
» Antioxidants and alkaloids
» L-theanine amino acid
» Contains vitamins A, D, E, C, B, B5, H and K in varying quantities
» Rich in manganese and also contains zinc, chromium and selenium
» Contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is several times more powerful as an antioxidant than vitamins C or E.
These nutrients are beneficial to your body any time during the day or night for various reasons, but let’s examine how they are particularly helpful for you while you sleep.
10 Benefits of Drinking Green Tea Before Bed
Truly restful sleep that allows your body to be free of stress and truly rejuvenate is one of the most important aspects of maintaining greater overall health.
Allowing your body to function in a restful state is one of the most important reasons for drinking water before bed is keeping your organs hydrated while you sleep.
Green tea, since it is 99.5% water, not only does that, but it is beneficial in other ways too.
Here are 10 benefits of drinking green tea before bed.
1. Blood sugar regulation
According to Body Ecology, “When blood sugar crashes in the middle of the night, cortisol levels rise, and melatonin production diminishes.” That combination of reduced melatonin, which helps you sleep, and the increase in cortisol, which is a stress hormone, disrupts your circadian rhythm and prevents you from achieving restful sleep.(1)
Green tea helps to regulate your blood sugar to help you avoid blood sugar spikes or crashes while you’re sleeping.
2. Metabolic boost
One of the reasons that we’re told not to eat before bed is wrapped up in the theory that the calories that you consume before going to bed are less likely to be burned up because of inactivity.
Though that theory has proponents both for and against it, the metabolic boost that is provided by green tea to help burn calories during inactivity continues to be beneficial while you sleep.(2)
3. Soothes your nerves
Several different aspects of drinking green tea tend to soothe your nerves and make it easier for you to fall asleep.
One of the active nutrients in green tea is an amino acid known as l-theanine. L-theanine helps to calm you and make you sleep better.
Additionally, drinking a warm drink before bed has a tendency to make most people drowsy. The combination of these two factors makes the benefits of drinking a warm cup of green tea before going to bed a no brainer.
4. Can reduce the risks of cold and flu by 60%
Green tea’s antioxidant powers are found in the compound EGCG. Where EGCG is certainly a factor in fighting off cancer, it is also effective at preventing flu virus replication.
An antiviral study conducted by Department of Biotechnology, College of Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea reported that “EGCG and ECG were found to be potent inhibitors of influenza virus replication in MDCK cell culture and this effect was observed in all influenza virus subtypes tested, including A/H1N1, A/H3N2 and B virus.”(3)
Given the results of this study, it isn’t hard to see how drinking green tea before bed can have an enormous impact on your overall health. An additional benefit of EGCG is its proven cancer fighting properties as well.
5. Helps you detox while you sleep
EGCG also helps to eliminate free radicals, which attack your healthy cells and either damage or kill them. “Green tea directly supports the liver by increasing enzyme activity that drives the first two phases of detoxification. Its impact on specific liver enzymes also explains other benefits beyond detoxification, such as protecting the liver from acetaminophen,” according to Livestrong.(4)
Supporting proper liver function has been shown to be a keep element not only in weight management, but in all aspects of overall health.
6. Helps control bad breath
Researchers have discovered that green tea is very effective at inhibiting the growth of bacteria, especially those that cause bad breath.
Studies show that green tea not only inhibits the growth of bacteria, but significantly increases the effectiveness of mouthwash and toothpaste at eliminating bad breath.(5)
7. Helps fight tooth decay
Related to the research concerning the reduction of bad breath was the discovery that green tea also helped fight the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Tea prevents plaque from forming and also destroys the acids that are responsible for tooth decay.(6)
8. Increased brain function
Drinking green tea has also been shown to increase brain function and slow the effects of dementia.
In a study presented at the 2015 International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases it was demonstrated that “those who drank green tea one to six days a week had less mental decline than those who didn’t drink it.” (7)
In addition, the researchers revealed that tea drinkers had a lower risk of dementia than non-tea drinkers.
It’s not the first time green tea has been linked to brain health. Another study showed a connection between green tea and an increased connectivity between the parietal and frontal cortex of the brain.
9. Helps prevent heart attack and stroke
Green tea helps in two ways. First, research shows that hydrating before going to bed is one of the most effective ways of reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke.
We’ve already mentioned that tea is 99.5% water and helps meet this requirement.
Second, green tea has anti-inflammatory properties that help to prevent atherosclerosis, a major contributor heart disease and stroke.
University of Maryland Medical Center notes that drinking 3 cups of green tea per day may decrease the risk of heart attack by 11 percent. (8)
10. Increased blood circulation
Blood circulation not only effects heart health, but proper circulation also enhances the function of all of the bodies organs and systems. Improper blood circulation can cause a number of problems that prevent you from getting a good night’s rest.
Here are just a few:(9)
- Cold feet, toes, hands and/or finger even in the warmer seasons
- Numbness in extremities
- Frequent dizziness
- Difficulty catching your breath
- Feeling pins and needles in your extremities
These symptoms often make it difficult for a person to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. Drinking green tea before bed helps the cells that line the walls of your body’s capillaries to perform better, which helps increase circulation.
Increase Green Tea’s Efficacy
If you plan on drinking green tea before going to bed, why not get the most you can out of it.
Here are a few things to give your nighttime drink a boost:
» To boost the benefits of green tea, add a squirt of lemon or other citrus juice to your cup. Research demonstrates that vitamin C increases available EGCG levels by more than five times.(10)
» Do not add milk. The proteins in milk may bind to and neutralize the antioxidants in tea, such that its health benefits are significantly reduced, according to a 2007 study.(11)
» High-quality green tea is, in fact, green. If your green tea appears brown rather than green, it’s been oxidized, which can damage or destroy its most valuable compounds.(12)
Drawbacks and Side Effects
Green tea is safe for nearly all adults as long as it is consumed in moderation.
There are a few individuals who should be careful with consuming green tea.
» stomach problems
» iron deficiency
» people with low tolerance to caffeine
» pregnant or nursing women
» people with anemia
» anxiety disorders
» bleeding disorders
» liver disease
If you have one of these conditions, it is best for you to consult your health care provider before adding green tea to your diet regimen.
One of the main reasons for this, is the fact that green tea does not react well to many of the medications used to treat these disorders.
Drinking green tea before bed, is it a good idea or a bad idea?
Due to its benefits, unless you have a particular condition that might be exacerbated by it, green tea is probably a great addition to your bedtime regimen.
Green tea calms, regulates blood sugar, prevents bacterial and viral growth, boosts you metabolism while you sleep, helps you detox, and is good for your heart and circulation.
With so many benefits, it really makes sense to drink green tea before bed.
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