The amounts of caffeine vary between the teas, with black tea containing the most. Green and white tea contain the least, with the exception of non-caffeinated teas.

Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. It consists of the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, which after harvest begin to wither and oxidize. The oxidation process can be stopped by heating the leaves.

The more the tea leaves oxidize, the darker they become, which determines the type of tea:

Black tea leaves are wilted, rolled and completely oxidized.
Green tea leaves are not wilted and oxidized.
Oolong tea leaves are wilted and partially oxidized.
White tea is composed of young leaves that are very little oxidized.

Black tea is most popular in Europe and accounts for around 75% of global tea consumption. In Japan and China, green tea is the most popular. Oolong tea and white tea are less consumed in the world.

The amount of caffeine in a tea varies depending on the type of tea. The most caffeinated teas are black and oolong teas, decaffeinated teas and herbal teas that contain very little or traces of caffeine.

Many teas have various health benefits as they contain:

Antioxidants: They delay or prevent oxidative damage, which helps reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Phytochemicals: These plant compounds occur naturally. They can boost the immune system and play a role in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Flavonoids: These are a type of polyphenol phytochemicals and are also antioxidants.

Flavonols: These are a type of flavonoids found in tea that are powerful antioxidants.

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG): This is a catechin found in black and green teas and a powerful antioxidant.

Theanine: This is an amino acid that can help reduce stress.

black tea

Black tea contains the highest amount of caffeine, between 64 and 112 milligrams (mg) per serving. 200 g portion.

Black tea contains no calories, fat, protein, fibre, vitamins or sugar. But like other teas, it contains flavonoids, phytochemicals, flavonols, theanine and health-promoting antioxidant properties. Black tea can help:

Increase mental alertness: A person can feel more alert and pay more attention if they drink black tea throughout the day due to its caffeine content.

Heart attacks: People who drink black tea may have a lower risk of heart attacks, while those who have drunk black tea for at least a year may be less likely to die of a heart attack.

Low blood pressure: Caffeinated drinks can contribute to high blood pressure in older people who experience low blood pressure after eating.

Ovarian cancer: People who regularly drink tea appear to have a lower risk of developing this type of cancer than those who never or rarely drink it.

Oolong tea

Oolong tea contains between 29 and 53 mg of caffeine per 2.5 liter portion.

It contains no fats, sugars, proteins or fibres. Per 100 grams (g) oolong tea has:

1 calorie
1mg Calcium
1 mg of magnesium
1 mg of phosphorus
12mg potassium K
3mg sodium
0.01mg zinc
0.06 mg niacin
2 mg theobromine

Oolong tea can help with weight loss. Animal studies suggest that regular consumption of oolong tea and other types of tea can help with weight loss thanks to the antioxidant EGCG it contains. It can also help fight heart disease, as research shows that oolong tea can lower cholesterol, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.

green tea

The caffeine in green tea varies between 24-39 mg per 200 g portion.

Per 100 g of green tea contains no fats, sugars or fibers and contains:

1 calorie
0.22 g of protein
0.02mg iron
1 mg of magnesium
8mg potassium K
1mg sodium
0.01mg zinc

Green tea can have health benefits, including

Anti-carcinogenic properties for skin cancer: Human, in vivo and in vitro research has found that green tea can help in the chemoprevention of UVB-induced skin cancer. This may be due to tea polyphenols, micronutrients found in plants.

Inflammatory skin conditions: Studies have found that green tea and the EGCG it contains appear to help reduce inflammation.

Cognitive abilities: Observational studies suggest a link between green tea and a reduced risk of cognitive impairment.

White tea

The caffeine in white tea varies between 32-37 mg per 200 g portion:

White tea is nutritionally similar to green tea and is less processed than black tea, oolong tea and green tea, which means it retains more antioxidants. It has many of the same benefits as these other teas and can also help:

heart health
protection against the effects of harmful UV rays
reduction of inflammation
weight loss
improve cognitive abilities

Decaffeinated tea

These teas contain less than 12 mg of caffeine per serving. 8 ounce serving, and many natural decaffeinated herbal teas contain no trace of caffeine.

The best healthy decaffeinated teas

Many teas contain no trace of caffeine. You can usually find a caffeine-free version of your favorite black, green or white tea, including Earl Gray tea, but many herbal teas are naturally caffeine-free. Some decaffeinated teas with notable health benefits include the following.

Rooibos tea

This tea does not contain caffeine. Animal research suggests that rooibos supplementation may help protect the liver from oxidative stress and lower blood pressure.

Hibiscus tea

Research suggests that hibiscus leaf extracts may offer anti-tumor and antioxidant properties and may support cardiovascular health and healthy blood pressure.

chamomile tea

Chamomile tea can help improve sleep in people with insomnia. It can also lower cholesterol levels, improve cardiovascular health and provide antioxidant protection.

Turmeric tea

Curcumin, which is found in turmeric and gives it its distinct yellow color, improves immune function with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial properties.

The risk of caffeine

Consuming too much caffeine can lead to health problems. The research cited 400 milligrams, or about 4 or 5 cups of coffee, as the maximum recommended amount per day. day. But consuming more than this number is associated with dangerous negative effects, including:

insomnia
headache
anxiety
congestion
increased heart rate
dehydration
dependence

Some people need to avoid or limit their caffeine intake, including people who:

are pregnant or breastfeeding
have trouble sleeping
have high blood pressure
have ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux disease
are anxious
migraine attacks
you take medicines such as stimulants.

Summary

The most caffeinated teas are black tea, Oolong tea, green tea and white tea. They all have potential health benefits because they contain antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids, flavonols, and other health-promoting compounds.

The health benefits of tea include:

– cardiovascular health thanks to the reduction of cholesterol
– weight loss
– protection against antioxidants
– protection against the effects of harmful UV rays
– reduction of inflammation

If a person wants to avoid caffeine, which can cause overstimulation or interact with certain health conditions, decaffeinated varieties of popular teas are widely available. Some teas, including many herbal teas, are naturally caffeine-free. Some health-promoting decaffeinated teas include rooibos, hibiscus, and chamomile.

Sources

Canda, BD, et al. (2014). Effects of ingestion of rooibos (aspalathus linearis) and a rooibos-derived commercial supplement on liver tissue damage by tert-butyl hydroperoxide in wistar rats.

Chang, S.-M., et al. (2015). Effects of a chamomile tea drinking intervention on sleep quality and depression in sleep-disturbed postnatal women: A randomized controlled trial.

Chin, JM, et al. (2008). Caffeine content in brewed tea.

Chitpan, M., et al. (2015). Chemistry and health beneficial effects of oolong tea and theasinensins.

Ohishi, T., et al. (2016). Anti-inflammatory effect of green tea [Abstract].

Pastoriza, S., et al. (2017). Health properties of green and white tea: An update [Abstract].

Rasheed. Z. (2019). Molecular evidence of health benefits of drinking black tea.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language that is accessible to everyone. IN NO CIRCUMSTANCES can the information provided replace the advice of a healthcare professional.