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If you’ve landed on this page, then chances are you're feeling a little worse for wear and are looking for the best tea to settle your symptoms.
You’ve probably tried every drink to ease the discomfort and nothing so far has worked well. And, you’re not alone.
Green tea has been hailed for its health benefits and you’ll find several different types in your local health store.
But is green tea actually good for hangovers?
In this article, we’re going to take a close look at this question to see if it's a tea you should consider drinking as part of your recovery routine.
Green tea benefits
There are many health claims surrounding green tea from a reduced risk of cancer to weight loss. However, the evidence to support these claims is largely inconclusive.
That said, it’s a tea that’s rich in polyphenols which are antioxidants. In addition, green tea has a high concentration of L-Theanine which is a neuroactive amino acid.
Research into L-Theanine has shown it to have a calming effect on the mind, without causing sedation.(1)(2)
But it’s important to stress that most of this research is in its early stages.
Causes of a hangover
Before we get into whether green tea is good for a hangover, we first need to go over the ways in which drinking too much alcohol leaves you feeling rough.
Alcohol is metabolized (broken down to form energy) in your liver. This process produces toxic by-products such as acetaldehyde which build up and react with the cells it comes into contact with. Ultimately this leads to cellular inflammation.
Alcohol is a diuretic which means it makes you produce more urine. It does this by blocking the release of vasopressin from your pituitary gland which is involved in body water regulation.
3. Sleep disruption
Alcohol significantly disrupts your sleep by preventing your brain from reaching the REM stage of sleep. This is the stage where dreams happen and is essential for waking up fully rested. So, it's difficult to have restorative sleep if you have alcohol in your system.
Is green tea good for hangovers?
So, is green tea good for hangovers?
The answer to this question depends on your goals. By the time you've woken up with a hangover, the damaging effects of alcohol have taken place. The most common symptoms are:
- Body aches
- Shakes / feeling jittery
- Anxiety and irritability
It's unrealistic that green tea is going to have any significant impact on these symptoms and it certainly doesn't contain any magic ingredients that will take away your hangovers.
With that said, it's a soothing and tasty drink that contains antioxidants and L-Theanine. Perhaps L-Theanine may have a calming effect if you’re feeling on-edge when hungover. However, this hasn’t been tested or proven in studies as yet.
The only thing to be aware of with drinking green tea for a hangover is that it does contain a decent amount of caffeine. A cup of green tea could contain between 20-50mg of caffeine. That’s around 20-30% of a strong cup of coffee.
It's also important to bear in mind that caffeine, like alcohol, is a diuretic which means it makes you urinate more and exacerbate dehydration.
Finally, caffeine is a stimulant and can also aggravate hangover shakes.
What type of green tea is good for a hangover?
There are many different types of green to choose from including:
- Matcha (Ground up Tencha green tea)
Ideally, you’d want to choose one that is high in L-theanine such as Gyokuro, and low in caffeine such as Kukicha or Houjicha. However, the types that are high in L-Theanine, like Gyokuro, also have the highest caffeine content. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.
In summary, there is no specific type of green tea that's good for a hangover.
Is green tea a hangover cure?
Everyone is on the lookout for the elusive miracle hangover cure. Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist. As mentioned above, alcohol affects your body in several different ways and no single ingredient is ever going to stop you from getting a hangover. Green tea is certainly not a hangover cure.
The best way to prevent a hangover is to drink within your limits, keep well hydrated, and eat before you go out.
Does green tea interact with alcohol?
Green tea does not interact with alcohol and is safe to drink before, during, or after alcoholic drinks.
Green tea and liver health
Green tea is hailed for its liver health benefits and there are several supplements on the market which have concentrated extracts of green tea.
It’s important to note that regular high doses of green tea extract have been associated with liver injury and in rare cases, liver failure.
One of the antioxidants in green tea is catechin which has been linked with liver damage at doses above 800mg/day.
Thankfully, a glass of green tea only contains around 100-200mg of catechin so even a few cups daily is safe.(4)
The problem is associated with highly concentrated liver supplements which sometimes contain much higher doses of catechin than what's in green tea.
Green tea and alcohol, hangovers and liver health
So, that brings us to the end of our look into green tea for hangovers.
We’ve walked you through the basic things you need to know about green tea and alcohol as well as some considerations regarding liver health.
If you’re interested in this topic, check out our article on the best teas for hangovers.