March 2, 2009
I’m an avid tea drinker. While I may sneak in the occasional soy latte, I have no problem going months without coffee. Upon seeing the green tea article in the March 2009 issue of VT, I decided to challenge myself to follow the recommendation of Judith Stanton, MD, to try drinking five cups of green tea a day. I bought Rishi Organic Fair Trade Tea in Ancient Emerald Lily. While it is a tad bit pricey, the tea is worth every penny. I’m used to prepackaged teas. This loose-leaf variety expands to reveal vibrant whole green tea leaves and emits a sweet flowery aroma. Here is my day-by-day account of my weeklong experiment.
Day 1: I must say, I might be a convert to this Rishi tea. I’ve steeped the same teaspoon of leaves three times already! I feel more energetic, but I’m feeling a little jittery. I need to drink more water to offset the effects of the caffeine. I’ve noticed my appetite is curbed. Although I’m not dieting, I understand why people drink green tea to control hunger.
Day 2: I woke up this morning with a stomachache. I was reluctant to drink green tea and wanted my ginger herbal tea instead. I forced myself to drink it, and it actually made me feel a lot better.
Day 3: Even though I have been exercising regularly, sleeping 8 hours a night, and eating healthily, my energy level has been fluctuating severely. I feel alert and then anxious and jittery. After a few hours, I become completely run down. After doing some research, I think I’ve the problem. I am using over twice the suggested amount when brewing my tea. I have noticed the tea is strong, but I enjoy it. I’ll try using the directed amount and see if that helps.
Day 4: Today I am following the directions explicitly. I realized I was brewing my tea too long as well. Instead of removing the tea bag from the beverage, I left it in the entire time I drank the beverage. While more antioxidants are released with a longer seepage, it also releases more acidity and caffeine, which can cause stomachaches. This morning, I am drinking my tea with a vanilla soymilk creamer and a touch of agave to offset those acids. I am also removing the tea bag after 5 minutes of steeping.
Day 5: I feel a lot better today than yesterday after making those switches. I feel alert yet calm. I am not experiencing stomach problems or any fluctuations in my energy level.
Day 6: All of my roommates have a terrible cough and fever. I woke up this morning feeling a little under the weather, but I have continued with my green tea regimen. After the first few cups, my throat feels better.
Day 7: I feel completely better today. While there is no scientific evidence that my green tea regimen helped me head off a cold, I am convinced it played a part.
I have really enjoyed this week. I hope to continue drinking at least 3-5 cups of green tea a day in the future. Please join me in this healthy habit, and post your comments below to share your own green tea insights.
—Anna Monette Roberts, Editorial Intern