Green tea is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, which come with a lot of health benefits and aid in weight loss. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), Chinese and Japanese medicine practices have been using green tea for a long time. Green tea comes from the leaves of the camellia sinesis plant and is processed using dry steam methods. But, is it better to drink green tea hot or cold?
The answer to that question will depend on what you want. Hot and cold green tea are different not only in the flavor but also in their health benefits.
If you were wondering which one of the two you should pick, worry no more. In this article, we are going to compare hot and cold green tea and look at the benefits of using each. By the time you are done reading the article, you will have enough information to help you choose between the two.
Benefits of green tea
Before we can go deeper into either cold or hot green tea, here are some of the benefits of green tea:
1. Nutritional benefits
A cup of tea has numerous benefits including:
- Amino acids, such as L-theanine. Amino acids are essential in helping you maintain a mental focus.
- Fluoride which helps you in strengthening your tooth enamel
- Caffeine which has a stimulating effect on your nervous system
To get the best out of green tea and in terms of its nutrients,ensure the package says 100% green tea or pure green tea leaves.
2. Less caffeine
Caffeine helps to keep you alert and relaxed. But, beware of excess use since too much of it may cause jitters and lack of sleep. As such, you can use green tea, which also has caffeine but in a less percentage than coffee.
3. Healthy weight loss
Note, it’s true that adding green tea to your diet may help in weight loss. But, it will not make up for a bad diet. However, it does have some fat burning effects and can also suppress appetite. For you to get the best results on weight loss, combine your green tea with a healthy diet, and exercise regularly.
4. Skin health
Green tea has a component known as polyphenols. Polyphenols are known to have significant effects on your skin as they help to protect you from harmful UV rays.
According to a study in cancer prevention research in 2010, mice exposed to polyphenols showed better skin repair after UV ray damage.
5. Prevent cell damage
Tea contains high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants are chemicals in your body that help to prevent cell damage.
6. Lowering the risk of heart disease
Green tea is said to contain the highest amount of flavonoids. Flavonoids reduce blood clotting and also prevent oxidation of bad cholesterol. In addition to lowering cholesterol levels, green tea also lowers your blood pressure. All these work together to lower your risk of getting a heart disease.
So what is better between hot and cold green tea?
Benefits of cold green tea
1. Lower caffeine intake
As we have seen earlier, green tea has lower levels of caffeine than coffee. If you want to cut down on your caffeine intake, then you may consider taking cold green tea, which has lower levels of caffeine than hot green tea.
2. No bitter taste
Cold tea does not have a bitter taste, which makes it easy for even new drinkers to enjoy. The cold water used to make cold green tea does not extract tannins, which is the chemical responsible for the bitterness.
3. Fewer stomach problems
Tannins extracted by hot water are responsible for acidity in the stomach, which may lead to some discomfort and pain. They may also cause digestive issues, which may be an issue, especially to people with a sensitive stomach. Cold green tea, therefore, allows you to enjoy your tea without any worry of stomach upsets.
4. More antioxidants
When you use hot water to prepare your green tea, the hot water will end up damaging some of the catechins which have the antioxidants. When you use cold water to prepare your cold tea, it means that the antioxidants will not be destroyed.
Cold green tea, therefore, enables you to enjoy your tea sweeter and with more health benefits.
How do you prepare cold green tea?
Preparing cold green tea takes longer to make than preparing hot tea. To prepare cold tea, you just put loose leaf tea in a pitcher or teapot with cold water. You should then let it infuse for about 6 to 12 hours.
Loose leaves will help you have a better and more natural taste than tea bags, and they are also healthier. You can put the leaves using a strainer so that it will be easier to remove them when you are done with your brewing process.
Cold tea is sweeter as cold water does not extract tannins, and you can also prepare it without a kettle.
Benefits of hot green tea
1. More caffeine intake
Hot green tea has more caffeine than the cold green tea. As such, if you want to feel more alert and relaxed, you should consider hot green tea. The caffeine levels, however, are still less than those in coffee.
2. Lower risk of heart disease and cell damage
As mentioned earlier, hot water may lead to the destruction of some useful components in green tea, including antioxidants. However, that does not mean that there are no valuable components in it. The antioxidants are still there that help to prevent cell damage.
There are also flavonoids that reduce the chances of blood clotting and oxidation of cholesterol, which leads to a lower risk of getting heart disease.
There is unimaginable fun in sipping your tea slowly while watching your movie. If you are a little wild, you are going to love the bitter taste in your hot cup of tea. You can also add sweeteners such as honey, which will make the experience better.
How to prepare hot tea
Using hot water in making your hot tea will lead to the extraction of tannins, which is the chemical that is responsible for the bitter taste in your hot cup of tea. However, hot tea takes less time to prepare than cold tea, and you can also use a kettle to prepare it.
There are various methods that you can use to prepare your cup of tea, but in the most basic, you just take your green leaves on a strainer and then boil your water separately.
After that, put the strainer over the cup and pour hot water into the cup and let it steeper for about three minutes. If you wish, you can add honey to act as a sweetener.
Is it better to drink green tea hot or cold? This depends on your preference. If you want to have a smooth sweet taste and all the benefits that come with green tea, then you should go for cold green tea.
On the other hand, if you like enjoying your green tea with a little bitter taste, then you can go for hot green tea. Unfortunately, with hot green tea, some of the components may have been damaged by the hot water.