Written by Minh Mai
Tea has a myriad of health benefits. It is packed with antioxidants, can keep your metabolism in balance as well as aiding in weight loss. However, in order to maximise these benefits it’s important to know which types of tea are best for you, and the optimum times to drink them.
Experts say white tea is the best kind to drink in the morning. It is not too harsh on the stomach and has a subtle flavour which is easy to drink in the early hours. White tea is also caffeinated and comes in different strengths, making it ideal for giving you that extra boost in the morning. For white teas containing more caffeine, it is often worth seeking out the higher quality or artisan types.
Once you are up and about, green tea is the ideal beverage to keep your morning flowing. It speeds up your metabolism and aids digestion, so no worries if you’ve eaten a heavy breakfast. It prepares your body for lunch, helping you burn extra calories after your meal, which can be particularly beneficial for office workers and those with sedentary jobs. It also helps boost energy levels and staves off the pre-lunch slump.
Black tea (without milk or sugar) is a good choice at lunch time, because it contains the most caffeine, which sets you up to power through afternoon work. It is a far healthier alternative to soda or coffee, and it has been proven to reduce plaque-forming bacteria in the mouth - no more coffee breath either.
Pu-erh tea is recommended for after lunch. It is unique because it goes under a special fermentation process before it’s put through its final drying. Because of this it is known to aid digestion. In China, it has been used traditionally for preventing weight gain after a large meal. Another benefit of pu-erh tea is that it has only a moderate level of caffeine in it, so it will help you stay awake during the last few hours of work, but you won’t be kept up at night.
Drinking oolong tea is a good decision after dinner because although it does contain caffeine, it does not have as much as is present in green or white tea. Steep the tea in hot, not boiling water, to reduce the amount of caffeine in your drink. If you want to cut out caffeine completely after dinner, opt for a herbal tea. Herbal options include ginger, chamomile, or rooibos, and these can help to settle your nerves without an unwanted energy boost. Regardless of your preferences, always make sure not to drink tea too late in the night, because it has the ability to keep you up if consumed too close to bedtime.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to consume tea at each time suggested above all in one day, and you can follow any combination thereof. Too much caffeine can have negative effects on attention so you should ensure you are aware of how much caffeine is too much in one day.