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Did you know there are five regions of the world called ‘blue zones’ where there are more centurions alive than anywhere else in the world?
Pretty amazing right? Such places like Sardinia in Italy and Okinawa in Japan are known as the healthiest places on earth.
What is their secret you ask? Along with maintaining exercise and ensuring family comes first, they suggest drinking green tea which is known as the ‘‘ anti-aging beverage. ’
I know the taste of green tea can take a little getting used to, but living a long, healthy life as these centurions do, despite our hectic schedules, sounds like a pretty good deal.
I’ll take a green tea to go, please!
What’s Inside Green Tea?
Green tea is bursting with precious antioxidants like catechins and poly-phenols because the leaves haven’t been fermented or dried out immediately like black tea. These antioxidants and chemicals help eliminate free radicles.
What the heck are free radicles you ask?
Well, they form when the body uses energy and oxygen. In the short term, they are great for getting rid of old cells and germs but too much of them can destroy healthy tissue like DNA.
This causes premature aging, cancer, and other diseases.
That’s where green teas antioxidants come to the rescue!
Benefits of Green Tea for Shift Workers
- Weight Loss by increasing your metabolism while aiding in better regulation of glucose levels and preventing diabetes. It is also recommended to pair tea with regular exercise for the desired effect. Read more here Top 5 Exercise Tips For The Time Poor Shift Worker
- Anti-aging properties such as preventing eye disease, vision issues and importantly preventing cancer. I don’t know about you but after a late early shift, I could use a whole gallon!
- Lowers cholesterol by reducing the bad cholesterol or ‘LDL’ in the blood
- Helps prevent heart disease by altering the lining of our blood vessels to help keep them relaxed and stop the formation of clots
- Prevents the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease by protecting the brain from plaque formation and preventing by the breakdown of important neurotransmitters strongly linked with memory
Green Tea and Shift Work
When should you drink it?
Should you drink it first thing after you wake up?
No, green tea can play havoc with your liver on an empty stomach and can also cause dehydration.
Be cautious around bedtime and consume an hour before sleeping
This will leave you enough time to visit the bathroom a few times (as green tea is a diuretic) and for the caffeine to wear off so you can get some well deserved zzz’s.
Should you add milk?
If you want the full health effects then no. The main protein in milk products is called Casein and it doesn’t interact too well with green teas antioxidants. Plus, it might taste pretty horrible, but that’s just me!
Should the water be boiling?
No, high temperatures can destroy the special compounds found in green tea that make it so good for us. After the kettle has boiled, wait a few minutes before pouring. Others suggest to brew it cold to maximise the full health benefits. Green iced tea anyone?
What to do if you don’t like the taste?
Try adding honey, cinnamon, vanilla or lemon to enhance the flavor or make a batch of iced green tea. Experiment with different bands. I love the Davidsons brand of tea.
You can try the Davidson’s Gunpowder Green Tea below
Or this Stash Tea Moroccan Mint Green Tea which is my favorite.
Should you buy the cheap brand?
What About the Caffeine Content of Green Tea?
There are a few different variables that come into play when measuring the exact caffeine content in green tea. Those being the variety of plant and climate growing conditions but also brew time, size of the cup and the amount of tea used.
If you’re a numbers person, the average amount of caffeine in an 8-oz (230-ml) serving of green tea is around 35 mg however, this can vary between 30 and 50 mg per 8-oz serving. Coffee, on the other hand, has about 100 to 200 mg of caffeine in the same size cup. This is why we still need to consider when are brewing a cup of green tea in relation to going to sleep.
You may be shocked to hear that green tea leaves – in their dry form – hold more caffeine than coffee.
But we don’t drink it dry, so I’m not sure how significant this is, except maybe during a trivia night?
Caffeine is water-soluble meaning the longer then tea leaves remain in the water the more caffeine will be released. Tip – if you want less caffeine, infuse the leaves for a shorter time.
I accidentally bought decaffeinated green tea recently and I was initially mad at myself for not looking properly, but since trying it, I can’t taste the difference! It’s worked out perfectly before bedtime after all 🙂
I agree the taste can take a while to get used to but try different brands until you find the perfect one.
- Naps: Should You Nap During Night Shift?
- Nausea: What Causes Night Shift Nausea And How To Finally Beat It
- Energy drinks: What Should I Drink on Night Shift? 10 Energy Boosting Beverages
- Night shift tips: 7 Essential Night Shift Tips: Making the Impossible a Reality
Summary: Can Drinking Green Tea Help Me Cope with Shift Work?
Can Drinking Green Tea Help Me Cope with Shift Work? Absolutely!
But remember this is not your morning cuppa and best had between meals.
If you are looking for a morning beverage packed with health benefits, try lemon water. Read more about it here – Lemon water can change your life as a shift worker.
I would love to know how you went adding a touch of green to your day. What brands did you like? Did you find any unique flavors you want to share?
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