Health benefits of green tea

L&S_Green tea

How can swapping out your morning coffee help you?

By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor

With a new year comes new resolutions, and for a lot of students with those early morning classes, drinking less coffee is probably one of them. But let’s be honest, quitting coffee cold turkey is a pretty amazing feat. Even if you were able to get used to waking up at the crack of dawn for that lengthy bus or SkyTrain commute, you’d have to deal with the migraines from caffeine withdrawal.

Not to fret though, because I’ve discovered a solution—or at least a Band-Aid until the semester break.

Many nutritionists and health websites such as praise green tea for its various health benefits including improving circulation and lowering cholesterol. But as students, many of us aren’t health buffs. We just want something that will give us that kick in the morning, and help us get through the day.

So many times when I’ve suggested to my coffee addicted friends and classmates to try green tea I’ve heard the same excuse: “Oh no, I can’t. I need caffeine.” So let’s just nip this right in the bud. Green tea is not herbal tea; it is what is known as a “true tea,” like black tea and oolong tea. These teas contain caffeine, unlike herbal teas which do not. True teas in general usually contain more caffeine than brewed coffee, so if your goal was to cut back on the caffeine, this might not be the solution for you.

Why make the switch in the first place then?

As I said before, green tea does have some pretty amazing benefits that coffee does not. It improves circulation and lowers cholesterol—which sounds nice but you might be wondering what the practical application is for a 20-something student. Basically this means that green tea can help stabilize blood sugars, which will be beneficial to anyone with diabetes or who finds they’re succumbing to a high-fat diet. This better blood-flow also means good things for your skin, heart, and brain, which should be important to any student.

Green tea has been linked to weight-loss as well. Studies show that green tea can improve metabolism which results in some weight-loss, but it’s certainly not a solution for anyone looking for a dramatic change. Studies also show that the results of this may vary depending on your own personal body chemistry.