Nutrition plays an enormous role in managing blood pressure including the beverages you drink. If you’re a tea lover, you may want to know if any are beneficial for BP. Let’s answer the question for one of the most popular teas, does green tea lower blood pressure?
Green tea has been shown in studies to lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Green tea offers endothelial protection by helping blood vessels relax which allows blood to flow more freely. Green tea contains antioxidants linked to increased cardiovascular health.
I’ll dive more into green tea by providing the studies. In addition, learn how many cups were drank and recommended. Can you drink it with blood pressure medication and wouldn’t the caffeine raise BP? Keep reading to find the answers to those questions and more!
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Does Green Tea Lower Blood Pressure
Some people may argue there’s been some studies where green tea had little impact on lowering blood pressure. While that’s true, many more have shown it to lower blood pressure. The following are some studies and research of hundreds of past studies.
Some people may find the studies a little boring. Therefore, the next sections below explains why green tea lowers blood pressure and answers many more questions.
In 2020 researchers reviewed and analyzed past randomized control trials to assess the effects of green tea supplementation on blood pressure.
They included 24 trials which included 1,697 people. The researchers concluded green tea significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure over the duration of the short-term trials 1.
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In 2014 researchers analyzed 13 previous randomized controlled trials on the effect of green tea consumption on blood pressure. A total of 1,367 people were included in the trials.
Their research concluded consuming green tea significantly reduced systolic blood pressure by 1.98 mmHg. In addition, green tea showed a lowering effect on diastolic blood pressure by 1.92 mmHg. The analysis suggested green tea consumption had a favorable effect on decreasing blood pressure 2.
In 2004, researchers examined the effect of drinking tea over the past decades on the risk of developing high blood pressure. The study involved 1,507 people living in Taiwan with no high blood pressure history 3.
The researchers found tea drinkers were less likely to develop high blood pressure than the people who weren’t tea drinkers. The people who drank at least a half-cup of green or oolong tea per day for one year had a 46% lower risk of high blood pressure compared to those who didn’t drink the tea.
The reduced risk of high blood pressure increased even more, 65%, when the people consumed 2 1/2 cups per day. The more people drank, the more their risk of high blood pressure reduced.
People who were habitual tea drinkers, lowered their risk more than non-habitual drinkers. This is similar to the effects coffee had on blood pressure. I wrote a whole blog post on coffee and blood pressure which you can check out in this website.
In 2014, researchers examined 20 double-blinded randomized clinical trials involving over 1,500 people. Their purpose was to research the effect of green tea on blood pressure and cholesterol. They concluded green tea consumption reduced systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol 4.
In 2014, researchers analyzed 25 studies involving 1,476 people for the effects of tea intake on blood pressure. In the short-term they found it didn’t make much of a difference. Although after 12 weeks of drinking tea, systolic blood pressure reduced 2.6 mmHg and diastolic by 2.2 mmHg 5.
Of the teas tested, green tea had the most significant results followed by black tea. The researchers noted the 2.6 mmHg reduction in systolic would be expected to reduce the following:
- Reduce stroke by 8%
- Reduce coronary artery disease mortality by 5%
- All mortality by 4%
The results in the studies are impressive. Now lets find out why green tea is effective.
Why Green Tea Lowers Blood Pressure
Tea appears to be a light, simple beverage. How can it have so many benefits? People have believed in its benefits for years 6. While this is true, many people may not know the answer to, why does green tea lower blood pressure?
Green tea lowers blood pressure because of its antioxidant properties and endothelial protection. This helps the blood vessels to relax which increases and improves blood flow. In studies the antioxidants in tea have been linked to improved cardiovascular health.
It’s the antioxidants contained in green tea which makes it so effective. Green tea is rich with polyphenols which are compounds found in plant foods. Their antioxidant activity can neutralize free radicals protecting the body’s cells from damage.
There are four main groups of polyphenols:
- Phenolic Acids
- Polyphenolic Amides
- Other Polyphenols
Studies have found polyphenols help lower blood pressure and cholesterol 7. A flavonoid found in green tea, a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is one of the main compounds in green tea which makes it so effective 8.
Green Teas Best For High Blood Pressure
There are so many different kinds and brands of green tea on the market. If you’ve decided to give green tea a try, which green tea is best for high blood pressure?
The best green tea for high blood pressure is hot, brewed green tea with caffeine. A hot tea retains more of its antioxidants than chilled tea which is often watered down with less tea. Decaffeinated green tea losses 15 to 25 percent of its antioxidants depending on the brand.
In addition, if you’re concerned about environmental factors, they sell organic green teas. Amazon has a wide variety listed for sale at more affordable prices than in the stores. Check out some of them listed on Amazon here, Organic Green Teas.
How Many Cups To Drink To Lower Blood Pressure
In the studies listed earlier, people have drank anywhere from 1/2 cup to 6 cups of green tea per day. This is a wide range, so you’re probably asking yourself, how many cups of green tea a day should I drink to lower blood pressure?
Based on studies for lowering blood pressure, it’s optimal to drink between three cups of green tea per day to lower blood pressure. The green tea should be brewed hot and caffeinated to obtain the most benefit for blood pressure.
For some people drinking caffeine may interfere with anxiety, sleep, headaches or pregnancy risks. The catechin contained in green tea may lead to iron deficiencies. Therefore, it’s recommended to consult with your physician prior to changing anything related to your nutrition and food intake.
Green Tea and High Blood Pressure Medication
Many of you may be taking blood pressure medication. If you are, you should know about green tea and blood pressure medication. The caffeine in green tea may increase blood pressure in people taking beta-blockers. Beta blockers consist of the following medications:
- Nadolol (Corgard)
- Timolol (Blocadren)
- Sotalol (Betapace)
- Atenolol (Tenormin)
- Acebutolol (Sectral)
- Bisoprolol (Zebeta)
- Betaxolol (Kerlone)
- Propranolol (Inderal)
- Pindolol (Visken)
- Nebivolol (Bystolic)
- Penbutolol (Levatol)
- Metoprolol (Toprol XL, Lopressor)
- Carteolol (Cartrol)
Therefore, it’s recommended to consult with your physician about drug interactions prior to changing anything related to your nutrition or food intake.
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- Medicine: Effect of green tea supplementation on blood pressure[↩]
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effect of green tea consumption on blood pressure: A meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials[↩]
- JAMA Internal Medicine: The Protective Effect of Habitual Tea Consumption on Hypertension[↩]
- NMCD: The effect of green tea on blood pressure and lipid profile: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials[↩]
- Cambridge University Press: Effects of tea intake on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials[↩]
- Time: This King of Tea Lowers Blood Pressure Naturally[↩]
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Polyphenol Health Effects on Cardiovascular and Neurodegenerative Disorders: A Review and Meta-Analysis[↩]
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Molecular understanding of Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases[↩]