Is it unhealthy to drink "too much tea" ???

If so, how much is too much? During the week I probably have about 4-5 cups a day, and today I am on my 7th right now. And I’m not talking about 250ml “cups”, I mean substantial mugs.

Any facts on this? Caffeine aside, because some of these are caffeine free, I am just wondering if anyone has heard anything about tea itself having negative effects on the body if drank in excess? I’m not pregnant or anything, I assume that would come with its own list of potential concerns.

46 Replies
TeaVivre said

Yes, drink too much tea is not a good thing. Everything should in moderation, even tea is a very healthy beverage. Here we have an article about overindulgence in tea: .

Dustin said

In your article it says “Use restraint to not taste fresh tea immediately after purchasing it. Instead, wait at least half an hour so that a good portion of the polyphenols, aldehydes, and alcohols in the freshly picked leaves are oxidized.” I’m not understanding that. In what situation is that suggested? If you buy tea fresh off a grower? Any tea that you buy anywhere? If it’s the latter, why would 30 minutes more make a difference for tea that is at least a few months old? Are you just supposed to open the bag and let the tea air out?

TeaVivre said

Hi Dustin, fresh tea means tea leaves picked in spring and then processed into tea, which also means it haven’t been stored for a period of time. Usually the tea contains high levels of caffeine and other substances, so we suggest do not drink this tea immediately. However, the teas we got from the manufacturers are mostly has been stored for 15 days or even a month, so you can directly brew this tea without wait a period of time being oxidized.

Helpful, thanks!

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Lala said

This is an interesting and entertaining thread on getting tea drunk:

Lol. That’s presented as a good thing, can’t say I’ve ever had that happen!

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Nicole said

Here is WebMD on black tea:

Sounds like the caffeine is a large concern.

Thanks for the info , Nicole !

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CREAM said

I would think if you drank that much tea you wouldn’t be getting enough water and might get dehydrated. I know I feel like crap if I drink too much tea or coffee and not enough water during the day.

- know you make tea with water! I just dont think its a good substitute for actual water-

I never thought about that!

Dr Jim said

Many years ago I had a doctor recommend drinking more water. He said that tea, coffee, Coke, etc. require water for your body to process the caffeine, so have negative value for hydration. I have always assumed that I can count herbal, decaf. etc. towards my water quota.

True! I always think of tea as counting towards my water intake but I suppose I should be making a conscious effort to drink water in between, especially when the tea isn’t decaf

Kittenna said

If you drink a mix of caffeinated/non-caffeinated, I’d think you’d be ok, but if there aren’t any non-caffeinated teas in your rotation, I can totally see how that would cause problems! I’m trying to drink more rooibos/honeybush lately, and hopefully that will be good for me.

Recent research suggest tea is as hydrating as water. I don’t know if this has been backed up by other groups of scientists, but it’s interesting:

…Although I think it may depend a bit on factors like whether you sweeten your tea, how sensitive you are to caffeine, etc.

(Edit: I should really scroll down first before I comment. I see Dinosara has this covered better than me. LOL.)

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I’ve read that tea may inhibit calcium and iron absorption.

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So for the “tea obsessed” folks like us who potentially have 50-100 (and more) different types of tea to choose from to drink daily, how many cups are people drinking on average? And are you guys drinking from dainty traditional “tea cups” or a mug? Mugs hold probably close to 500 ml of liquid, at the least a cup and a half so I guess you have to take that into consideration if you are counting cups.

I’m just curious how much tea everyone drinks daily!

With one cup being equal to 8 oz (regardless of my actual mug size) I drink somewhere between 6-12 cups of tea per day with more cups being drunk during the week day than the weekend.

fcb said

Even after my description below, I still drink 3 or 4 coffee mugs of tea. 8 oz X 4 = 32 oz a day.

Dr Jim said

I drink 6-8 12 oz pots a day, but nearly half of that is decaf (after 3 PM)

momo said

I drink 2-5 mugs that are usually 10 oz, sometimes 12, so anywhere from 20-60 oz depending on the day.

Nicole said

Lately around 36 oz each weekday, another 12 oz each weeknight and usually 32-40 ounces minimum each day of the weekend if I’m at home all day both days.

Normally 24 of my 36 on weekdays is resteeping the same tea for all those ounces (and they aren’t all hot when they get consumed) and the 12 at night is usually decaf and iced and sometimes also a resteep.

I have noticed an unsettled and full feeling to my tummy in the last few weeks since I have been drinking heavier, darker blacks more exclusively and more of them when they are still hot. I’m going to cut back this next week and see if anything changes.

Don’t know about all the unhealthy things about drinking too much, but I’m pretty sure my good cholesterol and other blood work is due in large part to my tea consumption (probably also to heredity). I do nothing otherwise for my health – I don’t exercise and I eat what I want (clotted cream, anyone?). Same for my mother. We are both overweight and yet our blood work is perfect.

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fcb said

WSS- Tea is a diuretic, which means it is going to flush water out of your body. Which means you should be drinking water too. Tea does not count towards your water intake. My wife is a nurse.

I find that when I drink five or six cups a day my ears ring a lot. I have problems with my ears to begin with, 30 years doing rock and roll for a living, but more tea bothers them. More so than drinking a lot of coffee, which is why I switched to tea. Caffeine is part of the equation, but there is something else about tea that affects my ears.

I also notice if I drink a lot, I get dry mouth. Then bad breath. My dentist noticed it and gave me something for dry mouth, but I haven’t taken it.

Overall, moderation is the key. With anything in life. Blessings.

BoxerMama said

Is that what that’s from?! My ears have been driving me crazy lately!

Good to know, I will have to try and control my tea drinking, I guess 4-5 cups a day would be more than enough, and taking care to hydrate in between as I have definitely let that slide as my tea drinking has increased, because I figured tea was much better for me than healthy. Not that much better I guess!

I wouldn’t want to have this ear ringing thing happen!

Lala said

Ear ringing is most commonly caused by either illness/infection, or by a nutritional imbalance. If someone has low levels of B vitamins, iron, ferritin, the most common symptom is ringing in the ears. Also dehydration and/or starvation (ie. if someone is decreasing food intake for diet) can cause it. High levels of caffeine can cause this but it is more rare, and its more likely there is a combination of everything listed above. Thats just my opionion, I work in health care.

fcb said

Lala- I agree with what you say, and know that my condition is largely hereditary and from my occupation. I’m pretty sensitive to what is coming in to my body and how it affects my ears. I noticed when I started drinking tea dialy that the tininitus increased. I have also had conversations with other tea drinkers who felt the same way. Not sure of the connection, just my experience.

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Dinosara said

Tea has a net hydrating effect, actually, not a diuretic, because the caffeine is still not enough to counteract all the water that comes with it. Even black tea.

Source: published research. You might not have access to the full articles here, but the abstracts sum it up. This is a review from 2006 of past studies on the topic:
And here is an original experiment that falsifies the idea that tea is dehydrating:
This one studied tea drinking at high altitudes, where fluid balance is more stressed, and found no difference in hydration:
This review found that if high amounts do lead to a short diuretic effect, but only if you do not regularly drink tea:

That’s great news!

I’m so glad to read this! I did a bunch of research before I started to drink a lot of tea and I thought I remembered that tea is hydrating but this thread was making me doubt myself.

Fiddling said

Interesting reads. Thanks for sharing!

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fcb said

WSS- great topic.


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sandra said

i drink about 2ltr. green tea daily. i guess i have to monitor my levels lol. never had any problems though.

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