Bought Green Tea vs. Home Brewed - Which Is the Better Choice?


The health benefits of green tea are widely known. It reduces your risk of heart disease, brain disease and cancer. It has an anti-aging action. It can kill viruses and bacteria in your body. It can be safely said that consuming green tea is the best natural way for preserving your good health. But there are so many products on the market claiming to offer all the wonderful health benefits. Which is the right one? Is it better to rely on bought tea or to brew your own drink at home? It is worth taking into account the pros and cons for each type of product.

Traditionally, green tea is prepared through steeping the dried leaves in hot water. This is how the drink has been prepared and served for thousands of years in China and later on in the rest of Southeast Asia. This is how the people there consume the beverage to this day. Many researchers believe that the smaller number of Southeast Asian people that suffer from heart disease and other conditions like arthritis is due to the lifelong consumption of traditionally prepared green tea.

More importantly, the brewed drink is used for most trials on humans. Basically, the health benefits of green tea that researchers reveal are based on studies carried out with the traditional brewed beverage. Another important discovery which gives advantage of home brewed green tea over bought products is that the catechins - the most beneficial antioxidants in the drink - are most abundant in the freshly prepared beverage. The catechin molecules are very active, so once the drink is prepared they begin to bond with other molecules. In turn, as the time passes their concentration in green tea is slowly but steadily decreasing.

Based on all these facts, it can be said that the home brewed tea is better. However, this does not mean that the bought products do not contain sufficient amounts of catechins and other beneficial antioxidants. Quite the opposite, several studies have found substantial concentration of favorable nutrients in some ready green tea drinks. The main problem with bought green tea is that it contains other ingredients, apart from green tea, which can reduce its beneficial effect and even be harmful to you. The sweeteners are commonly present in the ready beverages. These automatically increase the calorie count, which equals zero in home brewed green tea. This means that the weight loss aiding properties of green tea are diminished significantly.

The presence of artificial preservatives in bought green tea is not uncommon. Even though some manufacturers use ascorbic acid, known as Vitamin C, not of them all rely on this natural chemical compound. Usually, the artificial preservatives are not harmful to the body, since they have a very small concentration in the drink. However, when you consume the ready-made green tea product on a daily basis as recommended, these chemical compounds might compile in your body and you might experience a negative side effect.

Some bought green tea products contain larger amounts of caffeine than the traditional home brewed beverage. This is not necessarily a problem if you are a healthy individual. On the contrary, you might experience an even more beneficial effect. However, for some people, such as children and the elderly, the higher concentration of caffeine can have harmful effects, like increased pulse, higher blood pressure and insomnia.

The main advantage of bought green tea over home brewed is that it is much more convenient to use. You do not have to go though boiling the water and steeping the leaves. All you have to do is open the bottle or can and enjoy the drink. The taste should be pleasant, even though it will not be the same as the one of the home brewed beverage. If you get a bottled or canned drink, make sure it is fresh and unsweetened.

Overall, you should definitely consider drinking home brewed green tea. It has a higher concentration of the beneficial catechins. Its taste is traditional. It also has the incomparable green tea aroma. Still, when you cannot steep some leaves at home, you can readily get a bottled drink. The important thing is to be aware of its properties, its beneficial effects and its potential side effects.