Side Effects of Tea That You Should Know

girl holding a tea cup

Drinking tea is healthy, but tea addiction can have many negative side effects too. There can be many complications and side effects of Tea when consumed in the wrong way or in access.

Tea is one of the most loved beverages in the world. Most of the world’s population is tea drinkers. Green Tea, Black tea, and Oolong Tea are their most widespread variations. Leaves of a plant called Camellia sinensis are used to make tea.

For a tea lover, there is nothing more soothing than drinking a cup of hot tea and the beverage has many benefits too.

Tea has many healing properties and so it has been used as a medicine for a long time. Even modern research has asserted that tea contains some plant compounds that can reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. They can save our body from cancer, diabetes, and other heart-related issues.

Tea if consumed in moderation can be very healthy, but drinking more than 3 to 4 cups a day can also have some side effects on our body.

In this article, we will talk about some negative side effects of tea addiction.

Reduces Absorption of Iron

green tea with mint leaves

Tea is a rich source of compounds called Tannins. These compounds can bind iron in some foods. Thus iron is available for absorption when the food is being digested. 

Deficiency of Iron is most common among any nutrient deficiencies that can happen at any age. If you have tea addiction this deficiency can worsen.

Research studies show that tea tannins obstruct the absorption of iron. This happens more in the case of plant-based foods than animal-based foods. If you are completely a  vegetarian or follow a vegan diet, it becomes necessary to keep your tea consumption in check.

It is also noteworthy that the amount of tea tannins depend on the type of tea and the method of its preparation. But for most people, tea consumption should be limited to 3 or lesser cups per day to be in a safe range.

The best option to drink tea in between meals and it is safe for people with low iron too. This will less affect the ability of your body to absorb iron from food.

Increases Anxiety and Stress

Tea is the main source of natural caffeine. Overconsumption of caffeine from any source can increase anxiety and stress. One cup of tea (240ml) roughly contains 10 -60mg of caffeine. This depends on the variety and preparation method of tea. Green Tea and White tea have lower caffeine content as compared to Black tea. It also depends on how long you steep your tea. The longer the steep time, the more is caffeine content. 

According to some researches, a caffeine dose of less than 200mg per day is less like to cause feelings of stress and anxiety, but this can affect some people more. 

If drinking tea makes you nervous and stressed, it’s time to limit your tea consumption to reduce these symptoms. If you find yourself addicted to drink tea, you can opt for herbal teas. These teas are completely caffeine-free as they are not made from Camellia sinensis plant leaves. 

Inadequate Sleep

Tea has natural caffeine and its excessive consumption is harmful and disturbs the sleep cycle. Our body has a hormone called Melatonin that gives the signal to the brain about sleep time. Excessive consumption of caffeine can reduce melatonin production in the body and this sleep quality gets low.

Less sleep gives rise to many kinds of mental issues like reduced attention, fatigue, and weak memory. If the issue of sleep deprivation becomes chronic it can also lead to obesity and diabetes

As the metabolism of different people is different, it cannot be predicted what is the general impact pattern on sleep. Researches have shown that consuming 200mg of caffeine 6 hours before bedtime can also affect sleep negatively.

If you see that your sleep quality is poor and irregular, consider decreasing the consumption of tea and other beverages that contain caffeine.


Tea pot and a cup

Tea contains some compounds that might trigger nausea if consumed in excessive quantities or taken on an empty stomach. Tea gets its bitter taste from tannins. Tannins are astringent and they can also irritate our digestive tissues. This leads to symptoms like nausea and stomach aches. Again these effects will be different in different people depending on the consumption of tea.

If your body is sensitive you may see these symptoms even after drinking 2 cups of tea whereas some people do not notice these symptoms even after drinking 5 cups of tea.

If you are already noticing symptoms like nausea and stomach ache, you should consider reducing the consumption of tea. It is best to add some milk or consume tea with some food to reduce its harmful effects.


Caffeine found in can also cause acidity and heartburn or increase existing symptoms. Studies show that caffeine relaxes the sphincter that divides the esophagus from the stomach which causes the acid in the stomach to easily reach the esophagus. 

Excessive consumption of tea also increases the formation of total acid in the stomach. But these effects are different in different people. But most people who consume tea routinely in excess have experienced heartburn and acidity.

To improve these symptoms, it is better to reduce the intake of tea.

Complications in Pregnancy

Consuming excessive caffeine during pregnancy can cause many types of complications like miscarriage etc. Even the birth weight of the infant can be less than normal. Studies show that the risk of such complications is less if the consumption of caffeine is less than 300mg. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggest that the consumption of caffeine during pregnancy should not be more than 200mg. On average, it is not good to drink more than 3 cups of tea per day.

Some women switch to herbal caffeine-free teas during pregnancy to avoid problems, but it is important to note that all herbal teas are not safe for pregnancy.


Tea is popular all over the world has it has many health benefits. But its excessive consumption can lead to many short and long-term problems. It is in the best interest to keep the consumption of tea under check and to reduce the negative side effects of tea addiction. 

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