When following a ketogenic diet, sugary drinks are off the menu, and water gets boring. You might be looking for healthy, keto alternatives to keep yourself hydrated. So, what about green tea? Is green tea keto? What are the benefits? Let’s look at how many carbs green tea contains and what its benefits are.
What Is Green Tea?
Green tea originated in China, and today, green tea plants grow worldwide from Hawaii to Southeast Asia. Black tea and green tea are derived from the same plant species, Camellia sinensis, but have different flavor profiles because of differences in the way the leaves are processed.
The way green tea is processed is believed to be responsible for its medicinal value. After the leaves are picked, they’re quickly heated and dried to prevent them from oxidizing. This results in a vibrant green hue and helps the tea leaves retain most of their vitamins and minerals. The varieties of green tea differ based on the type of C. sinensis, production, processing, growing conditions, and the time of harvest.
Green tea is widely available, but higher-quality teas might be a little more expensive. Lower-quality teas should be steeped in hotter water for longer time periods, whereas higher-quality teas should typically be steeped multiple times in cooler water for shorter time periods. Steeping too long or too hot releases excessive tannins and creates a more bitter taste. Higher-quality green teas are plucked from verdant riverbanks and other suitable areas with rich terrain.
What About Matcha?
Matcha is a powerful green tea powder from the same plant as green tea but prepared differently and believed to have stronger medicinal properties.
Matcha tea bushes are protected from sunlight for 20-30 days before harvest, which raises chlorophyll levels, increases amino acid production, and turns the leaves a darker shade of green. Following harvest, the veins and stems are removed from the leaves, and the rest of the leaf is stone ground into a fine green powder called matcha.
When drinking matcha, you consume more of the whole leaf than with other varieties of green tea, resulting in higher caffeine and antioxidant consumption.  Research indicates matcha can improve heart health and reduce skin damage from the sun. 
Is Green Tea Keto?
The short answer is to the question of whether green tea is keto is yes, it is suitable for a ketogenic diet. Little to no carbs from the dried tea leaves steep into the water, so most herbal and green teas are extremely low in carbs, think less than 1 gram of net carbs per 8 ounce cup. Compare that to a sugary can of coca cola, which has 26 grams of sugar in an 8 ounce can. 
Green tea products such as bottled tea drinks made with candied or dried fruit pieces or added sugars, syrups, or fruit juices are another story and likely aren’t keto-friendly. If you’re unsure, it’s best to check the carb count on the label.
The health claims about green tea are evidence-based, not just hype. Historically, people have reported they feel benefits from drinking green tea, which provides minerals like potassium and vitamins like A, E, and C. With few calories and plenty of antioxidants, it’s easy to see why green tea is considered a healthy drink.
Some people take a green tea supplement. The most beneficial extract normally advertised is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Some supplements provide high amounts of EGCG, such as 120mg, in addition to other beneficial nutrients.
Green tea inhibits the digestion of starchy foods and suppresses the spike in blood glucose that follows.  This supports the goal of those looking to control blood sugar on a ketogenic diet.
Along with diet and exercise, green tea has been shown to accelerate the fat-burning process. 
The primary health-promoting components unique to green tea are catechins and theanine, which are rapidly gaining attention abroad. Catechins have antimicrobial properties and reduce oxidative damage to cells caused by free radical.  Catechins could help prevent tooth decay, unlike sugary sodas, which could worsen tooth decay. 
In studies, theanine boosts mood and cognition and reduces anxiety and stress. The theanine amino acid also provides the distinct flavor of green tea. 
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a brain chemical that invokes feelings of calmness and relaxation. The GABA in green tea has been proven to prevent depression and boost mood.  When you’re feeling agitated, sip on a soothing, light green tea.
Green tea contains less caffeine than black tea. While caffeine does have its advantages, such as increasing energy and improving brain function and mood, keep in mind that too much caffeine can cause headaches, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.
If you’re a keto dieter who likes a pick-me-up from caffeine to help fuel your day, you can find 30-50mg of caffeine in each 8 ounce cup of green tea, which is lower than most black teas, coffees, and energy drinks. Instant coffee has 27-173 mg of caffeine, and black tea has 25-110mg. The theanine and GABA in green tea could help you calm down and work synergistically with the caffeine in green tea. 
Feeling Fuller for Longer
Consuming green tea regularly might result in more satiety after meals, which is a huge benefit for those looking to lose weight. 
The chlorophyll in green tea is the reason for the vibrant green color. Studies show chlorophyll may have anticancer properties and be able to assist in detoxification. 
Do you drink green tea on keto? Connect with the keto community here at Ketogenic.com.
Steph Green is a content writer specializing in and passionate about healthcare, wellness, and nutrition. Steph has worked with marketing agencies, written medical books for doctors like ‘Untangling the Web of Dysfunction,’ and her poetry book ‘Words that Might Mean Something.’ In 2016, after four years of struggling with her own health problems and painful autoimmune disease, Steph developed a life-changing and extensive knowledge of keto, nutrition, and natural medicine. She continues on her healing journey and enjoys helping others along the way.
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