How many polyphenols in a cup of tea?

Green and black tea are the richest common beverages in polyphenols, but green tea has about 24% more polyphenols than black tea. A cup of green tea provides up to 600 mg of polyphenols, of which 200 mg are EGCG.

What are tea polyphenols good for?

Green tea has many health benefits due to its high polyphenol content. In fact, tea is one of the richest foods in polyphenols.

Polyphenols in tea may reduce the risk of various degenerative diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Additionally, green tea may be beneficial in reducing cholesterol levels.[1]

In fact, the regular consumption of tea may prolong life. According to a study, the average life span was 66 years for men and 68 years for women who had more than 3 cups of green tea per day, while it was 70 years for men and 74 years for women who had more than 10 cups of green tea per day.[2]

Green tea greatly increases the antioxidative status of the body.[3]

Also, it’s a great post-workout beverage. It supports sports performance.

What types of polyphenols are in tea?

The tea polyphenols are of the flavonoid group, named catechins. Catechins are about 30% of the dry leaf weight from the tea plant. Catechins can be further analyzed into EGCG, EGC, and EC. Tea leaves are particularly rich in EGCG. EGCG is the main polyphenol in tea.

Tea is the most popular beverage in the world, second only to water. Its high consumption can help us boost our daily polyphenol intake.

According to a study, the consumption of cocoa, tea or coffee could increase the daily polyphenol intake by 500–1,000 mg.[4]

Which tea has the most polyphenols?

Green tea, black tea, and oolong tea are all derived from the Camellia sinensis plant. Only the fermentation process is different among these types of tea.

Green tea isn’t fermented. On the contrary, black tea is completely fermented. Oolong tea contains a mixture of both fermented and non-fermented leaves.

In the production of black tea, the tea leaves are crushed. About 75% of catechins contained in the tea leaves undergo enzymatic transformation and partial polymerization. The polyphenol composition of black tea depends on the processing method.

Black tea contains approximately:[4]

  • catechins (10–12%),
  • theaflavins (3–6%),
  • thearubigins (12–18%),
  • flavonols (6–8%),
  • phenolic acids (10–12%)

In fact, all types of tea are rich in EGCG and other polyphenols.

In general, green tea has a higher total phenol content as compared to black tea. A gram of:

  • green tea has between 140 and 210 mg of polyphenols
  • black tea has only 80-170 mg of polyphenols.

Hence, green tea has about 24% more polyphenols than black tea.

Actually, the mean daily intake of EGCG from green tea consumption ranges from 90 to 300 mg. Heavily tea consumers may get up to 866 mg of EGCG per day.[5]

1 gram of green tea solids contains about:[6]

  • 73 mg of EGCG
  • 68 mg of EGC
  • 22 mg of ECG
  • 25 mg of EC

In order, to prepare a cup of green tea, we use about 1.8-3 grams of green tea solids. This means that we consume about 200 mg of EGCG per cup of tea.

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