Why Tea Makes You Hungry Through Physical Stress


Feeling hungry after drinking tea is a common occurrence. Be it green tea, pu erh tea or oolong tea, many people seem to have experienced this. Even eating lunch before drinking tea does not always prevent this.

Tea is often recommended for weight loss, so hunger is not something you would want. Here I want to share what I have found to be the reasons for hunger from tea.

Tea Makes You Hungry

SHORT ANSWER – Feeling Hungry After Drinking Tea

Consuming lots of tea can cause you to feel hungry. The teas temperature and energizing effect will cause stress on your body, which may cause an eating response. Caffeine will also increase hunger through acid production and lower blood levels.

A more in-depth explanation of the effects of tea on your hunger can be found in the following paragraphs.

Caffeine

Stimulating And Suppressing Effects Of Tea

Caffeine is a major component of tea leaves. By consuming caffeine you boost your metabolism for a few hours. The dominant effect of this is feeling agitated, energetic and awake.

While many people regularly consume caffeine in the form of coffee and tea, most people report coffee to have a hunger-suppressing effect on them in the short term.

If you get anxious, nervous or otherwise negatively stimulated by caffeine, this could cause emotional eating. How much caffeine or tea consumption is within your limits in for you to decide, but once you feel nervous and jittery, you may have had too much.

Tea And Blood Sugar Levels

Another effect of caffeine is the stimulation of insulin production. Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar levels. When more insulin is released, the blood sugar levels fall.

When the blood sugar in your body falls, you will become hungry to replenish your energy. This natural process is more intense when the blood sugar levels drop quickly.

If you drink a huge amount of tea in a short while, your body will release more insulin. Within about one hour your body will have low blood sugar levels and develop cravings for food or sweets.

Hot Tea Stresses Your Body

How Hot Tea Causes Stress

Most of the time we enjoy our tea as a steaming hot cup of deliciousness. The smell is more intense, the flavors seem hearty. A good hot cup of tea is one of the best things to have. You could cold brew your tea though. Have a look at my quick guide on oolong cold brewing.

On the other hand, any hot liquid you ingest will heat your intestines. Your body temperature generally is lower than the tea you are drinking. If you heat your body above this temperature you commonly start to sweat, urinate and crave fresh air.

Stress And Hunger

As stress may be one of the most common reasons for emotional eating and also taking energy for the body to overcome, you may feel hungrier than you should be after drinking very hot liquids.

If you want to prevent this, you could let your tea cool off a bit more before drinking. Lukewarm tea is still good tea!

Overproduction Of Acid

Why Tea Causes Acid Production

Most tea that we drink is somewhat acidic. If your digestion system contains too much acid, your body will react to remove the excess. But the acid contained in the tea is not the problem at hand.

The caffeine contained in the tea is responsible for this negative effect on your stomach. This major part of most teas will stimulate your digestive tract to produce more acid.

How Acid Causes Hunger

Two aspects may be the reason you feel hungry when your stomach produces too much acid. Acid is about the most important part of food digestion in your stomach.

Most acid in your stomach ist neutralized or rather used for the breakdown of the food you eat. If your stomach contains too much acid, the easiest way for the body to relieve itself is to signal for food.

Another aspect is that too much acid will irritate your stomach. While this can result in nausea and stomach aches, the milder form is a feeling that is relatively close to real hunger – more so than simple appetite.

Summary

There are a few aspects that may cause you to feel hungry after drinking tea. While the stress from heating your body plays a role in the development of hunger, caffeine is the most important part.

Caffeine kickstarts your metabolism, which increases your need for energy. It also increases the production of insulin and through this caffeine causes lower blood sugar. Therefore caffeine will make you hungry.

Another way caffeine will cause you to feel hungry is the overproduction of acid in your stomach.

Higher acid levels are easily compensated by eating more food and drinking more water. The irritation of your stomach through high acid levels can feel extremely close to hunger, too.

There’s a lot more to learn about tea! If you are looking for a good place to start, I highly recommend the book Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties. You can check its current price on Amazon here.

Jens Friis

I am the author and editor of TeaSteeping.com, chemist and tea enthusiast. For many years I have been obsessed with tea, teaware, and tea culture. Always hunting for the next tea experience and learning more about this most delicious and diverse beverage.

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