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Will Tea Make You Jittery? Shaking Out the Truth

December 1, 2021

Too much tea can make you jittery, but this may not be an effect that everyone is familiar with.

Most of my clients use their diet to help them stay calm and relaxed. Therefore, they want to know will tea make you jittery as there are mixed views about this. Having researched tea extensively, I have the answer.

In this post, I will cover why tea can make you jittery, why it may not impact everyone, and how to reduce the risk of this happening.

Why Do I Shake After Drinking Tea?

It is a sensation that many people are familiar with. A short while after your cup of tea, the jitters begin. Your hands may shake or you may feel like your entire body is gently vibrating. Why on earth does this happen and how is tea responsible?

Well, this jittery feeling is a result of too much caffeine. This component is a stimulant and a vasodilator. As a result, it causes certain blood vessels to open wider, for longer. In turn, there is more blood and oxygen coursing through your system.

Thus, your central nervous system begins to work more quickly. In small doses, this simply makes you feel like you are more awake or alert. Caffeine can also have an impact on adrenaline. Your heart may begin to beat faster and you are able to tackle physical tasks more easily and efficiently.

Consume too much caffeine, though, and these systems kick into overdrive. Your CNS and heart will begin to work even faster. With more adrenaline coursing through your system, your fight-or-flight instincts will go up a notch.

This is when the jitters begin.

Woman shivering in the cold

Can Black Tea Cause Jitters More Than Other Types of Tea?

Most people automatically assume that black tea has more caffeine because it is “stronger”. Now, in some cases, this may be true.

On average, it is assumed that black tea has around 60 to 90mg of caffeine per cup. Green tea has around 35 to 70mg and white tea has the least with less than 55mg. However, you should be aware that these aren’t consistent quantities.

It is quite difficult to pin down the exact caffeine content for each type of tea. This is because there are numerous factors at the place. There have been several cases where green tea has recorded similar caffeine to the content of black tea.

Not to mention, the exact content can vary from one brand to another.

Therefore, you will be better served by looking at just how much caffeine is in each brand and the type of tea that you would like to drink. This will give you a more accurate idea.

How Much Tea Can You Drink and Avoid Jitters?

On average, medical experts recommend that you don’t consume more than 400mg of caffeine per day. In most instances, this is enough to keep any side effects such as jitteriness at bay.

However, this amount may not be suitable for everyone. People who suffer from caffeine sensitivity may experience jitters after drinking a much smaller quantity. For some people, a single cup may be enough to kick start the shakes, especially if the caffeine content or that brand is high.

If you have previously experienced jitters as a result of your tea consumption, then it is important to drink as little as possible. Stick to no more than one or two cups a day.

Remember, if you are cutting back on your caffeine consumption, you should do it slowly. Reduce your caffeine intake over a period of several days or weeks so that you will not have to deal with caffeine withdrawals.

Woman In A Cozy Environment With A Cup Of Tea

Does Tea Make You More Jittery Than Coffee?

Contrary to popular belief, coffee doesn’t always have more caffeine than tea. It is quite possible for you to be drinking as much – if not more – caffeine with several cups of tea than you do with coffee. However, this doesn’t really tell you the whole story.

This is because tea also contains a component known as l-theanine. This is known to have a calming effect on the brain and can reduce stress and anxiety. Therefore, this may help to minimize the jitter-causing effect of caffeine.

Due to this, you could potentially drink the same amount of caffeine, but when you drink tea, you may be less likely to experience the jitters with the same amount of drinks.   

How Do You Get Rid of the Jittery Feeling After Drinking Tea?

OK, so the jitters have set in and you want them gone – how do you make this happen? Unfortunately, there is no real way to flush caffeine out of your system. This will need to happen naturally and can take several hours.

If you can’t wait that long, though, here are some things that you can try:

Stop All Caffeine

Remember, it isn’t just tea and coffee that contain caffeine. Sodas, energy drinks, and even chocolate can all contain this component. Therefore, your first order of business is ensuring that you don’t consume anymore.

Get Some Exercise

One of the best things that you can do is to work the jitters off. After all, your system is currently primed for serious physical activity. Exercise can help you to put this nervous energy to good use and hopefully take the edge off.

Try a walk, run, take the stairs up and down, or just jump in place for a while. Do this for long enough and you should feel better. For the best results, try to get some fresh air while you are at it.

Brown hair woman staring aimlessly

Try L-Theanine Supplements

Now, this will not get rid of the caffeine in your system but may be able to balance the effects out. At the very least, you should feel a little calmer. Remember to always follow the dosage and never exceed the recommended amount.

Check with your doctor if you are taking any medications or other supplements or have been diagnosed with certain medical conditions.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking tons of water will not flush the caffeine out of your system. However, if you have been drinking a lot of water, then it is possible that you have been experiencing mild diuretic symptoms. As such, staying hydrated can make you feel better. Stick to water, though.

In excess amounts, tea can make you jittery. This is an indication that you should start cutting back on your intake. And, if the jitters are bad enough, there are some remedies that you can try.

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About the Author
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry.
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