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The #1 Best Drink for a Longer Life, Says Dietitian

Extend your lifespan by including this beverage in your daily ritual.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Study after study shows how important your diet is if you want to live a longer life. And a recent 2022 study found that changing your diet to include more legumes, whole grains, and nuts, and less red and processed meat, could add up to a decade of life expectancy.

Of course, your diet also includes everything you drink on a daily basis. And if you want to extend your life, there is one beverage that science says is the best for a longer life: green tea.

How drinking green tea can lengthen your life.

green tea

"It never hurts to increase your consumption of beverages that give you a nutritional punch, especially those that contain disease-fighting anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties," says Valerie Agyeman, RD, registered dietitian and host of The Flourish Heights Podcast.

Not only is green tea refreshing, but it also contains compounds like antioxidant catechins, a class of flavonoids that help protect the body from free radicals, which play a role in aging and may lower your risk of some cancers, heart disease, and neurodegenerative disorders in older adults, which as a result may increase chances for a longer life.

There are other benefits of drinking green tea, including that it may help support steadier energy levels than coffee. "Green tea contains a smaller dose of caffeine than coffee (28 milligrams compared to 95 milligrams in one cup), keeping energy levels stable without giving you side effects like jitters or headaches," says Agyeman.

How much green tea should you drink to reap its longevity benefits?

And to get the life-lengthening benefits of green tea, all you need is a couple of cups a day.

"The optimal amount of green tea to consume will depend on an individual's health status, but generally, it's 2-3 cups a day," says Agyeman.

The type of green tea you drink matters.

Of course, the type of green tea you drink will play a role in just how healthy it is (or isn't) for you.

"Be mindful of added sugar amounts in bottled green tea beverages," she adds. (One medium drink size of pre-sweetened green tea has a whopping 39 grams of sugar, according to the USDA.)

Also, she notes that if you get your green tea from extracts, these may have side effects like GI discomfort.

"Try loose leaf green teas," says Agyeman. (Related: We Tasted 10 Green Tea Brands & This Is the Best!)

One final note

Although green tea has many health benefits, Agyeman warns that drinking it in large amounts may cause side effects for some people and medication interactions, so it's best to talk to your healthcare provider for individualized recommendations in those circumstances.

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