I am conducting a small experiment. In December of 2010 I started experiencing joint pain in my arms – mostly my right elbow, wrist and fingers. I am right handed so I’m assuming these hurt most since I use these most. I type, text and scroll on my iPhone with one hand, etc. My hobbies are center around writing, surfing, blogging. etc. The rest of my body ached – my bones really hurt. I felt as though I had been hit by a bus.
I know there are a lot of things that can cause joint pain and body aches – getting older (gasp), too much exercise, too little exercise, illness, the weather, etc.
The only thing that I could pinpoint that had changed in my life recently (besides getting older) was the fact that I gave up Mt. Dew. I still drink coffee in the morning. I decided to give up Mt. Dew because I need to lose weight, drink more water, and just take better care of myself.
Was it the lack of Mt. Dew causing the joint pain? That’s weird. I didn’t want to experience a lot of caffeine withdrawal so I decided to drink iced green tea in the afternoon. This contains less caffeine – it has about 25 to 30 mg versus 54 mg in Mt. Dew.
In case you’re interested, here is a great resource for Caffeine Content in Drinks.
I Googled, trying to find sources of joint pain. Interestingly enough, caffeine withdrawal can case some nasty issues of its own. I read forum post after forum post of people who practically needed prescription painkillers to help them get through their vow to give up caffeine.
But I wasn’t giving up caffeine – just Mt. Dew. I hadn’t experienced any headaches or other withdrawal symptoms.
Could it be the green tea? Can green tea cause pain in joints? I Googled some more. Funny thing was I found many, many articles stating the opposite. “Tea is good for you. It cuts down on inflammation and is recommended by doctors for people with Arthritis or Lupus.”
I kept Googling. Stranger still – I found other people around the Internet asking this same question – Can green tea be causing my joint problems? After every single one of them, people responded, “No. Tea is an anti-inflammatory. It will help your joint pain.”
But why were people asking? Why was I asking? There had to be some credibility behind this thought. If four or five people took the time to post this question on the Internet, how many others were wondering the same thing? How many other people were reading these posts, then walking away thinking – It can’t be the tea.
MY EXPERIMENT – I drank my last glass of iced green tea in early February, ’11 and I’ll be darned if I am no longer having any joint pain.
* I first day after stopping, I felt pretty good. I noticed things were looking up.
* A few days after that – fine, fine, fine. Great even. My right arm was fine. My elbow, wrist and fingers did not have any pain or tingling.
In my opinion, drinking green tea can cause joint pain!! I’m convinced of it. In early February my right wrist hurt so badly I had to put an ice pack on it – twice. I was about to find the OTC pain meds. I could barely hold my Kindle, had a rough time opening a jar of sauce, etc.
Since I’ve stopped drinking this beverage all of that is gone. You tell me – was it the green tea?
I plan to continue the experiment. Since I was using the Lipton tea bags – with lemon and ginseng – it’s possible I may be allergic to green tea or these ingredients. I hate to blame tea in general when it is really just an allergy. I will try different kinds of teas and see how they affect me.
Are you experiencing joint pain? Are you drinking green tea for weight loss? Do you think it’s because of tea?
** Please note, I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice, it’s a random blog post. Please use caution when starting or stopping any food or medication.
Update April 27, 2011: It’s been months since my last glass of green tea. I am no longer experiencing ANY joint pain. I am able to drink Celestial Seasons (spelling?) green tea without issues.
Update Number Two September 16, 2011: Stacy, a blog visitor found this useful information – “Jenna, I thought you might be really interested in this info. I talked to a manager at Teavana, the store I was telling you about. I told them how sick I felt after drinking some of their teas. She said oolong, Japanese green, black, and many herbal teas are fermented. That process can cause body pain for many people because fermentation causes inflammation! She, herself, has rueumatoid arthritis and can only drink white, Chinese green, or rooibus tea without feeling sick. These teas are not fermented, are low in tannins, aide in digestion and are anti-inflammitory.” Thank you Stacy!!
Hey – it’s April 11, 2013 and I’ve found another tea that I like. Good Earth Original Tea. Love it. No joint pain with this one.
If you were helped by this blog post consider leaving a product review on Amazon.com. Not only do many people shop on Amazon for food and supplements, Amazon ranks very high in Google searches. If you leave a review on the product you drank or took that caused the pain, others will see it.
I think this will be a good way to spread the word about green tea and joint pain.