If you like a little spicy warmth in the mornings, a cup of ginger tea will do the trick. But does ginger root provide any caffeine to energize your day?
In this article, we're exploring ginger root tea - with fresh ginger or ginger-containing tea blends - to see what nutritional value these infusions have. You'll find out which ginger tea contains the most caffeine and discover some intriguing health benefits too.
And if you're looking for a healthy way to get a daily dose of ginger with a little extra oomph, check out Zest Tea’s Spicy Masala Chai when you finish this article.
Ginger root "tea" is technically an infusion (also known as a tisane) rather than a traditional tea. This is because ginger tea doesn't contain any leaves from the Camellia sinensis tea plant.
Instead, ginger tea is made by infusing the natural root of the Ginger Zingiber officinale plant in water.
The ginger root is fibrous and yellow inside, with a papery brown skin over it that is usually removed before cooking the root. It looks similar to fresh turmeric roots, as the ginger plant and turmeric plant are related to the same botanical family.
Ginger tea is easy to make - you can soak the root in boiling water for 10 minutes, or try an easy-to-brew ginger teabag. When you're infusing fresh ginger in water to make a cup of tea, you don't need to peel the root. Instead, just slice it thinly.
The flavor of ginger tea is naturally very strong and fiery, but you can make it taste delicious by adding some lemon juice and honey, or chai spices.
Gingerol, one of the key components found in ginger, may relieve a number of different ailments. From inflammation related conditions, to stress, to numerous digestive problems.
The ginger plant is indigenous to India and surrounding areas in Asia, where most of the world's ginger supply is grown today, but it can be grown anywhere around the world in tropical and subtropical regions.
Ginger has been used historically for it's "healing" properties for centuries. Written records show ginger being used as a tonic root for over 5000 years in India and China. The Roman Empire also used ginger for its medicinal properties 2000 years ago. The ailments ginger was used for traditionally - colds, nausea, migraines, arthritis, etc. - are still treated with ginger today.1
Modern research into the properties of ginger are beginning to uncover why and how the root can be applied as medicine.
If you ate 100 grams of ginger, you'd be consuming 80 calories, 17g of carbs and 415mg of potassium. Fresh ginger root also contains small amounts of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus with trace amounts of iron, zinc and vitamin C.2
Of course, there's not 100g of pure ginger root in a cup of tea. There will be significantly less nutrition in a ginger infusion compared to eating raw ginger. To get as much nutrition from the ginger into your cup as possible, brew the ginger root in hot water for as long as possible.
A closer look at a standard dried ginger tea reveals that a 2g teabag contains just over 6 calories, a gram of carbohydrates, and about 50mg of potassium. How long you brew that teabag determines how much infuses into the water.3
Ginger also contains some unique bioactive compounds, known as gingerol. These compounds are readily absorbed and metabolised once consumed, and are linked to many of the ginger health benefits we've outlined below.4
Ginger is caffeine-free. The ginger plant itself doesn't produce caffeine, so there's no way you'll find any caffeine in your ginger tea (unless it's provided by a secondary ingredient).
Very few natural plants produce caffeine - the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, and coffee plant varieties, are two of the most commonly known caffeine-producing plants.
As ginger tea is made from a herbal plant, it's classified as a herbal tea, an infusion, or a tisane.
Nearly all herbal teas are caffeine-free, while all traditional tea types contain caffeine. If you're drinking a ginger tea blend that contains a caffeinated tea, here's the rough amount of caffeine you'll be consuming:
If herbal teas are more your vibe, then you'll be very interested in our article investigating the question "Does Herbal Tea Have Caffeine?" It might surprise you to find out that some herbal teas, not made from the Camellia sinensis plant, do provide a source of caffeine (albeit nowhere near the levels that Zest Tea can).
Ginger green tea is a popular blend, but at Zest we prefer our ginger with black tea - our Spicy Masala Chai is a must-have for Fall.
We combine dried ginger with Flowery Orange Pekoe black tea, tea extract, cardamom seeds, cinnamon chips, natural flavor, and cloves. The result is a high-caffeine, spicy, warming, and sweet black tea blend that you'll love drinking with a generous splash of milk. You can add some honey or sugar too, to taste.
Our Spicy Masala Chai provides 150mg of caffeine per serving, making it a high-caffeine tea that's great for boosting your day. Unlike coffee, which also provides a high amount of caffeine, our teas naturally contain L-Theanine which smooths over the energy boost - a steady onset of energy, smooth energy levels, no jitters, and no crash as it slowly wears off.
Oh, and there's the health benefits of the ginger and other spice ingredients too! All our energy tea blends at Zest Tea are made with natural, non-GMO ingredients. They're vegan and keto-friendly too.
Drinking ginger tea is a great way to rehydrate your body, enjoy the delicious flavor, and possibly gain from these health benefits.
You should always talk to your doctor for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment with ginger! Ginger may have side effects or interactions with any medication you're currently taking.
Ginger can be an effective treatment for motion sickness. Although ginger doesn't prevent or cure motion sickness, it does combat nausea and other gastrointestinal symptoms that are commonly associated with it. Taking ginger supplements or drinking ginger tea before traveling can significantly reduce symptoms.5
Ginger doesn't just prevent nausea, there's also evidence that it's an effective antiemetic. This means it can actually prevent vomiting.6 This has wide-reaching benefits. Chemotherapy to treat cancer, for example, is just one medical treatment that can cause nausea and vomiting as a side effect - ginger tea could help patients cope with this.
There's also another way that ginger’s anti-nausea properties can be beneficial. Ginger is a very effective anti-nausea treatment for pregnant women.7 It's proven to be more effective than placebos and is safe for both the mother and unborn child when consumed all throughout the pregnancy, up until labor.8
Ginger tea can provide anti-inflammatory effects. Besides reducing pain, a study into delayed onset muscle soreness also found that ginger has effective anti-inflammatory effects when consumed orally or applied topically.9
Six randomized clinical trials looking for a link between ginger and blood pressure found that systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure were significantly decreased in the over 50 age group. Participants consumed more than 3g of ginger per day for over 8 weeks to achieve these results.10
Furthermore, women suffering from gestational diabetes may be able to improve their fast blood sugar and insulin by regularly consuming ginger, as well as benefiting from the antiemetic effects.11
One study into an autoimmune disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, discovered that ginger can decrease symptoms and manifestations of the disease by increasing and decreasing certain gene expressions.12
This is a really interesting discovery and it suggests that ginger tea may play a role in strengthening your immune system and treating certain autoimmune diseases.
Ginger has numerous gastroprotective effects that can aid digestion and soothe your stomach. It can provide relief for indigestion, nausea, gastritis, bloating, and constipation, just to name a few digestive ailments, by reducing inflammation and pain. There's also evidence that eating or drinking ginger tea can effectively prevent gastric ulcers caused by aspirin, stress, and ethanol.13
Ginger may help treat obesity! 1 or 2 cups of ginger tea could help you lose weight, keep the weight off, and improve your overall health. A review into ginger and avocado found that components in these ingredients (like gingerol) modulate obesity-related impairments through anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They also discovered that ginger may help reverse the harmful effects of obesity on blood lipids.14
Ginger tea can have some minor side effects - heartburn and stomach upset are the most common. Besides upsetting your digestion, there's nothing dangerous about consuming ginger tea.
Besides rehydrating your system, ginger tea can have numerous health benefits for your body when you consume it every day. For pregnant women, there's no standardized dose to take, although research suggests consuming around 1 gram of ginger per day.15
If you're worried about consuming too much ginger, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor.
Ginger tea is exceptionally good for your stomach, as it aids digestion. It's also a good way to relieve nausea and prevent vomiting.
Other potential health benefits include lowering your blood pressure and reducing damage caused by obesity.
We've already covered how ginger can lower your blood pressure. For many of us, this is a benefit. However, if you're already on blood pressure lowering medication, it can be a risk. Furthermore, a large dose of ginger (10 grams) can prevent blood clotting in patients with heart disease.16
You will need fresh ginger root, boiling water, and a mug.
Slice 5cm of ginger root into thin slices. Add the ginger to your mug and pour over boiling water. Once the tea has brewed for 5-10 minutes, strain out the ginger. You can also add lemon and/or honey to taste.
As ginger tea is totally caffeine-free, you can enjoy a mug before bed without it affecting your sleep.