Tea Health
Autophagy And Tea – What Autophagy Is & How Tea Affects It

Autophagy And Tea – What Autophagy Is & How Tea Affects It

Fasting has had a major comeback in the world of dieting, health, & exercise. The reason being is there are some awesome science-backed benefits & claims for it! One of those benefits is the bodies natural process of autophagy.

You may know what this is, but until I got seriously into fasting, I had no idea! This article will give a solid, science-backed overview of what autophagy is, what it does in our bodies, how it is activated, & how tea affects the process.

Read on to learn about the relationship of autophagy & tea!

What is Autophagy?

To put it simply, autophagy is our bodies self-cleansing process. When you begin to deplete the body of glycogen (energy) stores in the liver, it resorts to finding food elsewhere.

Broken down “auto” meaning self & “phagy” meaning eating, autophagy means self eating. Typically, this is when you begin burning fat, but also the healthy cells in the body begin to consume the damaged & dying cells! This causes a renewal & recycle-like process to occur in the body.

This is great because an abundance of those cells can cause major challenges like chronic inflammation or tumor growth. It also promotes a survival & adaption response in the cells needed for when extraneous stressors enter the body.

For those science Teamigos!

Benefits of Autophagy

Autophagy has been noted as the “longevity process” in our body. It is almost as if you are creating younger cells in your body. This actually is not what is happening though. What does happen is that the healthy cells are consuming the dead or dying cells in your body!

How does this benefit you? Well injured cells are typically the cause of major issues like chronic stress & fatigue & even cancer. Damaged & dying cells are a part of life, but an accumulation of them does not need to happen. The process of autophagy ensures this does not happen!

On top of cleansing the body of destructive cells, this process also recycles residual proteins, provides building blocks for cells to repair themselves, & prompts regeneration of healthy cells. This is all something that can potentially lead to a healthier & longer life! (7)

How Tea Affects Autophagy

Autophagy is a process that occurs when our body is depleted of glycogen (sugar/our energy source). So, when we have food or sugar in our system, the mechanism of autophagy is slowed or halted completely. Our body will still go through the autophagic process even while eating, it simply will be on a slower scale. So what should you do or avoid to make sure autophagy is occurring? How does tea affect this process?

Simply put, to ensure you are getting the full benefits of autophagy it is best to be in a fasted state for at least 14 to 16 hours. (NOTE* I am NOT a licensed physician or doctor. Fasting is NOT for everyone! Please consult your doctor before doing any fast of any sort). Want to learn more about fasting? Check out Fresh Steeps “Fasting And Tea” post here!

A fast means that you have no calories of any sort in your body! In my opinion, this includes abstaining from zero calorie artificial sweeteners or zero calorie anything. Water is typically your best bet! Tea can help or hinder your fast. Any tea with added sugar will slow autophagy. This includes dried fruits. This being said, if you want to spice up your fast there are some teas that actually boost autophagy!

Best Tea for Autophagy

Green tea, my personal fav!

Autophagy typically kicks in 16 hours into a fast. These teas can help boost that process & potentially start it quicker! More research is needed to verify, but here are our favorites!

  • Green Tea: No specific type, all are great options! As was stated in the metabolism section, this tea contains high levels of EGCG. This has been shown to boost autophagy in many studies (1, 2)!
  • Earl Grey Black Tea: The bergamot helps cleanse & the caffeine from the black tea helps boost the autophagy mechanism.
  • Turmeric & Ginger Tea: Curcumin & 6-Shogaol, found in turmeric & ginger respectively, boost these autophagic effects. Try out these two together for a delicious mix (4, 5)!
  • Reishi Mushroom Tea: Reishi is a mushroom that has been used in ancient Chinese medicine as a longevity supplement. This mushroom when incorporated into tea can boost the autophagic process. It tastes great too (6)!
  • Tiesta Tea’s Blueberry Wild Child: This blend consists of blueberries, hibiscus, elderberries, rose hips & more, all of which provide resveratrol. This powerful antioxidant aids in autophagy (3)!

Interested in trying out one of the above teas? Click on the one you are interested to explore Fresh Steeps favorite brands!

Autophagy & You

There are side effects to autophagy. We are NOT licensed physicians & if you are curious in learning more about autophagy, talk with your doctor or licensed dietitian! Also, do the research yourself! You will always be your best advocate. This article is meant to spark interests in your mind or allow you to think about your health & diet differently. All of this information is from personal experience & success with fasting, but everyone is different & reacts better or worse to certain dietary changes.

Fasting has done amazing things for my life! The process of autophagy, while challenging to identify & quantify, has helped me detoxify & clear my mind & body. I love using tea in my fasts as an aid, but for a true fast, water is the best beverage.

What do you think about autophagy in your life? Let us know in the comments if you have any questions or comments about autophagy and tea!


1. EGCG & Autophagy

2. EGCG & Autophagy

3. Resveratrol & Autophagy

4. Curcumin & Autophagy

5. 6 – Shogaol & Autophagy

6. Reishi & Autophagy
7. Autophagy Benefits

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