Fighting Hep C Fatigue with Green Tea

Many of us are familiar with extreme and enduring exhaustion here at HepatitisC.net. It is literally a symptom of chronic hepatitis C1 and for many, it can be the most debilitating symptom of all. Fatigue beyond what is considered normal is an uphill battle. However, it is important to emphasize that extreme fatigue and exhaustion are NOT just side effects of everyday life and aging (or in my case, parenthood.)2

My experiences with fatigue

I experienced debilitating fatigue with hepatitis C, before, during, and for a few years after treatment. Out of desperation and necessity, I had to learn new coping mechanisms in an attempt to combat it. If someone is experiencing and struggling with fatigue beyond what is normal, it important to speak with your healthcare provider before trying any suggestions given in this article. With that said, I will share what I did to combat extreme fatigue and exhaustion while living with and after being cured from hepatitis C!

My hack for hep C fatigue

My favorite energy-inducing ‘hack’ is also a wonderful summertime treat - iced green tea! The way I prepare it has no added sugar (so safe for persons with diabetes or other metabolic disorders). Green tea is chock full of antioxidants, polyphenols, and of course, caffeine.3 Green tea has also been shown to have positive impacts on the health of persons with liver and heart disease along with some types of cancer4, making it a refreshing and invigorating way to beat the heat.

This recipe works best if you let your green tea bags steep overnight, but can also be instant if you add ice cubes after preparing. It also calls for semi-hot water to prepare the concentrated tea that is the basis for making it. An important tip you should know about green tea is to NOT use boiling hot water. It can make the flavor bitter and unappealing. The ideal temperature for steeping green tea is between 158-185 degrees Fahrenheit.5

Health benefits and considerations

When it comes to health-promotion and diet, there are few things that pack as much of a nutritious punch better than green tea - with benefits like lowering cholesterol, reducing cancer risk, and phytonutrients so powerful they demonstrate benefits even when applied topically (meaning applied on the skin).6,7 For those out there who aren’t so keen on the bitterness (which water temperature affects), flavor-adding fresh cut fruits or low GI glycemic index sweeteners such as honey can completely transform green tea.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes 1 serving. Serving size 8fl oz.

Ingredients for iced green tea

  • 4-6 green tea bags
  • 2 liters of cold water (this is adaptable to pitcher size)
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 1 large pitcher or jug
  • Other add-ins: 1 sliced lemon, 2 tbsp of honey (if you like it sweet), 1 sprig of lavender or rosemary, 1/2 cup summer fruits (raspberries, sliced peaches, pitted cherries)- Note, these add-ins may change the nutritional values given below

Directions for iced green tea

  1. Take your 4-6 green tea bags and add to the 2 cups of semi hot water in a sealable mug or liquid measuring cup. Let sit on your counter for 4 hours OR overnight in the fridge. This will make a sort of green tea concentrate.
  2. Grab your pitcher and fill it about 3/4 full of cold water. Grab your green tea concentrate and add it to the water.
  3. Add in any other ingredients you may like (lemon, fruits, sweeteners etc.) and voila, you have delicious and naturally energizing iced green tea!

I really hope that you enjoy this recipe and that it helps you cool down during this never-ending heat wave. Obviously a beverage, no matter how refreshing, is no replacement for proper medical care. So, if you are finding your exhaustion symptoms worsening or find that fatigue is affecting your ability to perform day to day tasks, please reach out to a trusted healthcare professional.

Do you have any summer recipes you cannot live without? Share your favorite recipe to beat the heat in the comments!

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hepatitis C Questions and Answers for the Public. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/cfaq.htm#D2. Accessed September 14, 2021.
  2. Lack Of Energy In Old Age Not Normal, Associated With Health Problems. Columbia University Irving Medical Center. https://www.cuimc.columbia.edu/news/lack-energy-old-age-not-normal-associated-health-problems. Published October 10, 2008. Accessed September 14, 2021.
  3. NutritionFacts.org. Green Tea. NutritionFacts.org. https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/green-tea/. Accessed September 14, 2021.
  4. Chacko, S. M., Thambi, P. T., Kuttan, R., & Nishigaki, I. (2010). Beneficial effects of green tea: a literature review. Chinese medicine, 5, 13. https://doi.org/10.1186/1749-8546-5-13
  5. KYDD A. Why you should never use boiling water for green tea. The Tea Curator. https://theteacurator.co.nz/blogs/news/why-you-should-never-use-boiling-water-for-green-tea. Published July 18, 2018. Accessed September 14, 2021.
  6. Phytonutrients. NutritionFacts.org. https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/phytonutrients/. Accessed September 14, 2021.
  7. Phytonutrients. Nourish. https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/phytonutrients-faq. Accessed September 14, 2021.

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Nutrition facts

Per Serving

  • calories: 2
  • fat: 0g
  • protein: 0mg
  • sodium: 0mg
  • sugar: 0mg

Disclaimer: HepatitisC.net cannot guarantee a recipe that has been scaled to make a different number of servings from the original.


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