Most people have heard the expression, “you are what you eat.” It’s one of the truest things you can say about nutrition. The food you eat has a direct impact on how you look, feel, and perform. Food is your fuel. If you eat healthily, you are more likely to be healthy.
Of course, by this adage, this opposite is also true. If you eat junk, that’s how you’ll probably look and feel.
But what about what you drink?
A lot of us forget that the fluids we consume also affect things like health and weight loss. For example, a large soda contains several tablespoons of sugar and no vitamins or minerals. It’s also loaded with artificial colors and preservatives.
Healthy? Probably not!
Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can drink that are good for your body and taste good too. Fruit and vegetable juices are loaded with vitamins and minerals, while coffee is surprisingly healthy and a proven fat fighter.
So, is tea good for weight loss? The short answer is yes.
Drinking tea won’t automatically make you skinny, and there are lots of different types of tea to choose from. But, combined with a healthy diet and consistent exercise program, tea could help speed up weight loss.
In this article, we reveal how tea could help you lose weight and the added benefits of this popular beverage.
Is Tea Good for Weight Loss?
What Is Tea?
Tea is a beverage that is prepared by pouring hot water over dried plant leaves, which are then left to steep.
There are lots of different tea varieties, including:
- White tea
- Green tea
- Black tea
- Yellow tea
- Fermented tea
- Nettle tea
- Mint tea
- Herbal tea
- Fruit tea
However, some of these teas (fruit, herbal) are not really teas at all. Instead, they are infusions. REAL tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant, and different tea varieties come from different parts of the plant and the age of the leaves.
Tea is the most popular beverage in the world and is grown all over Asia and India. It’s sold in bags and also as loose leaves. Some teas are best made with plain water, while others are improved with milk or lemon. Some people like to sweeten their tea with sugar or honey.
While tea is traditionally served hot, there are cold tea drinks too. Iced green tea is especially popular.
With nothing added, tea is very low in calories. However, despite being all-but calorie-free, tea has many nutritional and health benefits. The nutritive values for a cup (8-ounce) cup of tea are:
- 2 calories
- Fat – 0 grams
- Carbohydrate – 0.4 grams
- Protein – 0.1 grams
- Caffeine – 26.2 grams
In addition, tea contains meaningful amounts of the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene)
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Folic acid
As well as these well-known vitamins and minerals, tea also contains the following plant compounds:
Tea and Weight Loss
Drinking tea can help you lose weight in several ways:
Very Low In Calories
At just two calories per cup, tea is all-but calorie-free. If you replace things like soda and fruit juice with tea, you’ll automatically lower your calorie intake, which should enhance weight loss.
However, you’ll negate this benefit if you add too much sugar or milk to your tea. Plain tea is best for weight loss.
Most tea varieties contain caffeine, albeit about 25% of coffee. Even a small serving of caffeine will give your metabolism a slight but beneficial boost. Your metabolism is the number of calories you burn per day.
Drinking tea could help ward off hunger, making it easier to stick to your diet. The next time you feel hungry or are craving a snack, have a cup of tea instead. Drinking tea could be enough to ward off hunger until it’s time to eat.
Alot of people eat when they’re stressed. Tea has long been associated with relaxation, and if you feel less stressed, you are not as likely to eat for comfort.
Increased Fat Burning
Some teas may increase fat burning, especially green tea. That’s why green tea is a common ingredient in many fat-burning supplements. Even decaffeinated green tea can help with fat burning, although the effect is marginal.
Additional Benefits of Drinking Tea
Drinking tea could help you lose weight, but only as part of a calorie-controlled diet like keto. Tea has some additional health benefits:
Tea has a marked anti-inflammatory effect. Compounds including polyphenols and catechins reduce inflammation and lower the risk of developing things like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Tea contains several powerful antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and EGCG. Antioxidants provide protection from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that are linked to disease and the aging process.
Better Cardiovascular Health
The calming effect of tea can help lower your stress levels, taking strain off your heart and blood vessels, and lowering your blood pressure. People who drink tea are 16% less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease.
Increased Insulin Sensitivity
Drinking tea may help lower your blood glucose. High blood glucose can lead to weight gain and is also a trigger for inflammation and type 2 diabetes.
Improved Brain Health
Drinking tea is good for your brain. Research suggests that tea drinkers have better memories and experienced less cognitive decline than non-tea drinkers. Drinking tea may also increase concentration, creativity, and problem-solving.
Reduced Risk of Cancer
Some Asian studies suggest that drinking tea may reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, including breast, lung, skin, and colon. Green tea is especially potent.
Better Oral Health
Tea contains fluoride, which is good for your teeth and the bacteria in your mouth. Tea without milk or sugar may reduce the risk of cavities, periodontal disease, and even oral cancer.
Improved Gut Health
Fermented teas, such as oolong and black tea, contain gut-friendly pre and probiotics, which are good for your digestive health. Better gut health is linked to improved immunity, weight loss, and more stable energy levels.
Until recently, it was thought that the caffeine in tea (and coffee) caused dehydration. Studies have revealed that while you may urinate more after drinking tea, your fluid intake will still exceed the amount of fluid you lose. Drinking tea is only slightly less hydrating than drinking plain water.
Tea is mainly healthy and well-tolerated by most people. In fact, it’s a very healthy beverage.
That said, there are a few downsides to consider before you start chugging down gallons of tea:
The caffeine content of tea is much lower than coffee. However, people who are very sensitive to the effect of caffeine may feel anxious or jittery if they drink too much. The caffeine may also stop you from sleeping. If tea keeps you awake at night, avoid drinking it after 5 pm.
The tannins and caffeine in tea may reduce iron absorption. If your iron intake is already low, drinking a lot of tea could make matters worse. Vegetarians are especially at risk of anemia.
Drinking very hot beverages may increase the risk of esophageal (throat) cancer. This risk can be negated by allowing your tea to cool for five minutes before drinking. Temperature below 65 degrees centigrade/150 degrees Fahrenheit are considered safe.
Some of the longest-living populations in the world drink a lot of tea. In most cases, they drink their tea without milk and sugar, enhancing the health benefits of this popular beverage. Green tea is often considered the healthiest type of tea and one of the best for weight loss, but most teas are similarly beneficial.
Tea is very low in calories and, as such, can help you lose weight. Drink tea instead of fruit juice or soda to save yourself a slew of calories. Also, things like caffeine and EGCG may boost your metabolism leading to faster weight loss and fat burning.
Drinking tea is linked to several health benefits and very few downsides. Regular tea drinkers have a lower risk of developing several serious medical conditions, not least cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Tea is also very calming and may help reduce your stress levels.
There are lots of different tea varieties to choose from, each of which has a unique flavor. Some people prefer things like Earl Grey, which is flavored with bergamot, while others would rather have a cup of white or black tea. Ultimately, any tea is good tea, so try a few to see which one you prefer.