Remember the days when celebs would endorse sketchy diet pills like QuickTrim (hey, Kim K!) and Hydroxycut? They’re into tea now, specifically ‘teatoxing’—and the masses have followed. There are over 350,000 tags for #teatox on Instagram alone.
So What Is a 'Teatox'?
Brands such as Bootea, SkinnyMint, and Flat Tummy Tea say that drinking two cups of their tea a day can lead to ‘detox’ benefits like weight loss, a suppressed appetite, less bloat, and more energy. The companies are big fans of using ‘before and after’ shots to convince you that their products bring results.
Why It's Bogus
“There’s no evidence that teatoxing can help you lose weight,” says dietician Sharon Palmer, R.D., author of Plant Powered For Life.
Regular teas (like black, white, green, and oolong) are brimming with disease-fighting compounds, and green tea has metabolism-boosting EGCG, but detox teas usually pack in some not entirely benign herbal ingredients. Take senna, for example, an ingredient found in a number of the nighttime teas that’s used to produce a laxative effect.
...And Possibly Dangerous
“The National Institute of Health has said senna can have a negative impact on your GI tract (irritation, cramps, diarrhea)," says Palmer. They also discourage people from using it for more than two weeks because it may lead to more serious health effects, she adds. And since many of these ‘teatox’ programs are 28 days long, that's probably pretty hard on your plumbing.
In the fine print, some weight-loss tea brands even suggest that you spend your first few nights close to a bathroom. #Subtle. Sure, pooping your brains out may temporarily give you a flat belly, but we promise it’s not sustainable or at all healthy—even if you have a thing for diapers.
If you’re looking to lose weight and de-bloat, help your body’s natural detoxifying process (that’s the kidneys and liver) do their job by eating nutritious foods and drinking loads of H20. “Focus on lean protein choices (seafood, legumes, nuts, seeds), whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, herbs, spices, and regular exercise,” says Palmer. When it comes to tea, it’s better to be basic.
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