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Blog Nutrition Detox Tea Facts, Health Benefits And Side Effects

Detox Tea Facts, Health Benefits And Side Effects

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A lot of people are looking for a quick fix for weight loss. From juices to detox teas, a lot of products promise a quick transformation if you’d only buy their product. And oh yeah, there are also offers such as while selling the product, you’ll make an extra $20. Who doesn’t want to make “extra” money? Before you get tempted by such offers, you need to first realize what companies that sell detox tea are doing – preying on people’s desire for easy weight loss and making money by exaggerating their tea’s ability to help people lose weight. In this article, we’ll investigate the reality behind one of the most popular “miracle cures” that promises to melt pounds away without exercising or dieting. The truth is that detox teas are not helpful and can actually be dangerous. Read on to find out why detox teas won’t help you lose weight and what you should do instead.

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What Is Detox Tea?

Detox tea is a form of blended herbal tea marketed as a miracle elixir that can help you lose weight and improve health.

Tea companies say the ingredients in their detox teas actively aid the body in digestion and toxin removal (and thus weight loss) while also helping to boost energy levels and immune system function (2).

While there aren’t any specific “miracle” herbs in detox teas, some common ingredients include:

  • Peppermint. Helps with digestive issues like diarrhea or stomach cramps, which could cause problems such as dehydration.
  • Ginger. Used for its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger may be helpful for people who have arthritis or other inflammatory conditions. 
  • Chamomile. Generally used for its anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomilla might interact with prescription medications like cyclosporin.
  • Senna. A plant is known to have laxative properties. 
  • Cranberry. Used for its antibacterial properties, which can help with urinary tract infections or bladder infections. 
  • Dandelion. Used as a diuretic since it helps increase urination and remove excess water from the body.
  • Caffeine. Caffeine is the most well-known ingredient in tea. It can temporarily boost energy levels and may also help increase fat burning.

These ingredients, in addition to others in detox teas, can help induce bowel movements (12). This could lead to the commonly reported side effect of diarrhea when taking detox tea.

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Read More: Tilapia And Asparagus Diet: Why It Doesn’t Work, And What To Do Instead

Detox Tea Health Benefits

Detox teas, much like any other product that claims to be a miracle cure for whatever ailment you might have, attribute their magical weight loss effects to a wide range of different factors (2):

Improving Digestion 

Companies claim that when your body is running properly and gets rid of toxins, you’ll lose weight naturally. Since your metabolism will improve as well, you’ll be able to burn through calories efficiently instead of storing them as excess fat. 

Boosting Energy Levels 

Another claim is that since detox teas are supposed to help the body remove toxins more efficiently, this process will allow enough energy for your cells to function properly. As a result, you’ll have more energy throughout the day to help with your weight loss goals.

Balancing Hormones 

They say detox teas are good for balancing hormones, which will improve fertility and reduce belly fat.

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See also  Are Sweet Peppers Good For You? Nutrition And Health Benefits Of These Colorful Vegetables

Detox Tea Side Effects

Due to the laxative nature of detox tea, you might feel bloated or uncomfortable at times after drinking it. In addition, you might experience the following negative side effects:

Diarrhea 

Detox teas often cause diarrhea as the product works as a laxative and helps cleanse your digestive tract by releasing necessary bowel movements. You mustn’t take them daily or overuse them because this will disrupt your body’s natural ability to regulate regularity, which leads to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances (6).

Abdominal Discomfort 

Detox teas often cause abdominal discomfort as the laxative effects help release waste and toxins from your digestive tract (12). If taken daily, this can disrupt your body’s natural ability to regulate regular bowel movements, which could lower the overall nutrient absorption of the detox tea over time.

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Electrolyte Imbalance 

Electrolytes are crucial for proper hydration and optimal organ function, thus, detox teas that flush them out will alter how your body and organs function and can lead to serious health problems such as dehydration and electrolyte disturbances like low calcium levels (hypocalcemia) (13).

Negative Effects Of Too Much Caffeine

Many detox teas contain caffeine that could be dangerous for those with certain pre-existing conditions. Too much caffeine can increase blood pressure and heart rate to dangerous levels not suitable for those predisposed to such health complications as diabetes, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, or glaucoma (1).

Sleep Disruption  

If you become dehydrated from taking detox tea, it can affect your sleep patterns by causing insomnia. Furthermore, the caffeine content in many detox teas may cause wakefulness and restlessness at night, especially if taken late in the day (1).

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Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies  

Detox teas work by removing the necessary nutrients from your body when it tries to expel waste from your digestive system. 

You mustn’t take them daily or overuse them because this will disrupt your body’s natural ability to regulate nutrient absorption, which can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies in various nutrients, including magnesium, zinc, calcium, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, potassium, and folate (2).

Interaction With Medications 

Some ingredients in detox tea, such as senna and yerba mate, have been found to interact negatively with medications like diuretics, diabetes medications, stimulants, and other drugs that could lead to serious health complications and death if taken together (7).

Might Encourage Unhealthy Relationship With Food  

The detox tea industry is very lucrative, and convincing people that they can lose weight without incorporating proper diet and exercise is simply setting them up for failure. 

People who are overweight may use this belief as an excuse to continue eating unhealthy foods while drinking detox teas, which could lead to malnutrition, poor health, lack of self-control, and disordered eating patterns over time. 

Furthermore, many detox tea companies offer their product without providing adequate information about health, fitness, and dieting. This can lead to the development of unhealthy relationships with food that could last for years if not forever.

Read More: 3-Day Detox To Lose Weight: Why It Doesn’t Work, And What To Do Instead

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Why You Don’t Need A Detox Tea?

Other than the negative side effects, there are several reasons why you don’t need what’s marketed as the best tea for weight loss and detox:

Body Detoxes Itself

You’re already equipped with all the tools you need to detoxify your body – liver, kidneys, lungs, cardiovascular system, and skin. They work to keep your blood clean and remove waste from every part of your body. If anything goes wrong, they alert you by giving off warning signs such as dry mouth, dark urine, or funky-smelling breath (2). 

A healthy lifestyle that combines exercise and a nutritious diet will also contribute to improved overall health that lasts.

Might Contain Harmful Ingredients 

The main dangers associated with detox tea come from the lack of regulation in the supplement industry. Products go on sale without any safety testing done beforehand since they’re considered “food supplements”, not drugs. This means that you won’t know exactly what’s in your product or how it will interact with medication until you start drinking it. 

There’s Not Enough Scientific Evidence That They Work 

Although it’s claimed that detox tea can help you lose weight and belly fat, there’s no scientific evidence to support this claim. This is because most of the clinical trials that have been conducted didn’t include a large enough sample size or control group (2). Moreover, these studies were funded by people who stand to benefit from a positive outcome which could skew the results. 

While some teas may contain some beneficial ingredients, such as green tea, there’s simply not enough evidence that detox teas work in the long run compared to other healthy diet and exercise habits.

detox tea for weight loss
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What To Do Instead Of Drinking Tea For Weight Loss And Detox?

Instead of spending your money on detox tea that doesn’t work, you should create a healthy lifestyle by doing the following:

Eat More Whole Foods And Less Processed Ones

Your detox system needs a variety of nutrients and phytochemicals to function well. Junk food and processed foods don’t provide the necessary amount of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that your system needs. 

Instead of these, add more whole grains, veggies, and fruits to your diet. This type of diet will give you more high-quality nutrients such as vitamin A (carotenoids), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), niacin (vitamin B3), thiamin (vitamin B1), and folate (folic acid). It also contains all kinds of dietary fibers, which can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke (3).

Limit Your Sodium Intake

Excessive sodium overtaxes your kidneys which are one of your main detox organs. Over time, this can lead to high blood pressure. To keep your kidneys healthy and working properly, you should limit your sodium intake to less than 2300 mg per day (¼ teaspoon of salt) (8). 

Exercise For 30 Minutes A Day

When our bodies are sedentary, they don’t burn off calories to compensate for the amount we take in from food and drinks. This leads to weight gain and obesity, which causes many chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease (10). 

Regular exercise prevents these problems by boosting circulation, strengthening bones and muscles, improving flexibility, and helping with weight management. Physical activity also helps ease stress which could contribute to overeating (5).

This is why you should start exercising at least 30 minutes a day to improve your health and make yourself more efficient at detoxification.

When it comes to weight loss, progress is made by inches, not miles, so it’s much harder to track and a lot easier to give up. BetterMe app is your personal trainer, nutritionist and support system all in one. Start using our app to stay on track and hold yourself accountable!

See also  How To Not Think About Food: A Simple Guide To Curb Your Food Obsession
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Stay Hydrated

Your body needs a lot of fluids daily – roughly 60% of your body weight is made up of water. When you drink enough fluids, your urine turns a light yellow color, which shows that you’re properly hydrated. 

Your kidneys filter out the wastes from the blood via urine as it travels through them, so they need to be well-hydrated as well for this process to work as intended. Drinking plenty of water also prevents constipation and helps boost energy levels during workouts (4).

Practice Portion Control

Fat loss is as simple as the calories you take in being less than the ones you burn off. To lose weight, you need to eat less food and drinks that are high in calories. When it comes to dieting, staying under your daily calorie limit is the key because if you eat just a bit more than usual, those excess calories will be stored as fat and lead to weight gain. 

To control your portions, you need a reliable system that’s based on numbers and not just guesses. Try using calorie trackers or hand portion size guides to help you with portion control. 

Reduce Stress To Improve Immunity And Enhance Detoxification 

When stress levels are high, you might experience symptoms of weakened immunity due to cortisol elevating for survival purposes. This increases inflammatory chemicals in the blood to provide enough oxygen for an immediate fight or flight response. During times of sustained stress, these inflammatory chemicals can accumulate and cause fatigue and high blood pressure (11).

Yoga, for example, helps lower stress levels by building good body awareness, focusing on breathing, and relaxing the muscles throughout your body. 

This will reduce cortisol levels over time, balancing out immune function, as well as your nervous system to improve overall health. Having an improved immune system means you’ll be able to process toxic compounds faster, which increases detoxification. 

Get Enough Sleep

During sleep, your brain produces more growth hormones to help with tissue regeneration– including that of your cells, which are exposed to waste products and foreign chemicals. Growth hormones also regulate metabolism, so you’ll be able to process food and drink faster for weight loss (9). 

Getting enough sleep also allows the body to function properly during workouts– producing more energy and strength without being too tired to exercise. This will boost fat loss as more calories are burned off each day. A good night’s rest also helps you make healthier food choices.

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The Bottom Line

You may have seen detox teas in adverts around social media sites or even heard about them from friends who promised they would work for weight loss. 

The fact remains that there’s not enough scientific evidence to support this claim. Furthermore, taking into account that most products lack information about health, fitness, and dieting, you may end up consuming harmful ingredients or develop unhealthy relationships with food, which could last for years. 

Instead of drinking detox tea to lose weight and belly fat quickly, one should create a healthy lifestyle by combining regular exercise and a nutritious diet.

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DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. Caffeine (n.d., webmd.com)
  2. Detox diets for toxin elimination and weight management: A critical review of the evidence (2014, wiley.com)
  3. Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables (2012, nih.gov)
  4. How much water should you drink? (2020, harvard.edu)
  5. Physical activity – it’s important (n.d., betterhealth.vic.gov.au)
  6. Senna (2020,nih.gov)
  7. Senna (2021, medlineplus.gov)
  8. Sodium in Your Diet (n.d., fda.gov)
  9. The Benefits of Slumber (2013, nih.gov)
  10. The Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity (2020, cdc.gov)
  11. The impact of stress on body function: a review (2017, ni.gov)
  12. The Truth About Detox Teas (2018, lifespan.org)
  13. Water and Electrolytes (n.d., nih.gov)
Eve Chalicha

Eve is a freelance writer from Nairobi, Kenya. She has a passion for promoting good health and well-being and believes that education is the first step towards changing lives for the better.
For the past few years, Eve has been writing about topics such as nutrition, fitness, natural remedies, and more.
Thanks to her background in Legal studies, she has a knack for research and always prioritizes scientific facts over hearsay. She is also very socially conscious and ensures that her pieces inform and empower readers.
When she's not writing, Eve enjoys watching documentaries, going on nature walks, or just hanging out with friends.

J. Paul

Jovial is from Dubai, and is a Head EMS Instructor/Fitness Manager/Nutrition Consultant for REMS Fitness. He is certified by the Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute and Registered as a Gym Instructor.
Jovial specialises in HIIT training, Rehabilitation/injury recovery, Strength and Conditioning, Kickboxing, Body Weight Training and Weight Training, and practices each discipline himself. His approach is to focus on improving his clients’ lifestyle by motivating them and setting an example.

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