A traditional detox is all about cutting things out: soda, juice, coffee, processed foods, carbohydrates and more.
You might have already deliberately removed all the tempting junk food from your house and filled your fridge to overflowing with fruits and vegetables but have you considered adding tea to your detox?
Drinking unsweetened tea can help you stick to your detox and give your body an extra cleansing boost, even if you’re not drinking green tea.
Tea can Kill Cravings
Whether you normally drink massive amounts of coffee, gallons of soda or large cartons of fruit juice, tea can help you replace the harmful liquids in your life.
Many herbal teas are delicious unsweetened and you can even get fruity teas sweet enough to help you quit soda. Unsweetened iced tea is a great step between soda and water and hot tea has all kinds of benefits.
Most tea also contains some amount of caffeine, making it an easier transition than water for people who are hooked on coffee to get through their days.
Different teas have different levels of caffeine so you can even gradually switch to caffeine free tea the same way you might gradually switch to dark chocolate.
Tea alone won’t make you skinny or cleanse your body of all the toxins you’ve stuffed in it over the years with fast food and soda but it can help you stick with your detox diet and give your metabolism a small boost.
Not all Tea is Created Equal
Except for herbal tea, all tea comes from the same plant—the Camellia Sinensis shrub—and what gives it the different flavours and consistencies is different amounts of processing.
While all teas have health benefits, green teas and white teas have been proven to provide the highest number of health benefits.
Some evidence suggests that black tea may protect the lungs from negative effects of cigarette smoke and even reduce the risk of stroke, but it also comes with the highest caffeine content and should be avoided after lunch time.
If you have a sweet tooth invest in some flavoured tea that comes with a sweet natural flavour such as peppermint. After a while you’ll even start to crave the tea instead of your usual dessert.
Why is it important to stick with Unsweetened Tea?
Adding sugar to tea makes it almost as unhealthy as soda, but unsweetened tea has all kinds of health benefits. Every tea has its own properties but they all contain anti-oxidants that can cleanse your body of toxins left behind by processed foods and desserts.
You can sweeten with a tiny amount of honey, but honey has a distinctive taste that doesn’t mix with all teas and using it in large amounts isn’t any better than using sugar.
Bottled Iced Tea contains as much ugar as pop.
This is true for every major brand sold across the country, although there might be a local brand in your area that uses less sugar. When watered down and filled with sugar and other additives iced tea is as bad as soda.
Brew your own tea at home and ice it in your own fridge. Get a large travel mug so you won’t be tempted to drink bottled iced tea while you’re out.
Are Detox Teas Effective?
If you’ve been thinking about doing a detox for a while or you’ve actually done one before you’ve probably heard about detox teas. There are dozens of these teas and some of them have been around for a long time.
Detox teas first became popular among health food fanatics in the 70’s and have skyrocketed in popularity as the obesity epidemic has spread throughout the country.
Most of these teas are formulated to give you energy to get through a long day and tough workout with a powerful anti-oxidant boost. Many also work as an appetite suppressant, using a variety of ingredients to do so.
These teas typically contain some medically proven ingredients—green tea for weight loss, caffeine to boost energy and suppress appetite—as well as extra herbs for flavour.
The best teas actually use Yerba Mate for weight loss, a substance similar to green tea but packed with more nutrients to give you real energy so you can make it through the day without needing a sugar or coffee boost.
Combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise these teas can help you consistently feel great and lose a small,sustainable amount of weight from week to week(usually around 2-3 pounds).
Avoid laxatives. Almost all laxatives, whether they’re in the form of tea or the form of a pill, work by pushing out essential nutrients and water, leaving you dehydrated and low on energy.
You might achieve more dramatic short term effects by drinking a lot of laxative tea but it’s not sustainable weight loss and using too many laxatives can cause serious illness.
What about Green Tea?
Any tea has its own health benefits but there have been dozens of studies proving the many different health benefits of green tea. Green tea contains l-theanine, a compound that can help you stay calm throughout even the most stressful days.
This increases the release of dopamine and at the same time helps decrease the impact of cortisol(the stress hormone) on your system. Clearing out stress is just as important as clearing out toxins!
Green tea’s calorie burning effects have been overstated in some places—it’s not going to make you lose 50 pounds on its own—but recent research has shown that regular green tea consumption can slow weight gain by up to 45% even during the laziest months.
If you’re actively detoxing and working out it can also speed up weight loss. Green tea also has a much higher concentration of anti-oxidants than most other teas because it is one of the least processed types of tea(white tea is the absolute least processed).
This makes it an excellent addition to your detox. Regularly drinking green tea is a great way to boost your detox and keep the toxins in your body low over the long term.
Drinking tea with every meal or every time you find yourself craving a soda can help you stick to your detox diet and give you an extra energy boost.
Maintaining your new tea habit after your detox can improve your quality of life and reduce your risk for many types of disease, especially if you’re drinking the right kind of tea.
In other words, you can finally drink something other than water without feeling guilty!