The Dark Side of "Teatoxing"
Tea is a wondrous thing and comes with many health benefits. Quick weight loss is not one of them. There are many detox teas, or a “Teatox” on the market offering an all-natural way to lose weight. They promise to boost your metabolism, lose weight, cleanse and detoxify, and increase energy levels all within a few weeks. The Teatox companies claim to be 100% natural, using no chemicals or preservatives in their products. All you have to do is drink two cups of the Teatox a day and you’ll have your ideal figure in a matter of weeks! Sounds great right?
Well, no actually it doesn’t. Firstly, there is no scientific evidence that drinking tea alone is an effective way to lose weight. You still need to have a balanced diet and exercise, which is mentioned on most Teatox websites, if you look hard enough. In the small print you’ll also find claims that the Teatox won’t work for everyone, and that it’s important to do your own research before buying the product.
Secondly, there is no healthy way to lose weight that quickly, natural or not. These teas contain a natural ingredient such as Senna leaf, which acts as a laxative. Just because something is natural, doesn’t mean it comes without side effects, especially when having a large amount over a prolonged period of time. Short term, the side effects may include diarrhoea, nausea and stomach cramps. The long term side effects are far more dangerous. It is not recommended to take Senna for more than two weeks, however some of the Teatoxes last for 28 days. Ingesting too much Senna or taking for too long can cause your bowels to stop functioning normally, and cause an electrolyte imbalance in your blood. Both are very serious dangers to your health.
Using a laxative on a daily basis for weight loss means that any healthy food you are eating, isn’t having the time it needs to be digested. In reality you are essentially starving yourself of essential nutrients.
The other natural ingredient you’ll find in the different Teatox teabags is Guarana. This plant ingredient is often found in energy drinks as it has a very high caffeine content. The idea here is that caffeine works as a diuretic helping you to expel excess water. However, when you stop drinking the teas, its highly likely any water weight lost will be gained back, almost immediately.
Basically, by drinking this tea you are going to be spending the majority of your time on the toilet!
With society latching on to the “do nothing, get results” image we see on a daily basis thanks to the likes of the Kardashians and Instagram celebrities, it’s easy to see how people may believe that the Teatox is the perfect “quick fix”. But when it comes to your health there is no quick fix. It has to be done the old fashioned way, with a balanced diet and exercise!
If you are interested in the real health benefits of tea, pop into the shop to speak to our Naturopathic Medical Herbalist. All teas should be consumed as part of a healthy diet.