Benefits Of Drinking Ice Tea

When You Drink Iced Tea Every Day, This Is What Happens To Your Body
Iced tea is the perfect summertime drink — it’s cold and refreshing, and it plays well with added fruits and other flavorings. But if you drink iced tea every day, is it good for you?

Iced tea is usually made from black tea, but you can use any type of tea you like, including green, white, and herbal teas like hibiscus or peppermint. In fact, the health benefits may differ based on which type of tea you use. How you brew iced tea may also have an impact on its healthiness. Dr. Chris Norris at Sleep Standards points out that iced and hot teas are nearly identical in terms of health properties, especially since iced tea is usually brewed hot and then simply allowed to cool. But he told The List, “Some research shows cold brewing for a longer duration may have more health benefits than steeping your leaves in hot water. Cold-water steeping is reported to maximize tea health benefits, including higher antioxidant activity.”


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So, just what might happen to your body if you drink iced tea every day?

If you drink iced tea every day, it can help you stay hydrated
Getting enough water does more than simply quench your thirst. Staying properly hydrated helps deliver nutrients to cells, maintain body temperature, fight infection, lubricate joints, and boost your mood, among other things. That’s not surprising, considering about 60 percent of the human body is actually water.

The Mayo Clinic recommends adult women get about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of water a day, while adult men should aim for 15.5 cups (3.7 liters). Luckily, this doesn’t all have to come from plain water.

According to Dr. Chris Norris at Sleep Standards, iced tea is a great option. He told The List. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s herbal, black, green or chamomile; hot or cold — tea is just about as hydrating as water.” A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition came to the same conclusion. The researchers noted that, although the caffeine in black tea has often been considered dehydrating, their findings indicated that tea and plain water were almost identical in their ability to provide hydration. So, if you want to hydrate, you can drink iced tea every day, though water is presumably the better option.

If you want to lower your caffeine intake but still need a little bit, drink iced tea every day

If you’re trying to kick your coffee or energy drink habit but either can’t or don’t want to give up caffeine entirely, you may be able to wean yourself down to a more reasonable amount by switching to iced tea. Registered dietitian Trista Best shared, “[Iced tea] is a great drink for anyone who needs assistance getting a little extra concentration or energy to focus. Many excessive caffeine drinkers have chosen to detox to a lower amount by transitioning to iced tea over coffee or other high-caffeine beverages.”

As shared by The Washington Post, research suggests that the average American adult consumes between 122 mg and 225 mg of caffeine a day. Side effects of consuming too much caffeine, according to Healthline, can include anxiety, sleep problems, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and, ironically, fatigue. So how much caffeine is in your iced tea? The University of Utah’s mathematics department shared that while a 2-ounce espresso has 100 mg, an 8-ounce glass of iced tea has only about 47 mg. And if you’re drinking a green tea, you’ll get even less — only about 15 mg of caffeine.

Caffeine can do a lot of crazy things to your body, so you may want to lower the amount you consume. But heads up: There’s a lot that can happen to your body when you give up caffeine.

If you drink iced tea every day, it may upset your stomach
Although some herbal teas, such as peppermint, ginger, and fennel, can help soothe a troubled tummy, iced tea made from black tea may have the opposite effect.

The culprit? Tannins — bitter and astringent substances found in a variety of plants, as noted by Wine Enthusiast. While the tannins in wine tend to get the most attention, black tea is high in tannins, according to Healthline. However, the exact amount will vary significantly based on quality of the leaves, preparation, and steeping time). While tannins may have numerous health benefits, they can also cause nausea on an empty stomach. According to health educator Shana Robinson, “The tannins in tea are responsible for the bitter taste, which along with the icy temperature, irritates and inflames the digestive tract and can cause nausea.”

If you feel nauseous when you drink iced tea every day, you don’t have to abandon it. Robinson suggests adding a splash of dairy or non-dairy milk to create a more soothing effect because proteins and carbohydrates bind to tannins and help reduce their effects.

If you drink instant iced tea every day, you may not actually be getting the antioxidants you think

Powdered instant iced tea mixes are convenient, but they aren’t anywhere near as healthy as iced tea made from regular tea bags.

Instant iced tea is highly processed. These mixes are created using spent tea leaves, tea wastes, or fermented leaves. The liquid is concentrated under low pressure and then dried into a powder by freeze-drying or spray-drying. All that processing means that instant iced tea loses more than 90 percent of its original antioxidants, and some contain none at all.

Bottled and canned green iced teas also pale in comparison to their freshly brewed counterparts. According to a 2001 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these commercially produced beverages contained few of the catechins found in green tea. As explained by WebMD, catechins are flavonoids — substances found in plants with strong antioxidant and disease-fighting properties.

It’s cheap and easy to make iced tea at home, so brew your own if you want to reap all the health benefits when you drink iced tea every day.

When you drink iced tea every day, you could lose weight

When it comes to the health benefits of iced tea, researchers usually focus on black tea. But one type of herbal tea may actually be more helpful when it comes to losing weight.

A 2018 study published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology found that drinking herbal tea made from yerba mate, a plant native to South America (via Healthline), encouraged fat oxidation. Kathryn Schwab, a health and wellness researcher at Tons of Goodness, explained, “[Fat cells] are in a constant state of turnover, meaning that fat is continuously entering or exiting the cell … Fatty acids released into the bloodstream can then be burned (oxidized) for energy. When fat is oxidized, this results in weight loss.” Interestingly, the 2018 study found that iced yerba mate was more effective at fat oxidation than hot yerba mate.

If you’re one of the 56.4 percent of American women trying to lose weight, you may want to swap out your regular iced black tea for an iced yerba mate.

You may stay looking young if you drink iced tea every day

If you’re worried about aging, you’re not alone. A 2017 survey found that 28 percent of women under 25, 42 percent of women aged 25 to 34, and 54 percent of women between the ages of 35 and 44 worried “regularly” about how they’re aging, as reported by the New York Post. Fortunately, believe it or not, the fountain of youth might actually be a pitcher of iced tea! Yes, if you drink iced tea every day, you may be doing your skin a favor.

When it comes to the physical signs of aging, collagen plays an important role. That’s because collagen, a protein found throughout the body, provides structure to our skin (in addition to performing many other important functions), as explained by Healthline. As we age, our body’s ability to create new collagen decreases, leading to saggy, wrinkled skin (via HuffPost). But, as nutritionist Lisa Richards told The List, “It’s been shown that dietary polyphenols, like those found in iced tea, can stimulate the production of collagen in the body.” These polyphenols, she explained, can also prevent damage to collagen from free radicals.

If you’re stressed, you might want to drink iced tea every day

According to a 2017 Gallup poll, 44 percent of Americans feel stressed in day-to-day life “frequently,” while another 35 percent feel stressed “sometimes.” Parenting and work were the most commonly reported stressors.

Does that sound like you? If so, registered dietitian Trista Best believes a refreshing glass of iced tea might actually help you relax. She explained to The List, “The hormone cortisol, the stress hormone, is known to increase stress … Iced tea is able to naturally lower cortisol production in the body and subsequently reduce anxiety.” A 2007 study conducted by Dr. Andrew Steptoe and colleagues at University College London and published in Psychopharmacology came to the same conclusion, although the researchers only examined black tea’s stress-busting properties.

Getting your stress levels under control is important. According to the Mayo Clinic, stress can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms that negatively effect your physical and psychological health. These include headaches, chest and muscle pain, sleep problems and fatigue, stomach upset, and changes in sex drive. So why not try to drink iced tea every day?

Drinking iced tea every day may be good for your heart

Can a glass of iced tea a day keep the cardiologist away?

According to Dr. Chris Norris at Sleep Standards, the answer is yes. He told The List, “Unsweetened iced tea contains flavonoids that play a vital role in protecting the heart from a number of diseases and keeps your heart healthy and in good shape.” He explained that these flavonoids are antioxidants that protect arteries from inflammation and atherosclerosis (“a hardening and narrowing of your arteries,” as explained by WebMD).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists heart disease as the No. 1 killer in the United States, responsible for 25 percent of all deaths. What you may not realize is that heart disease is actually an umbrella term for a number of different conditions, as noted by Medical News Today. These include coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, arrhythmia, congestive heart failure, and heart attack. While some forms of heart disease are caused by structural or physiological problems (issues the flavonoids in iced tea can’t do anything about), other forms, including coronary artery disease, are closely linked to inflammation and atherosclerosis. So, if you drink iced tea every day, you could be helping your heart.

If you drink sweetened iced tea every day, you may increase your risk for type 2 diabetes

If you enjoy your daily iced tea on the sweeter side, you may be getting more sugar than you realize. Many pre-bottled iced teas contain a significant amount of sugar. For example, according to Healthy Food Guide, Fuze Tea green iced tea contains 21g (4.2 teaspoons) of added sugar per 500ml serving, Lipton’s raspberry iced tea contains 26.1g (5.2 teaspoons) per 500ml serving, and Arizona blueberry white iced tea contains a staggering 42.5g (8.5 teaspoons) per 500ml serving.

In its 2015 guidelines (via Ages), the World Health Organization (WHO) suggested that adults should consume no more than ten teaspoons of added sugar a day and that keeping it to under five would be ideal. So even one serving of a sweetened iced tea could put you dangerously close to, or even over, that limit, making the decision to drink iced tea every day — sweetened iced tea, that is — not the best choice.

The WHO points out that its recommendations are based on research linking sugar to a number of health concerns. According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 34.2 million Americans had diabetes in 2018, while another 88 million adults have prediabetes. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, directly causing or contributing to the deaths of more than 270,000 people in 2017.

If you have trouble absorbing iron, you may not want to drink iced tea every day

If you’re one of the 20 percent of women with iron deficiency, you may want to think twice before deciding to drink iced tea every day. Naturopathic doctor Jo Nell Shaw told The List, “Black, green, and rooibos tea have a high level of tannins, which can be healthy unless a person has iron absorption issues. The tannins bind to iron and can increase the risk of anemia.”

According to the Iron Disorders Institute, iron deficiency is the “most common nutritional deficiency” in the world. It can lead to anemia (low red blood cell count), which can cause fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, and weakness. Iron deficiency can be caused by inadequate iron intake, increased demand (for example, during pregnancy), blood loss (such as heavy periods), and difficulty absorbing iron. Anemia can be serious; the condition kills more than 5,000 Americans a year.

If your iron’s low, the Iron Disorders Institute recommends eating more iron-rich foods and taking an iron supplement. But you may also want to cut back on iced tea.

If you’re concerned about bone health, you may not want to drink iced tea every day

Want to maintain strong, healthy bones into old age? You might need to swap your daily iced tea for a glass of milk.That’s because iced tea may actually interfere with your body’s ability to absorb bone-building calcium. Nutritionist Lisa Richards told The List, “Many iced teas are made from black tea leaves, which have been linked to poor calcium metabolism. Studies have also shown calcium loss through urine and a decrease of absorption in the body.” According to Richards, this decrease in calcium can create issues for bone health later in life, potentially leading to weakened bones and osteoporosis.

According to the American Osteoporosis Foundation, 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and another 44 million have low bone density. One in two women will break a bone at some point in their life because of osteoporosis.

But if you really don’t want to give up drinking iced tea every day, there are ways to counteract its negative effects on calcium absorption. Richards suggests, “To counteract this effect, you can opt to consume calcium at separate times as iced tea or through supplementation.”

If you drink iced tea every day, it could lead to kidney stones

When it comes to iced tea and calcium, there’s more bad news. As health educator Shana Robinson explained to The List, “[Iced tea made from] black tea contains oxalate. When consumed in excess, oxalates block minerals like calcium from absorbing into the gut. That excess calcium is deposited into the kidneys, and that build up can cause kidney stones.”

Kidney stones are more common than you might think. The National Kidney Foundation reports that approximately one in ten Americans will experience at least one kidney stone during their lifetime, and more than 500,000 people end up in the emergency room each year because of kidney stones. According to the Mayo Clinic, these stones, also known as renal calculi, are “hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys.” Passing them can be extremely painful and may require surgery. While many factors can contribute to developing kidney stones, including family history, dehydration, and obesity, diet also plays a role.

So, if you’re worried about kidney stones, you may not want to drink iced tea every day. And you’ll want to avoid the worst foods for your kidneys, too.

Are you getting too much fluoride when you drink iced tea every day?

It’s probably in your tap water and your toothpaste, but fluoride is also found in many iced teas. And while fluoride does wonders for protecting your teeth, too much of it can be a bad thing.

Nutritionist Mira Dessy told The List, “One often overlooked challenge when drinking iced tea is that excess levels can be linked to high fluoride in the system. This is because the tea bush, Camellia sinensis, is a very efficient uptake plant for removing fluoride from the soil.” In fact, research has shown that some instant teas contain as much as 6.5 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride — well over the FDA’s limit of 2.4ppm for beverages and the EPA’s guideline of 4ppm for drinking water. Excess fluoride consumption can cause a variety of problems, including tooth discoloration, bone and joint pain, neurological issues, and reproductive dysfunction.

If you’re concerned about fluoride, the type of iced tea you drink makes a big difference. According to Dessy, “The highest levels of fluoride tend to be found in both black and green teas. White tea tends to have less fluoride. Herbal teas usually have little to no fluoride.” So if you want to drink iced tea every day, doing your research is a good idea.

If you drink instant iced tea every day, you could be consuming the controversial ingredient BHA

When it comes to drinking iced tea every day, it’s probably safest to brew it yourself using tea bags. That’s because instant iced tea mixes often include BHA, among other less-than-desirable ingredients. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) is a controversial preservative used to ensure freshness.

According to the National Toxicology Program’s Report on Carcinogens, BHA is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” This conclusion was based on animal studies with rodents and fish that linked BHA to cancer.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) includes BHA on its “Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives.” The EWG points out that, while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists BHA as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS), the substance has been labeled as a known carcinogen under California’s Proposition 65. According to the EWG, the European Union (EU) lists BHA as an endocrine disruptor that has been shown to negatively impact the thyroid and reproductive systems of rodents (and thus potentially humans).


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When You Drink Coffee Every Day, This Is What Happens To Your Body
Americans often drink coffee every day. Overall, coffee consumption in America is on the rise, according to an article in Reuters. About 64 percent of Americans drank at least one cup of coffee per day in 2018, up from 62 percent the year before. That means many millions of folks are starting their day with the dark, caffeinated beverage, most of them at home, though coffee shops are very much alive and well, too. Additionally, more and more folks are reaching for the fancier stuff, as gourmet coffee is rising in popularity.

As to whether drinking coffee every day is good or bad for you, it’s not a black and white issue, according to an article in Time. On top of that, the scientific consensus has changed, evolved, and shifted the years, though it’s a lot better today than it used to be. And overall the outlook is more positive than it is grim — good news for bean juice devotees.

So what happens to your body when you drink coffee every day? Read on to get the entire scoop.

If you drink coffee every day, you’ll get addicted to caffeine

Having that first cup of coffee in the morning can feel downright magical sometimes, especially if you’re particularly dragging that day. But be careful if you find yourself doing it every day as you can get addicted, as noted by veteran science writer Bart Wolbers. “If you drink coffee every single day then you’ll soon get addicted to caffeine,” he told The List. “The reason for that addiction is that coffee normally binds to the adenosine receptors in the brain — adenosine is what builds up sleep pressure. Over time, however, the body creates more adenosine receptors which are then no longer bound by the caffeine in coffee.”

So what does that mean in layperson’s terms? “As a result, your energy levels go down and you need coffee just to counter the withdrawal symptoms,” he continued. And those symptoms can include irritability, brain fog, headache, and exhaustion, according to Healthline. In order to avoid that, Fergus recommends cycling your beverages to prevent tolerance buildup if you drink coffee every day.

Wondering if you’re hooked on java? Here are ways to tell you’re addicted to caffeine.

You’ll be more alert and less depressed if you drink coffee every day

While adenosine and adenosine receptors play a role in getting addicted to coffee, it’s not all bad news. That’s because according to cardiologist Dr. Steven Reisman, director of the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center, you can also reap some benefits because of adenosine blockage. “With coffee you will feel more energetic because caffeine increases brain activity by blocking adenosine and increases neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine,” he explained to The List. “This reduces tiredness and increases alertness.”

That’s not the only positive impact that drinking coffee every day can have on your mood, either. According to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers found that the people who drank the most coffee were less likely to be depressed. And in another study, this one in the World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, researchers concluded that coffee drinkers who consumed four or more cups of coffee daily were considerably less likely to take their own lives. Whether or not you should drink that much is up for debate, but the facts still stand.

You just might lose weight if you drink coffee every day

According to the CDC, nearly half of the American population is trying to lose weight, more of them women than men. If you’re one of the many people that belong to that statistic, your daily coffee habit might just help you drop those unwanted pounds, as noted by cardiologist Dr. Steven Reisman, director of the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center. “Coffee may also help you lose weight by improving physical performance in aerobic exercise,” he revealed to The List. “It also helps your body absorb and burn fatty acids in the bloodstream.” Honestly, that sounds pretty awesome.

That doesn’t mean that making the decision to drink coffee every day is magic, however — you still have to put in the work, according to registered dietitian Diane Vizthum. “The bottom line is that coffee is one part of your lifestyle,” she shared in an interview with Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Some of the factors that make a bigger impact on your health are eating a balanced diet, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight. Drinking coffee should just be an addition to those key health factors.”

If you drink coffee every day in the afternoon, your sleep will be disrupted

Drinking coffee every day is a pretty normal habit, especially if you’re just grabbing one or two cups right after you wake up. But if you’re drinking coffee well into the afternoon, you might find yourself battling some insomnia, as noted by Dr. Becky Gillaspy, a certified health and wellness coach. “You will sleep less soundly if you drink coffee in the afternoon,” she informed The List. “Caffeine has a half-life of six hours. So, if you drink coffee at 2 PM, half of the caffeine from that cup is still in your system at 8 PM.” And if you drink coffee every day at 4 p.m., you’re going to be up even later.

So if you find yourself unable to sleep at night, try adjusting your coffee intake to only the morning hours. Coffee isn’t a substitute for actual sleep, after all, as shown by a study in Progress in Brain Research.

You may become agitated if you drink coffee every day

In addition to interrupting your sleep, depending on your physiology, drinking too much caffeine (at any time of day) can have other negative health impacts, according to a study in Advances in Psychiatric Treatment. So if you find yourself feeling the jitters, getting agitated, feeling anxious or nervous, or having an all-out panic attack, cut down on the coffee ASAP. Choosing to drink coffee every day could be a major contributor to any of those unpleasant and unwanted effects.

This is especially true for individuals who already have a pre-existing psychological issue (such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder), as consuming too much caffeine can exacerbate psychosis, increase hostility, and cause added anxiety, something a number of celebrities have dealt with. Additionally, people who have eating disorders may also misuse coffee, so you might want to talk to your doctor before consuming any if you’re prone to any of these conditions. Or just stick to the decaf. Whatever the case, just watch out for signs you’re drinking too much caffeine.

If you drink coffee every day, it might help you live longer
Most people sincerely hope to live a long, healthy, and happy life, according to Paul Root Wolpe, director of the Emory Center for Ethics — and find the concept of dying pretty scary. “The thing that is most difficult and inscrutable to us as mortal beings is the fact of our own death,” he revealed in an interview with Time. “We don’t understand it, we don’t get it, and as meaning-laden beings, we can’t fathom what it means to not exist.” It’s heavy, but it also happens to be true.

On a lighter yet related note, if you drink coffee every day, you may help yourself stave off death — at least for a while, as noted by certified health and wellness coach Dr. Becky Gillaspy. “You may live longer,” she explained to The List. “A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that coffee drinkers over the age of 50 had a reduced risk of premature death compared to non-coffee drinkers.” We’ll take it! We guess that means coffee is just one of many things healthy people drink in a day.

You might be at less risk for type 2 diabetes if you drink coffee every day

According to the CDC, more than 100 million Americans have diabetes or are at risk of developing the disease. And with diabetes comes many potential problems, according to dietitian Dr. Ann Albright, director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation. “Diabetes is a contributing factor to so many other serious health conditions,” she explained. “By addressing diabetes, we limit other health problems such as heart disease, stroke, nerve and kidney diseases, and vision loss.”

Once again, your daily cup of Joe might be protecting you from adverse outcomes, as noted by certified health and wellness coach Dr. Becky Gillaspy. “You may protect yourself from diabetes,” she told The List. “A large review study analyzed the association between coffee consumption and risk of diabetes. They found that the consumption of coffee was associated with reduced risk, even if the coffee was decaffeinated.” Deciding to drink coffee every day doesn’t sound too bad.

When you drink coffee every day, you’ll boost your antioxidant levels

According to Harvard University, antioxidants are an important component in your diet. They help to reduce any potential harm on the body caused by free radicals, thanks to their willingness to spare the electrons that free radicals so hungrily crave. And while foods rich in antioxidants have indeed been over-hyped in the past as miracle foods, the bottom line is that eating whole foods that contain antioxidants is good for your health.

Fortunately, your daily dose of java can supply you with these important substances, as noted by certified health and wellness coach Dr. Becky Gillaspy. “You will boost your body’s level of cell-protecting antioxidants,” she revealed to The List. “When you brew a cup of coffee, the nutrients from the coffee beans are transferred to your cup. Many of these nutrients act as antioxidants that protect your cells from damaging free radicals.”

To top it all off, no other foods provide the antioxidant benefits that coffee does, according to a study by the American Chemical Society. No wonder that’s where Americans overwhelmingly get their daily dose of these important substances. This certainly makes a strong case for choosing to drink coffee every day.

You may be protecting your brain from disease when you drink coffee every day
If you drink coffee every day and are concerned about protecting your brain from disease, you’re in luck, as noted by Dr. Donald Weaver, co-director of the Krembil Brain Institute. “Coffee consumption does seem to have some correlation to a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease,” he revealed in an interview with Medical News Today. Weaver and his team discovered that, and published their findings in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience.

It’s not the caffeine that’s present in coffee that’s responsible for this benefit, interestingly enough. Rather, it’s the presence of a compound named phenylindanes (which increases as you roast the coffee beans) that protect the brain from the toxic proteins that contribute to brain disease. “It’s the first time anybody’s investigated how phenylindanes interact with the proteins that are responsible for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s,” added study co-author Dr. Ross Mancini. “The next step would be to investigate how beneficial these compounds are, and whether they have the ability to enter the bloodstream, or cross the blood-brain barrier.”

It might be good for your memory if you drink coffee every day
It’s not just avoiding serious diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease that drinking coffee every day can do for your brain. Additionally, your daily java can help to strengthen your memory, according to Michael Yassa, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Johns Hopkins University. “We’ve always known that caffeine has cognitive-enhancing effects, but its particular effects on strengthening memories and making them resistant to forgetting has never been examined in detail in humans,” he explained in an interview with Johns Hopkins Magazine. “We report for the first time a specific effect of caffeine on reducing forgetting over 24 hours.”

Specifically, the researchers gave study participants a dose of caffeine before looking at images, then showed them similar images the next day; those in the group given caffeine showed a better capacity for recognizing the images than those in the placebo group. “If we used a standard recognition memory task without these tricky similar items, we would have found no effect of caffeine,” Yassa continued. “However, using these items requires the brain to make a more difficult discrimination.” So the science is in: Caffeine improves your memory!

Your liver may thank you if you drink coffee every day

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