#MythBusting: Detox Teas

#MythBusting: Detox Teas

in Health/Live by

If you follow any number of celebrities on any social media platform, you have probably come across the increasingly popular waist trainers and their liquid counterpart, detox tea’s (teatox). So, do they work and are they worth your money? We are here to give you the answer today.

What is a teatox? A 14 day (or more) tea package which involves drinking two cups of detox tea per day, one as soon as you wake up and the second before you head to bed. By drinking these two drinks per day in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise routine, teatox companies promise you better skin, improved digestion, colon cleansing, and a reduction in stomach fat; just to name a few of the many proposed benefits.

If you have spoken to anyone who has tried any of the many teatox options on the market, they probably told you about the extreme laxative effect they have. And by extreme, we mean you may be spending a large portion of your day in the bathroom (no one likes to talk about it, but it’s true). Not only is that extremely inconvenient and uncomfortable, but diarrhea also puts your body at a risk of dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which in extreme cases can trigger heart rhythm imbalances and muscle cramps.

In an attempt to increase your metabolism and reduce your appetite, detox teas contain very large amounts of caffeine. This can cause nausea, restlessness, and a disruption in your sleep pattern. If you are not getting enough sleep, your metabolism will slow down and you are more likely to make unhealthy food choices throughout the next day. Caffeine also works as a diuretic, which can escalate the risk of dehydration, especially if it’s coupled with laxative components.

The combined laxative effect and high caffeine content of the tea’s mean that any weight you do lose throughout your 14-day ‘cleanse’ is most likely water weight, rather than any actual meaningful fat loss. This is why as soon as you stop drinking the tea and your bowel habits go back to normal, you will gain the weight back even more quickly than when you lost it.

Last but not least, most teatox brands state that their detox tea’s only work in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise program. There is no research done to prove that the improvements seen in health (if any) are in fact due to the tea and not just due to the improved diet and exercise.

Bottom line, sipping detox teas after your takeaway pizza will have no beneficial effect on your weight loss goals. On the other hand, if you already have a healthy diet and exercise routine, a teatox won’t add much meaning to your health either. In fact, it is likely to leave you with diarrhea and dehydration instead. Forget about the teatoxes and pass us the salads and dumbbells, please.

Donia Hilal is a certified nutritionist with a degree in Nutrition from King’s College London. Her work focuses on women’s health in the Middle East, wellness, weight loss, and optimal pre- and post-natal nutrition. Passionate about real food and evidence based nutrition advice, Donia welcomes and enjoys guiding clients throughout every stage of their journey towards a healthier, happier life.

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