You know summer is in full swing when teatox has suddenly taken over your social feeds. Haven't you noticed it yet? Several weeks before summer started, we've already seen a few #teatox posts on our Instagram feed and they've increased in frequency since then.
If you have no idea what it is, teatox = tea + detox. It's a weight loss trend that lets you lose weight in x amount of days just by drinking tea. Now, we all know drinking tea could help with weight management. What makes teatox look promising is the hundreds of testimonials both from celebrities and regular folks (like you and me) who have tried it.
Who wouldn't want to have that summer bod in just a few weeks and with little effort, right?
Make sure to do your research and talk to a healthcare professional if you're considering going on a teatox. While it may seem like a harmless diet trend, teatox could be bad for you.
Here are some things you need to know about it.
Most —if not all— teatox products are made from natural ingredients. Common components are:
- Senna leaf - A popular teatox ingredient, senna is an FDA-approved non-prescriptive laxative. It's used to treat constipation, hemorrhoids, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Experts advised not to take senna for more than two weeks, otherwise, it could affect the normal functioning of your bowels. Long-term use could also lead to problems in your heart, muscles, and liver.
- Garcinia Cambogia - Also called Malabar tamarind, Garcinia cambogia is a tropical fruit with fat-burning characteristics. It's said its active ingredient hydroxycitric acid (HCA) could also suppress appetite. Potential side effects of Garcinia cambogia are upset stomach/diarrhea, dry mouth, and dizzyness. HCA could also interact with medications and other supplements you're taking.
- Yerba Mate - A plant abundant in South America, yerba mate contains high amounts of polyphenols, flavovoids, and caffeine. A 2001 study shows that it could significantly delay gastric emptying and improve "within-meal satiation." Its side effects include vomiting and nausea, restlessness or nervousness, irregular heartbeats and high blood pressure, and ringing in the ears. Yerba mate is possibly unsafe for pregnant and breast-feeding mothers. Taking it for a long period or in large amounts could also put you at risk of kidney, esophageal, laryngeal, and lung cancer. Those who drink alcohol and smoke are at higher risk of these conditions.
- Guarana - Common in Brazil and native to the Amazon Basin, Guarana has higher caffeine content than coffee, making it a popular ingredient in energy drinks. Because caffeine is a known stimulant, guarana is thought to help in weight loss by supposedly increasing metabolism. Common side effects of Guarana are stomach irritation, anxiety, high blood pressure, glaucoma, osteoporosis, and insomnia.
A lot of teatox programs last for at least a week to about a month. And that's one of the reasons some healthcare professionals are not recommending it. Remember, senna leaves should only be taken short-term, for a maximum of 14 days. If you're going on a 28-day teatox with a product that has senna as its main ingredient, you're definitely way over the recommended duration.
With a teatox, you'll be drinking two types of tea: one in the morning (morning boost) and another in the evening (evening cleanse). The morning tea is a stimulant that claims to give you energy throughout the day, increase metabolism, and suppress your appetite. The evening tea serves as a colon cleanse, getting rid of toxins in your body.
Teatox Side Effects
While many would say teatox has little to no side effects, keep in mind that no two bodies are the same. Your overall health status and medical history play a huge role in determining what you'll be experiencing when you start a teatox program —especially one that lasts for several weeks. The different types of tea you'll be drinking could also interact with your medications, supplements, and even contraceptive pills.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding are also two factors you need to consider carefully when thinking about going on a teatox.
So, should you teatox? Not before consulting your doctor. Stay on the safe side this summer and enjoy the season by not just being skinny but healthy too.
Want to learn more about weight management through tea? Check out the following links: