Less Caffeine, Anti-oxidants, and Weight Loss Miracle: Tea

Tea isn't just good for monsters. Drawing of two monsters drinking tea on a sofa with another looking on. Drawing by David Borden
Tea isn't just good for monsters...

The internet makes a lot of claims about tea.

3 Common Claims about Tea:

  1. Tea contains less caffeine than coffee. One to one, tea actually has more caffeine. However, one uses a lot more coffee to make a cup of Joe than one uses for a proper cup of tea. Thus, tea is often about half the caffeine level of coffee. One of the reasons I switched from coffee to tea a while back was to reduce my intake of caffeine. I also liked the lightness of the taste. 
  2. Tea has anti-oxidants that fight cancer. This may or may not be true. It seems that everything is labelled as either giving you cancer or fighting cancer. Are there any cancer neutral foods? What exactly is an anti-oxidant, anyway? It’s a chemical found in plant-based foods that counter the effects of oxidants from the environment and manufactured by your body. Some studies link oxidants to cancers, etc. However, your body needs a certain amount of oxidants to function properly. This is where all the recommendations collide. The folks selling supplements want you to think that you need to load up on anti-oxidants for health. Of course, they want to make as much money as possible. Balance, as always is the best course. Stick to natural, plant-based sources and you’ll be fine. It’s very hard to overdose on blueberries or tea, but you can easily go overboard with pills.
  3. Green tea will help you lose weight. Really? It’s that simple? So, here’s my new weight loss plan: drink green tea and lose as much as you want! I don’t think that’s how it works. Weight loss is even more complicated than eating less and exercising more. If you like green tea, drink it. If you don’t, I don’t know if picking up the habit will help you lose weight. For me, I find that I don’t add milk to tea, though I like it in coffee. By switching to tea, I’ve cut out the very small amount of extra calories I was adding to my daily diet. But I doubt that marginal practice did much to my weight.
You'll have to do more research to find out how much of any of these assertions are true. I'll give you some advice: don't do an internet search.

The internet is a terrible place to find the truth. It primarily exists to help you find confirmation of your current beliefs. However, it's an excellent place for funny cat videos.

Every so often there's a spate of articles claiming the health effects of any consumer product. Generally, after someone tells you that chocolate or whatever has curative powers, you find out that the studies were sponsored by an industry organization, and that the fad is really a cynical ploy for corporations to make more money by stoking our hopes, fears, and aspirations. That being said, whether tea and chocolate are “good” for me is irrelevant. I like them and plan to continue consuming them.

As for tea, in particular, I like the way it smells and tastes. It warms you on a cold day and perks you up when you start to flag. I have nothing against coffee, which I also drink from time to time when the mood or occasion seems right. But the older I get, the more I like tea.

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#tea #anti-oxidants #greentea #blacktea


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