What’s the skinny on skinny teas?

By Sarah Noone Nutrition News   |   26th Apr 2019

Our expert dietitian Sarah Noone on why time is up for ‘tea-toxes’

Chances are you have recently spotted ads for ‘Skinny Detox Teas’ that promise a ‘shortcut to weight loss’, a ‘tea-tox’ or ‘detox transformation’, featuring celebrities and influencers, all over your social media feeds.

The skinny detox tea trend has been around for ages but unfortunately the power of social media has further fueled their promotion. Skinny Detox Teas promise to help you ‘lose weight’, ‘detox’ or both. But do they work?

Weight-loss

There is no magic bullet to help you maintain or lose weight. ‘Tea-toxes’ do not encourage a healthy lifestyle and tend to target young people who may not even need to lose weight.

The best-case scenario is that you are spending your money on something that has no effect. Most of these drinks contain herbs that have very little evidence of promoting weight loss. The worst-case scenario is that you end up spending a lot of time in the bathroom. Some of these teas contain ingredients which have a laxative effect – which will cause the number on the scales to go down, but only through dehydration and fluid loss, this is completely different to fat loss. Long-term laxative abuse is dangerous and can leave you with ongoing gastrointestinal issues and nutritional deficiencies.

Tea-tox

What about the detox claims? There is no scientific evidence that ‘tea-toxes’ help detoxify the body. In fact, the whole idea of detox is a super fad. There is no evidence that toxins even build up in our bodies. Except for a few people, a number of organs in our bodies such as the liver, kidney, lungs and gut are constantly ‘detoxing’ i.e. filtering out waste products and toxins and if they weren’t doing their job properly, we would feel very ill.

There is also no evidence that detox teas, diets, pills, drinks, potions, lotions, patches etc. can speed up the body’s natural filtering process or act as a magic wand to get rid of toxins. Although some people may say they feel better when they try these teas, it is probably because they have been overindulging prior to starting a ‘health kick’, so, a few days of lighter meals and increased physical activity which often accompany the ‘teatox’, will of course make them feel better.

" The whole idea of detox is a super fad,"

Sarah Noone, Dietitian, The Irish Heart Foundation

The bottom line is to forget the fads and instead try some of our proven hacks to better health:

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