The fitness industry is overflowing with “quick fix” type products. One of the more recent, and frankly, more frustrating of these fads that have taken foot are the various “fit tea’s”. If you have an Instagram and spend any time following famous “influencers” or perusing the popular page you have no doubt come across one of these products. The teas come in many forms from, “detox”, “cleanse”, “lean” and so on. Generally, the people and brands promoting these teas are not shy about the supposed effects, promising everything from increased metabolism, rapid fat loss, and one brand I found even promised, “whole body cleansing.” Anything labeled with the term "cleanse" should raise caution as the body already has mechanisms in place perform cleansing within the body like the kidneys and liver, and there are no teas that will outperform those organs. A quick examination of the ingredient list and a more informed consumer will quickly see these teas’ for what they are – snake oil.
I performed a quick review of four different tea brands and found the following:
- All teas contained some form of green tea, and two of them contained one additional type of tea. (Many teas contains caffeine, which can improve performance and metabolism).
- One brand included garcinia cambogia (an ingredient proven to be “overhyped” by the overwhelming body of evidence).
- Some include a variety of roots that might have some secondary health benefits.
- None of the ingredients listed actively supported the organs within the body that actually “cleanse” the body.
- Many contain added vitamins to support outrageous label claims.
- One companies “FAQ” section answered 3 questions about the tea itself and over 30 about payments and shipping – deliberate ambiguity? I think so.
KEY POINT: If a supplement contains even ONE ingredient that is proven to increase something correlated with metabolism (such as caffeine and its ability to increase aerobic performance) then a company can label it with any tagline they see fit. Enter “Extreme unchained energy of the gods.” Who hasn’t seen that on a pre-workout or two?
After a general review of some of the more popular fitness-related tea products, I can confidently say that they are for the most part a manipulation of labeling and misrepresentation of effects. Because they include caffeine they can make label claims regarding “fat loss” and “metabolism.” Because some include added vitamins they can use terms regarding “immunity” and “cleansing”. One way or the other, the general scientific consensus regarding these products is that they are a waste of money – unless you enjoy drinking overpriced “vita-tea”.
If you really want to flatten your tummy or cleanse your body, try a more researched backed approach. Properly programmed resistance training paired with a healthful and calorically balanced diet.