Do detox teas really work?

At the beginning of a new year, it seems that many people will try anything to lose weight. Some of those ideas fade long before spring arrives, yet there are others that seem to last year-round. One example are detox teas.

Besides being popular in the weight loss community, there are also health enthusiasts who swear by detox teas. But are they safe? Do they actually hold up to the many health claims surrounding them?

[SEE: Full-Body Detox: 7 Ways to Rejuvenate.]

Let’s review.

Can a Detox Tea Help You to Lose Weight?

If consumed along with your regular diet, a detox tea will probably not help you lose weight. However, many detox teas come with diet instructions basically advocating for minimal calories. In this instance, you most certainly will lose weight, but that’s only because you’re starving yourself. Once your normal eating resumes, your weight will increase again.

Some believe that a detox tea will speed up your metabolism, hence leading to weight loss. But any science-backed association with an increased metabolic rate and drinking tea has only been seen in mice who consumed caffeinated green tea. And unfortunately, very few detox teas include green tea.

[READ: The Best Foods to Soothe a Taxed Digestive System.]

Can Detox Tea Help to Cleanse my Digestive System?

The truth here is that most detox teas make you go to the bathroom, by including a laxative type ingredient, such as the herb senna. You will probably simply lose water weight, but a real cleansing of the digestive system? Not so much.

You’re better off eating foods that are rich in fiber (i.e. fruits, veggies and 100% whole grains), prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics if you want to do anything healthy for your digestive system.

[READ: Probiotics for Weight Loss.]

Will Detox Tea Help to Remove Toxins From My Body?

This is always my favorite question. The fact here is rather simple, our own bodies are designed to get rids of toxins daily, that’s one of the jobs of our kidneys and liver. So, just because a tea is called detox, doesn’t it mean it’s actually doing that for your body.

Will Detox Tea Give Me Energy?

Probably. Most detox teas contain caffeine, which as we all already know can provide someone with a boost of energy.

Will Detox Tea Get Rid of My Bloat?

It all comes back to that most detox teas contain laxatives and caffeine. So, if you are running to the bathroom to poop and pee all day long, chances are you aren’t bloated anymore.

Are Detox Teas Safe?

Since most of these teas are considered dietary supplements, they aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. There have been instances reported where a product included ingredients not listed on the packaging, even some that were allergy-triggering. If you’re on any medications, you should 100% check with your physician before even trying one.

Are There Any Possible Side Effects?

Remember, because many are known to make you poop all day, there’s always the chance that your wind up dehydrated because of chronic diarrhea. And with too much caffeine, you may experience anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, agitation or even eventually a heart attack or stroke.

Bottom Line

Your body doesn’t need a detox tea to detox. And if you want to lose weight, find a well-balanced eating approach that includes a variety of foods, such as fruits, veggies, 100% whole grains, nuts, legumes, poultry, fish and perhaps a nice cup of regular tea.

More from U.S. News

Full-Body Detox: 7 Ways to Rejuvenate

9 Surprising Things That Happen When You Go on a Digital Detox

Tips From Real People to Succeed on the Whole30 Diet

Do Detox Teas Really Work? originally appeared on usnews.com

Tags:

detox | diets | tea

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up