Quantcast
Health
iStock

Does Weight Loss Tea Really Work?

By Eleise Britt

Weight loss teas claim to suppress appetite, increase fat burning and boost metabolism.

But do they work?

This article takes a sales-free look at the scientific evidence.

What Is Weight Loss Tea?

Weight loss teas are usually a blend of tea and herbs, depending on the brand.

They're said to help with weight loss by enhancing fat burning, increasing metabolism and suppressing appetite.

Many are also marketed as "detox teas" and "fit teas," with claims they increase energy and cleanse your body of toxins.

Most of these teas come with a recommended exercise and eating plan to be followed in addition to drinking the tea every day or two.

They are generally expensive and heavily marketed on social media.

Summary: Weight loss teas are a blend of tea and herbs that are claimed to enhance weight loss through several different mechanisms. Detox teas and fit teas are similar and all come at a premium price.

Diuretics and Laxatives in Weight Loss Tea

Many weight loss teas contain laxatives, caffeine or diuretics.

These ingredients can lead to short-term loss of water weight, giving you the illusion of having lost weight or feeling slimmer.

As the name suggests, a drop in water weight is a drop in the amount of water stored in the body. This type of weight loss is not from a reduction of fat stores and is not a sustainable method of weight loss.

As soon as you stop using the tea or hydrate properly, you will regain the water weight.

Losing water weight can also lead to dehydration. It is not a healthy or safe practice and can lead to serious health problems.

For weight loss to be sustainable you need to decrease the amount of fat stored in the body.

Laxatives

Many weight loss teas contain a natural laxative called senna.

Laxatives make you move your bowels more frequently and in some cases senna can cause stomach cramps, pain and diarrhea.

Long-term use of laxatives is not only unpleasant, it can become dangerous.

Continual use can cause your body to become dependent on the laxative, which is especially problematic when you stop taking them. Dehydration and severe electrolyte imbalance can also occur.

Also be mindful that psyllium husk, a type of fiber supplement, can have a laxative effect. It's commonly used as an ingredient in weight loss teas.

Diuretics

Diuretics make you urinate.

This is because they stimulate the body to excrete increased water and sodium.

This may be useful if your body is holding on to excess fluid. However, they are not useful for long-term weight loss and can cause dehydration.

Natural diuretics found in weight loss teas include:

  • Dandelion
  • Hawthorn
  • Juniper
  • Parsley
  • Hibiscus
  • Nettle
  • Caffeine.

Tea leaves naturally contain caffeine, albeit in small amounts.

Summary: Many weight loss teas contain laxatives and diuretics. They can cause a loss of water weight but not body fat.

Do They Enhance Fat Burning, Suppress Appetite and Boost Metabolism?

Some weight loss teas do not contain diuretics or laxatives.

Instead they use ingredients claimed to have fat-burning, appetite-suppressing and metabolism-boosting properties.

Many of these ingredients lack evidence to support these claims.

Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia has been used as an ingredient in many weight loss supplements.

However, evidence to support weight loss claims is not strong.

A large systematic review of trials found any weight loss that resulted from taking garcinia cambogia was minimal and short term (1).

Watch this video for a more in depth look at garcinia cambogia.

Ginseng

There's no solid evidence in humans available to support any weight loss effects of Ginseng (2).

This includes gynostemma pentaphyllum which is often referred to as a type of ginseng.

Next Page
Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Health
"From 1992 to 2016, heat killed 783 workers in the U.S. and seriously injured nearly 70,000, according to a new report on heat risks." InsideClimateNews / USDA

Protect Workers From Extreme Heat, Advocates Urge OSHA

A broad coalition of worker advocacy, public health and environmental groups on Tuesday called on the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to create a workplace standard for heat stress.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Emilie Chen / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Against All Odds, Mountain Gorilla Numbers Are on the Rise

By Jason Bittel

The news coming out of East Africa's Virunga Mountains these days would have made the late (and legendary) conservationist Dian Fossey very happy. According to the most recent census, the mountain gorillas introduced to the world in Gorillas in the Mist, Fossey's book and the film about her work, have grown their ranks from 480 animals in 2010 to 604 as of June 2016. Add another couple hundred apes living in scattered habitats to the south, and their population as a whole totals more than 1,000. Believe it or not, this makes the mountain gorilla subspecies the only great apes known to be increasing in number.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
San Cristóbal de las Casas, in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Tjeerd Wiersma from Amsterdam, The Netherlands / CC BY 2.0

How Coca-Cola and Climate Change Created a Public Health Crisis in a Mexican Town

A lack of drinking water and a surplus of Coca-Cola are causing a public health crisis in the Mexican town of San Cristóbal de las Casas, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Some neighborhoods in the town only get running water a few times a week, so residents turn to soda, drinking more than half a gallon a day on average.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Plastic trash isn't safe for kids, whether human or bear. Kevin Morgans Wildlife Photography

Even Polar Bear Cubs Can’t Escape Plastic Pollution

By Allison Guy

Plastic bags are often stamped with an all-caps warning: This bag is not a toy. Unfortunately, polar bear moms don't have much control over their kids' playthings.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Insights
Sea level rise is a natural consequence of the warming of our planet. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

We Can’t Hide From Global Warming’s Consequences

Over the past few months, heat records have broken worldwide.

In early July, the temperature in Ouargla, Algeria, reached 51.3°C (124.34°F), the highest ever recorded in Africa! Temperatures in the eastern and southwestern U.S. and southeastern Canada have also hit record highs. In Montreal, people sweltered under temperatures of 36.6°C (97.88°F), the highest ever recorded there, as well as record-breaking extreme midnight heat and humidity, an unpleasant experience shared by people in Ottawa. Dozens of people have died from heat-related causes in Quebec alone.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
Stacey_newman / Getty Images

More Than a Third of Schools Tested Have ‘Elevated Levels’ of Lead in Drinking Water

A troubling new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that more than a third of the nation's schools that tested their water for lead found "elevated levels" of the neurotoxin. But despite heightened concern in recent years about lead in drinking water, more than 40 percent of schools surveyed conducted no lead testing in 2016.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Bill Pugliano / Stringer / Getty Images

Can Elon Musk Fix Flint’s Water?

By Fiona E. McNeill

The Michigan community of Flint has become a byword for lead poisoning. Elon Musk recently entered the fray. He tweeted a promise to pay to fix the water in any house in Flint that had water contamination above acceptable levels set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
A researcher at Oregon State University examines creeping bentgrass. Oregon State University / Flickr / Tiffany Woods

You Need to Be Paying Attention to GMO Grass

By Dan Nosowitz

Creeping bentgrass doesn't get as much attention as other genetically modified plants. But this plant tells us an awful lot—emphasis on the "awful"—about how GMO plants are regulated and monitored.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!