We have all heard of a liquid detox.
Whether in the form of specific juices, or spiced water, it does not really matter. They all have very similar components.
Firstly, they are commonly advertised as a way to improve ‘health’, while simultaneously promoting rapid weight loss.
And secondly, they often involve a short term diet that consists of ONLY liquid.
Now, despite a considerable amount of media attention and huge number of celebrity endorsements, these types of liquid detoxes have begun to reduce in popularity.
This is ultimately due to the realisation that liquid only diets do not have the capacity to sustain the natural, healthy, functioning of the human body for very long at all. As a result, these liquid only detox’s can actually have negative health implications on the body, inhibiting immune system function, and leading to disease and illness (kind of the opposite of what is advertised…)
Additionally, it is debatable whether these types of diets have any kind of ‘detoxifying’ effect, as they have zero human research based evidence to back up their health related claims.
But more recently, a new type of detox has been growing in popularity.
It is known as a tea detox (or ‘teatox’ in some circles), and has gained traction in the health and fitness industry due to its much gentler (and realistic) approach to detoxifying the body.
This approach effectively consists of adding a specific type of green or herbal tea blend to a healthy diet, rather than replacing solid foods entirely.
They are suggested to provide all the positive health effects that come with drinking herbal and green teas, without the undue stress placed on the body in a typical liquid detox .
Arguably the most popular tea detox on the market right now is the ‘Fit Tea Detox’, which advertises to ‘boost energy, boost immunity, boost metabolism, and burn fat’.
But what does it actually consist of?
And does it really work?
Like most detox teas advertised on the market today, Fit Tea is a blend of different types of teas, and a number of other natural herbs that are suggested to have a positive effect on the human body .
Green tea is a key component of the Fit Tea Detox.
Green tea has shown to cause an increase in both fat mobilisation and metabolic rate, creating an environment where fat becomes the main fuel source of the body, and we actually use more of it to maintain general function.
Over time this can lead to a significant increase in fat loss.
Additionally, green tea has shown to improve immune system function, while also improving a number of different health markers.
While this does seem to support some of the key claims of Fit Tea (boos immunity, boost metabolism, burn fat), it does not suggest that it is any better than a normal (and most likely cheaper) green tea.
Taking a further look at the various ingredients of Fit Tea is essential to gaining an understanding of how it differs to a simple green tea available at your local grocery store.
This is where Fit Tea does differ from some other detox teas.
Oolong Wu Yi Tea is a specific type of fermented white tea that contains a number of beneficial antioxidants (similar to those found in green teas).
This fermented white tea also contains a high amount of caffeine.
Considering that caffeine can significantly increase metabolic rate, it can also contribute to an increase in fat loss.
Again, an ingredient that is not as commonly occurring in other detox tea blends, Rooobos Tea is a red tea that contains a massive amount of anti oxidants.
Roobios tea also contains a number of different substrates that have both anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties on the human body.
Both these antioxidants, and these specific compounds can help promote immune system function and reduce inflammation. This reduces our likelihood of developing illness and disease.
Ginger is one of the few spices that demonstrate positive effects on the human body. In fact, it could be considered the healthiest spice available on the planet.
It is full of nutrients and bioactive compounds that have a host of benefits.
In regards to the benefits of including it in a detox tea blend, firstly, ginger has a serious anti-inflammatory effect on our cells. This can improve their capacity to function, increasing the body’s ability to use stored energy, which can promote an increased rate of fat loss while simultaneously reducing our risk of disease.
Secondly, ginger can reduce indigestion and improve gut health. By improving the body’s ability to digest food and maintain the health of our gut bacteria, we can improve our capacity to use food for energy, aiding in weight loss.
Additionally, ginger also can suppress appetite. With less hunger cravings throughout the day, we are less likely to overeat. This is going to have obvious effects on weight loss over the ‘detox’ period.
While often suggested to be a type of ‘superfruit’, pomegranate is a fruit that contains a relatively high amount of antioxidants.
These antioxidants are likely to aid in the healthy functioning of the human body and its immune system, while also having some anti-carcinogenic properties, which MAY reduce he risk of developing cancer.
Another substance that is quite high in caffeine.
Again, its effects are likely to be similar, promoting an increase in metabolism. This metabolic increase may help promote weight loss over time.
This ingredient is actually an interesting inclusion.
Birch is a compound that acts as a natural diuretic to the human body.
Effectively, it flushes excess water from our system. While this may sound like a good way to ‘detox’, it actually does not have any detoxifying effect, but merely removes untainted fluid from our system.
In reality, as water is quite dense (and as such quite heavy), I believe birch has been added to create the perception of rapid weight loss through water removal.
Once we remove birch from the diet, water retention will return to normal, and weight will increase (in a normal and healthy manner) as a direct result.
The Fit Tea Detox is actually quite a simple process that shouldn’t place any negative stress on the body (such as that one would experience with traditional liquid detoxes).
The expectation is that you drink 1 cup of Fit Tea Detox per day. This is in conjunction (not ‘instead of’) with a diet consisting of healthy balanced meals. No meal plans are provided, so this step is up to your own personal interpretation of what a ‘healthy, balanced meal’ actually is.
Additionally, during the detox period you are also expected exercise between three and five times per week.
So does this Fit Tea actually work?
Will the Fit Tea detox help improve the immune system, increase energy levels and promote weight loss?
In short, yes, it SHOULD help with each of these things.
As described above a number of ingredients are full of antioxidants and substances that contain anti-viral and anti-inflammatory qualities. This is going to result in a significant increase in immune system function, making you feel better throughout the day, while also reducing your likelihood of developing disease and illness.
You are likely to experience a significant boost in energy levels after taking green tea, although this is strictly a result for the relatively large amount of caffeine in the supplement. Unfortunately, due to the high dosage of caffeine contained in the tea, there is a chance that you will actually experience a ‘crash’ 4-8 hours after its consumption, which is not beneficial to maintaining high energy levels throughout the entirety of the day.
There are a number of components that may contribute to weight loss over the detox period. Firslty, you will experience a significant boost in both fat metabolism, and resting metabolic rate, which can create a ‘fat burning’ environment. Secondly, you will lose water weight due to the diuretic effect of the tea. Unfortunately this weight will be regained as soon as you cease consumption of the tea.
Ultimately, the claims the tea make are not ridiculous, and as a product, it is a perfectly acceptable way to improve health and promote weight loss.
Although the biggest contributing factor to you reaching your goals on the Fit Tea Detox isn’t actually the tea itself, but rather what else you do while you are undertaking the tea detox. The detox recommends a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise.
The tea blend will ‘supplement’ these lifestyle changes very effectively by making the results from eating a healthy balanced diet and exercising regularly much more profound .
It is unlikely that an individual will experience any significant changes in their body weight, or overall health if they do not make these lifestyle changes and only drink the tea itself.
As a natural product, it will not have the capacity to work with no exercise and a poor diet.
The Fit Tea Detox will really shine when supplemented with good, healthy lifestyle choices.
1. Fit Tea (2016) Ingredients, Fit Tea Detox. Retrieved from: http://www.fittea.com/pages/ingredients
2. Sass, C (2015) 5 Things You Should Know About Detox Teas, Health News. Retrieved from: http://news.health.com/2015/06/15/5-things-you-should-know-about-detox-teas/
3. Schultz, R (2016) The Truth About Detox Teas, Shape. Retrieved from: http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-drinks/truth-about-detox-teas
John has been a fitness enthusiast for over 10 years, starting out while struggling with obesity as a teenager. Over the years he has advised numerous clients on how to transform their physiques and their lives. As a writer on Nutrition Inspector he aims to help others achieve real results by staying clear of the common hype and false claims in the supplement industry!