Teatoxing Is A New Tea-Based Health Trend. Here’s Why You Should Skip It

Why you should pass on this weight-loss fad.

We all know and indulge in detoxification—in the form of spa treatments, antioxidant-rich foods, and juice cleanses. But now there’s a new spin on it: the “teatox.” 

Teatoxes are not tea-only cleanses (that would border on fasting). Rather, they are specially calibrated teas designed to be consumed alongside a calorie-controlled diet, multiple times per day, for given periods of time (usually two to four weeks). They are touted as hunger-curbing, energy-amplifying, weight-loss-aiding, detoxifying health boosters. 

Not so fast, says Scarsdale Medical Group Director of Nutrition Elizabeth DeRobertis: “There’s no published research to show teatoxes are safe or effective for weight loss. And since they’re considered dietary supplements rather than foods, the companies behind them don’t need to prove any of the claims listed on their labels.” 

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And if you examine those labels, you might be concerned by what you find. One common ingredient to watch for, says DeRobertis, is senna leaf. It’s approved by the FDA as a nonprescription laxative to treat constipation and—brace yourself—clear the bowel before a colonoscopy. Teatoxes often contain ingredients designed to promote urination as well, known diuretics like dandelion, nettle, and fennel.

“If your goal is to lose weight, skip the teatox,” advises DeRobertis. “Instead, follow the healthy food and exercise plans provided on some of the teatox websites.” Those diet plans (check out Bootea’s, for example, at www.bootea.com), ironically, comprise the elements of healthy eating that are more likely to get you where you want to be weight-wise, safely and sustainably. 

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