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TheDailyMeal: 8 ‘Healthy Drinks’ That Are Actually Terrible for You

Bottled Tea

We know, after all the hype and excitement over the health benefits of tea, you think you’re getting the same health-boosting kick from bottled tea. Don’t believe it — those Big Gulp-sized Arizona Teas aren’t doing any favors for your body. A presentation at the 2010 American Chemical Society meeting showed some scary facts: while bottled teas have fewer chemicals than home-brewed tea (thanks to mass production), they’re stripped of the natural goodness that makes them so healthy. That means they’re without the antioxidants and polyphenols that do the booty-kicking of cancer and other diseases. In the study presented, the researchers found that bottled teas contained as little as 3 milligrams, and as much as 81 milligrams, of polyphenols. If that sounds like a lot, consider this: home-brewed black or green tea will contain anywhere between 50 and 150 milligrams — not even close. That means you’d have to drink about 20 cups of bottled tea to get the amount of polyphenols you get from just one cup of homebrewed tea.

The reason behind the missing polyphenols? Polyphenols in general are bitter-tasting, so manufacturers add tons of sugar to cover up the taste — and even decrease the amount of tea in the actual bottle. So, if you’re a fan of sugar water, keep going for those teas. If you really do want to keep drinking bottled tea, Men’s Health commissioned a bottled tea test to find which teas contained the most antioxidants and polyphenols (including ECGC, a known fighter against cancer) and came up with a helpful list.

(Credit: Facebook/ Arizona Tea)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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