When we talk teas, two in particular — green and matcha — continue to reign supreme as healthy, trendy choices.
But there’s one tea type that, though not as glamorous as matcha, is one of the most beloved traditional choices. And it also happens to be the metabolism-boosting tea you should have every morning to lose weight by March, according to a doctor.
Move over, coffee. After you hear about its many benefits, black tea may just become your new favorite breakfast beverage, not least because of its metabolism-boosting powers.
A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that both black tea and its uber-popular cousin green tea contain antioxidants called polyphenols that protect the body against free radicals, which can damage cells and lead to diseases like cancer. But there’s more.
Green tea has already received its fair share of praise for being able to help you lose weight by changing the liver’s energy metabolism in a way that encourages weight loss. Thanks to this study, black tea is also being recognized for its ability to boost your metabolism.
Lead study author Susanne Henning says: "Our new findings suggest that black tea, through a specific mechanism through the gut microbiome, may also contribute to good health and weight loss in humans."
By studying the impact of decaffeinated black and green tea on mice over a period of four weeks, researchers found that the amount of bad bacteria in their guts decreased and the amount of good bacteria increased. A reduction in inflammation and good gut health is associated with better overall health and weight loss, so it makes sense that drinking these teas would have an effect on our body’s ability to lose weight.
Black tea works differently from green tea. While green tea molecules are small enough to be absorbed by the body, black tea molecules are larger and will stay in the intestine, where they help grow friendly gut bacteria and boost liver energy metabolism.
A separate study of 111 people found that those who drank three cups of black tea every day for three months lost a significant amount of weight and showed a reduction in weight circumference compared to those who drank similar caffeinated beverages.
If that’s not enough evidence to lead you straight into the arms of a cup of black tea, yet another study that followed 4,280 adults over 14 years found that those who had a higher flavone intake from foods and drinks like black tea had a lower BMI then those with a lower flavone intake. Other benefits of foods that contain flavonoids include a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
One thing to keep in mind when you’re brewing that cup (or cups) of black tea: it contains more caffeine than most other tea varieties. Your average 8-ounce cup of black tea has somewhere between 25 to 48 mg of caffeine, which is more than what you’ll find in green tea, cola, and even some energy drinks (though your average cup of coffee still beats black tea with 95 to 165 mg of caffeine per cup). You can opt for decaffeinated versions or simply cut your intake to no more than two to three cups of black tea each day — preferably at breakfast and mid-day so that you don't lose sleep.