Products Flat Tummy Tea, Fit Tea, TeaMi, and countless other detox teas can be seen just about anywhere these days. Scroll through your Instagram feed and it won't take long to find a celebrity or influencer of varying levels of fame going on and on about the supposed benefits of these wonder teas.
But are these nothing more than ads masquerading as organic posts or is there something to these detox teas? Can products like Flat Tummy Tea actually give a flat tummy or is it all your head?
Let's take a deep dive into the world of detox teas and see what we can find out.
Before we can dive into the sea of supposed detox tea benefits, we first must understand what detox tea is exactly.
Detox teas are herbal teas that are used as a method of detoxifying the body. These types of teas have been around for a long time and even have roots in traditional Chinese medicine and other forms of herbalism.
Although the practice of drinking herbal teas has been around for centuries, the popularity of these teas has grown exponentially in recent years thanks to flashy brands being gussied up by influencers and celebrities.
Here are some of the most popular brands out today:
People tend to take detox teas when they are looking to remove harmful substances from their bodies. Through intervals ranging between 14 and 30 days, detox teas can potentially have positive impacts on the liver and kidneys by eliminating toxins that have built up over time.
The teas alone aren't typically enough, however, as people who want the most out of the 14-day or 30-day program should also follow a restrictive diet and exercise while taking a detox tea.
Results from these programs will differ from person to person, but that doesn't stop people from making claims about the benefits of these supposed wonder teas. But most of those claims like detox tea being healthier than green or black tea and detox tea helping people lose weight have been debunked by healthcare professionals.
But are they safe? Well, it depends on how the individual user treats the detox tea program. If they follow the instructions and stick to a healthy diet, they'll probably see some benefits and not do too much harm to their body. But everything knows how that goes.
All of supposed health benefits of detox teas should be taken with a grain of salt as the ingredient lists aren't regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Who knows exactly what is going into these teas.
Even though there are no clinical studies looking into the benefits of detox teas or other detoxifying foods and drinks, individual companies (and their armies of paid celebrities and influencers) will say that there is a product for everything.
So, what are some of the "health benefits" of these wonder detox teas?
One of the biggest claims out there is that detox tea can reduce bloating, it's hard to find any credible information once you get past the sassy marketing approach by a lot of these companies.
And that's basically true for every single one of the purported health benefits. The companies all have some edgy and fun approach to marketing the benefits and healthy properties of the teas, but what they have in useless information, they lack in credible fact-based research into their claims.
A lot of the supposed benefits of these detox teas are actually nothing more than fancy ways of saying they have side effects.
All of that energy? That's just a lot of caffeine, which isn't good for the body in high doses. Too much caffeine intake can lead to digestive issues, irritation, restlessness, fast heart rate, and anxiety.
Basically, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration before starting a detox tea regimen.
Despite there being no clinical studies backing up claims about detox teas, people still buy the stuff like there's no tomorrow.
So, why do people continue to purchase and take the stuff if it's no secret that detox tea has marginal results at best?
While it's true that you might lose weight, after a 14-day or 30-cycle of detox tea, it's not actual fat that people are losing. Instead, they're reducing their water weight.
Most of the teas act as laxatives that cause users to eliminate waste, which will give them a flatter stomach as long as they continue to drink the tea. Once they go back to their old habits and stop drinking detox tea, those extra pounds won't be far behind.
Do these people continue to drink detox tea as a way of putting off the inevitable situation where they put on the weight once again and that tight belly becomes bloated like it was before they started the cycle? Or is it something more? Something like the blitz of posts about the products on social media?
People who avoid the detox tea circles or social media platforms, like Instagram, probably aren't aware of the persistent marketing campaigns orchestrated by these brands and the celebrities/influencers they pay to hawk their products to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of followers.
With everyone from Kourtney Kardashian to Vanessa Hudgens (and scores of other celebrities and influencers) peddling these products on Instagram, it's hard to avoid the daily "posts" that are actually nothing more than ads.
It's a lot easier to determine that these are ads now, thanks to Instagram's 2017 integration of a branded content tool requiring high-profile users to note when they were being paid to make posts. But still, it's hard to avoid these posts, #ad and all.
But the issues with promotion doesn't stop with the celebrity and influencer model... that's just the beginning.
Most of these fit tea, detox tea, and health tea brands typically don't feature real people in their ads. No, these are real, living people, but they're typically extremely skinny and fit already. If these models even use the products they're promoting, chances are they didn't get that body just by drinking tea two times a day. The ads don't tell you that, though. Instead, these ads tell consumers that they will get the body and look of the model just by buying the product. Only if life worked like that.
And with these marketing strategies, it's not a big jump to say that this is nothing more than false advertising. That's more on the consumers for falling for it, but it's still false advertising on the company's part.
Models, celebrities, and influencers will continue to push these products, tea companies will continue to pay them, and consumers will continue to buy the FitTea, Tummy Tea, and other detox teas of the world.
It's hard to gauge as to whether or not these products actually work because there is little to no credible clinical research conducted into the effects of these detox teas. These products might work for some people and not for others, but that more comes down to diet and exercise, opposed to some miracle detox tea that someone drinks in the morning and at night.
If people are aware of the pros and cons of the detox teas, they should be able to make a decision on their own.