Hey, java lovers: Can you absolutely not function in the morning without your venti iced coffee? Or maybe you prefer your delicious caffeinated beverage à la Dunkin Donuts’ s’mores iced coffee for a true treat.
If you cannot imagine living life without the sweet, cold buzz of caffeine running through your veins, you likely never thought about swapping your daily cold brew for good ol’ iced tea. But hear us out: There are tons of benefits to switching to iced tea altogether, and we’re here to give you the scoop.
HelloGiggles spoke with two nutrition experts and they spilled all the tea, both giving convincing arguments for saying bye bye to your beloved cold brew.
1All those antioxidants.
According to Robert Glatter M.D., Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in NYC, there are tons of health benefits to sipping iced tea on the regular. He says, “Iced tea is loaded with antioxidants which help fight inflammation, and thus reduce the development of dangerous plaque in coronary arteries.”
Kimberly Snyder, nutritionist and multi-time New York Times best-selling author of the Beauty Detox book series and Radical Beauty agrees, recommending iced teas that come sans caffeine or with it, depending on your preference. “I recommend switching to iced herbal teas or caffeine-free rooibos tea because they add great flavor, contain antioxidants, such as aspalathin and nothofagin, and don’t have the caffeine of iced green or black tea…But iced green teas of course have lot of antioxidants as well if you do want some caffeine.”
2There are tons of other health benefits, too.
Glatter says, “People who drink tea regularly have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.”
3Coffee can be harder on our bodies.
While Glatter says studies do show certain benefits to drinking coffee, she also noted that coffee doesn’t necessarily deserve the health halo many would like to credit it with. She added, “Heavy coffee consumption can cause a deficiency in B vitamins, and specifically B1, thiamine. This can make us feel fatigued, nervous and achy, and not provide any headache relief.” She notes that coffee is highly acidic, which can tax our organs, such as our liver, cause nutritional deficiencies, and even stress our adrenals.
4You’ll be cutting down your caffeine intake.
Both Snyder and Glatter agree that if you’re sensitive to caffeine but can enjoy it in small amounts with no ill effects, that iced tea is your best option. Glatter says “Eight ounces of black tea contains 14-70 mg of caffeine, and green tea has 24-45 mg, while there is 95-200 mg in a similar serving size of coffee.” Because there’s a huge difference, Glatter recommends sticking with tea if you are sensitive to the effects of caffeine, adding “The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant that may lead to feelings of heart palpitations, anxiety, or feeling jittery. People with high blood pressure should also limit their caffeine intake because excess intake can cause sharp increases in blood pressure.” And if you’re a cold brew addict, listen up: Glatter says there’s even more caffeine in most cold brews, so “moderation is key” when ordering that venti cold brew.
Snyder notes that at first, your body will need time to adjust to lower levels of caffeine on the regular, but there are numerous health benefits to enjoying less caffeine, and you’ll likely end up sleeping better, suffering from fewer headaches, and even having more energy (really!). All in all, it’s a win-win for your brain and body.
5There are TONS of flavors.
Turns out there are plenty of ways to spruce up iced tea, so you’ll be saying “farewell, Frappucinos!” in no time. Glatter recommends adding cinnamon, fresh mint, or ginger “to boost flavor and antioxidants at the same time.” Plus, there’s always good old lemon, which Snyder raves about, saying, “Lemons are a powerful fruit that can make your complexion look radiant…they are filled with flavor and provide a blast of vitamin C and enzymes to your diet, which lead to fewer wrinkles, refreshed skin, and improved digestion.”
Of course, your iced beverage of choice truly depends on your own dietary needs and what tastes best to you, but we’d say these experts have given us plenty of solid reasons to steep instead of brew. There are so many options out there, why not try them all? We’ll drink to that!