I was driving home from the beach…

blasting the new Britney song (love G-Eazy!) and sipping some iced tea.

iced tea

Not iced green tea with ginseng.  Not an iced matcha latte.

Just plain old iced tea.  I had forgotten how much I liked it.

And guess what…plain iced tea is pretty good for you! 

It’s easy to find fresh brewed, unsweetened iced tea at most restaurants.  Even fast food places like McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts.

I’m not talking about the bottled iced tea at convenience stores.  Most of that has added sweeteners, even corn syrup, and some type of preservative.

Traditional iced tea is made from black tea.  While green tea seems to get the most attention, there are some benefits to black tea also.

The tannins in tea are what give most of the flavor.  Tannins also contain antimicrobial, antiviral and antibacterial qualities.  In addition, they contribute to the stimulant effect of tea.

Black tea, like green, contains L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxed alertness…in other words, it helps you focus.  Green tea contains a higher concentration of it though.

Tea is high in antioxidants as well.  Both the antioxidant and alkaloid content may help prevent the growth of some tumors, and protect against certain cancers including skin cancer.  The antioxidants also improve the overall health of your skin.

Try to drink your iced tea unsweetened.  It’s great with a squeeze of lemon.  And you know how I feel about lemon…don’t even get me started!

Iced tea without anything added has no calories.  I’m not big on counting calories, but calories from sugary drinks can really contribute to weight gain.

When I make iced tea at home, I use organic tea bags.  Because I can.  But I don’t freak about that when I’m out.  Even though tea can contain some pesticide residue, it’s still a much better option than most drinks.

Speaking of making iced tea at home, there are several ways to do it.  The traditional way is brewing strong hot tea, then chilling and pouring over ice.

You can also do a cold brew, where you put tea bags in water and let them sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.  I have done this with herbal teas and they turned out great.

And then there’s sun tea, where you put the tea bags and water in a jar and let it sit out in the sun to brew.  I haven’t tried it, but still remember my mom doing it back in the 70’s.

There are a few downsides to iced tea.  The caffeine thing for one.

Caffeine is not necessarily bad, but too much of it can be.  Caffeine content varies greatly depending on how strong the tea is and how much ice you use.  Just pay attention to how you feel.  I don’t drink iced tea any later than mid afternoon, and it never seems to keep me up.

Oh, and then there’s the teeth staining thing.  Coffee and tea can both stain your teeth, but in my experience tea is a little worse.  Not to worry…I’m working on a post on that very topic.  Stay tuned!

So, can drinking iced tea help you feel happy, healthy and hot?  You know it!  You’ll be happy enjoying a refreshing drink on a hot day.  The antioxidants and tannins help you stay healthy.  And since it is great for your skin and may even help you lose weight, you’ll certainly be hot!

 

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4 thoughts on “I was driving home from the beach…

  1. I really wanna have iced teas, but just cant stand the taste of tea for some reason :/ I live in Qatar and here the locals love “Karak” which is a spiced tea. Tastes sweet and really nice, that’s the only tea my taste buds have ever approved of.

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  2. I’m English so tea is kind of in the blood! I tend to have coffee in the morning and green tea in the afternoon (less so in the hot weather), but will have black tea (with milk – it doesn’t stain your teeth so much) if out and about. I was just thinking I should get back to more tea, as it has been too hot. Perhaps I should try iced tea!

    Karak does sound like chai, I agree.

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  3. Interesting about the milk in black tea…hadn’t thought of that! It’s funny, I like some type of milk in my chai, but not in regular black tea. And you really should try iced tea on a hot day, Tanya…it’s so refreshing!

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