The fact that bottled water is a waste of money is news to no one. But what about bottled tea? As companies market the traditionally staid beverage in easy-to-grab, already-brewed bottles over outdated tea bags or loose leaves, they champion the beverage’s antioxidants. Unfortunately for their marketing campaign, it looks like they’ve forfeited substance for style.
Bottled Tea Lacks Health Benefits
A new study by the biotechnology company Wellgen concludes that bottled tea is likely to contain significantly fewer antioxidants than the home-brewed version. Antioxidants are known to protect cells from certain types of damage and are suspected to help prevent diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. Yet already-bottled teas tend to compensate for antioxidants with sugar. Since antioxidants (polyphenols, specifically) are bitter in taste and consumers are generally drawn to sweets, tipping the ratio in favor of sugar benefits sales—but not health.
Our Money Should Support Our Health
According to MSNBC, U.S. tea sales earn about $7 billion dollars per year. When a single tea bag costs about 12 cents, that’s an overwhelming number. But a bottle of tea, on the lower end at $1.39, costs over 10 times that. For some easily-toted landfill fodder with considerably fewer health benefits, we’re paying 10 times more than we would to bring some water to boil at home or at the office and fill an eco-friendly travel mug. From now on, justify your disdain of bottled tea with the fact that it’s more expensive, less healthy, and lousy for the environment.
Tell us in the comments: Do you drink bottled tea?