Loaded Teas Are All The Rage But For The Wrong Reasons

Ever heard of a loaded tea? At first, I thought: it must be tea with booze in it. Sounds like a win-win, right?


My hopes were crushed when I read that this trendy, and overly Instagrammed beverage comes with the promise of weight loss, health and happiness yet is bringing many drinkers far more pain than gain.

Symptoms that occur after drinking loaded teas have bubbled to the surface on social media, with tea-loaders sharing scary anecdotes about extreme jitters, high blood pressure, flushed skin and other symptoms.

Despite their productivity and fitness promises, loaded teas are usually just a variation of an energy drink, experts claim. While none of the base ingredients of loaded tea are inherently bad, they become dangerous when consumed in high quantities, as with most things in life.

Some say it’s the dose that’s the poison. Too much of something that may have some positive effect, like caffeine, for instance, in normal levels in a real food, may become dangerous at high levels, in concentrated forms or when combined with other ingredients.

On average, loaded teas often have 175 to 200 milligrams of caffeine — that’s anywhere from one to three cups of strong coffee. For caffeine-sensitive individuals, this can wreak havoc to their system.

Suppliers and customers of loaded teas keep raving about the health benefits, claiming it’s “packed with vitamins” and “plant based caffeine for energy, ginseng and guarana for hunger control and mental focus.”  Phrases like “metabolism booster,” “clean energy” and “thermogenic” are thrown around all over the show.

First of all, it’s pretty disturbing that people are calling a drink filled with guarana healthy. WebMD notes that high doses of guarana are problematic due to the caffeine content.

Just because something looks good doesn’t make them healthy or safe. 

A research piece on Medium notes the increase of loaded tea shops in the United States and they are most likely relying upon Herbalife products.

Herbalife is a multi-level marketing corporation, something many folks today consider a pyramid scheme. Back in the 80s and 90s, the company was under fire for several deaths for their use of fen-phen, which was eventually taken of the market.

In the past five to six years, Herbalife has continued to draw scrutiny regarding the safety of its products. Even today, experts question the safety amid claims of heavy metals and liver damage.

A growing body of scientific evidence shows that energy drinks can have serious health effects, particularly in children, teenagers and young adults, warned a post from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

As for loaded teas, consumers should be wary, especially when the market for the beverage and their ilk is so vast, well-marketed and often poorly labeled.

To be clear, we’re not saying you should avoid the beverage at all costs. The occasional bright blue or electric orange loaded tea will most likely not cause any harm, but don’t be fooled by magnetic claims on the front of your cup, pulling you in to buy something that could bring more harm than good.