Does Tea Contain Calories? The Complete Guide


It is no surprise that the second most popular and most commonly consumed beverage is Tea – following only water! Consuming tea is a wise, healthy, and yummy decision given that tea comes loaded with polyphenols or antioxidants, which serve to dull the symptoms and provide some relief from certain illnesses. Apart from its health benefits, tea is also the perfect energizer for early mornings and lazy post-lunch afternoons. Herbal and caffeine-free teas can be had throughout the day, to keep one calm and anxiety-free. Let’s read on to know more about the calorie content of a variety of teas, and how they benefit us.

Standalone Tea is Calorie-Free

Yes, this is a simple truth. Since tea is prepared by minimal processing – basically pouring hot water over leaves, stems, or buds of the camellia Sinensis plant, which contain only traces of carbs. What you get is a stimulating and aromatic infusion, with several health benefits and a negligible calorie count. The calories in tea come from adding sugar, milk, and or cream.

The Camellia Sinensis plant is used to produce a variety of teas – black tea, green tea, oolong, and white. These teas contain caffeine and can be prepared both from tea bags and loose tea leaves.

Black tea is virtually calorie-free on its own and contains about 48 mg of caffeine in about 226 grams of tea. As per a survey, it accounts for about 78% of the tea consumed globally. Green tea has zero calories in 226 grams and has a lower amount of caffeine when compared with black tea (about 29 mg in 226 grams) and is consumed by about 20% of the tea-drinking population. White tea is also calorie-free and has a low amount of caffeine. Similar to white tea, Oolong tea contains no calories, with about 29 mg of caffeine to every 226 grams.

Herbal Teas are infusions of herbs, dried fruit, and the leaves, flowers, or buds of plants aside from camellia Sinensis. The most widely loved and consumed herbal teas are peppermint and spearmint, chamomile, hibiscus, lavender, and rooibos – all acclaimed and sought for their healing, restorative, and salutary properties. Similar to other teas, the calorific content of these teas is negligible, with some containing no calories at all – unless one adds sugar, honey, or dairy.


Adding the Calories with Additives

While people do like to consume a variety of teas, some add sugar, honey, and or dairy to their hot cuppa. A teaspoon of sugar increases by approximately 20kcal, the calorie count of an otherwise calorie-free tea. If you do need a sweetener, honey makes for a healthier option but with a higher amount of calories, especially for those who consume several cups of tea in the day. Honey is healthier since it contains antioxidants, antibacterial and antifungal properties, phytonutrients, soothes the throat and tummy, and helps in digestion. Sugar on the other hand is just empty calories. Honey should be added to room temperature liquids/tea since it loses its beneficial properties at temperatures exceeding 45 degrees celsius.

Tea is a Healthy Beverage – undoubtedly

It has been proven repeatedly that drinking tea has several health benefits for its consumers. However, before starting or stopping anything, do check with your medical practitioner. Also, keep a check on the additives in your tea, since our taste buds often push us to consume unhealthy food and drink, through force of habit. Sugar for instance can be replaced with jaggery or honey – healthier options. Putting some effort into finding the tea or teas that you would love, minus the additives is certainly worth the effort. Adding unnecessary calories to green tea, for example, can be avoided. Here’s wishing you positive effects on your health through your cup of tea!

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