Weight loss products come in a wide variety of different forms. These forms range from pill-like capsules and supplements to smoothies to suckers to teas. Today we're going to be looking at two of those: supplements and teas.
What Is a Weight Loss Supplement?
Weight loss supplements are a huge category full of a ton of different herbal remedies, exotic chemicals, synthetic drugs, and placebos. They generally come in three different categories, though individual products can use one, two, or all three of those categories all together.
The first category are the stimulants. Stimulant products most typically include caffeine or caffeine-inclusive ingredients like guarana, but may include other chemicals with stimulant effects. Stimulants increase your energy levels and encourage you to be active, which helps your body burn the energy it has stored away as far. These work, but can have side effects including jitters, heart palpitations, and blood pressure effects.
The second category are the appetite suppressants. These are herbs, drugs, or even just fiber supplements that fill you up faster and take a longer amount of time to digest. The longer food is in your system, the more nutrients you get out of it, and the longer you feel satiated. This means you don't get hungry or crave a snack as frequently, which means you eat less. Eating less means you don't take in as many calories, so the activity you exert during the day to burn energy has more of an effect.
The third category are the chemicals that interact with fat production. Some of these will inhibit the body's ability to store energy as fat, while others will encourage the body to burn stored fat rather than the energy already present in the food you're eating. These can be herbal supplements or drugs, and are often combined with other forms of supplement.
For example, our Adios Fat product is primarily Niacin, also known as Vitamin B3. Vitamin B3 encourages the body to produce the enzymes NAD and NADP, which are part of cellular metabolism. These convert food into energy instead of into stored fat. Thus, more Niacin encourages weight loss.
There's a fourth category of weight loss products called empty foods. Some weight loss products like weight loss candies are basically just empty foods that fulfill the oral fixation of eating and snacking, but do not provide much if any nutrients, calories, or energy to the body. It satiates your craving without building fat or energy in the body.
So, weight loss supplements run a wide spectrum of different compositions. Some are fiber supplements, some are essentially multivitamins or megadoses of specific vitamins, and some are stimulants. Many are a combination of two or all three of those forms of supplement. This is why you need to look into the ingredients of a supplement rather than just the brand name and the promises they make on the bottle.
What is a Weight Loss Tea?
Weight loss teas are not quite the same as supplements. Teas are typically, well, actual tea, rather than a supplement in tea form. Since many of the ingredients of supplements on their own would be extremely bitter or unpleasant to drink, if they make up a beverage, it's typically a powder you would add to a smoothie or similar beverage.
Weight loss teas, rather, are simply tea formulated to have weight loss properties. Take, for example, our Adios Fat Tea. This tea contains a mixture of different ingredients that have beneficial properties.
- Senna Leaf – This ingredient is a light laxative that facilitates processing food through your intestines faster, minimizing the amount of time your body has to take in nutrients and calories.
- Spearmint – This ingredient is a sweet mint used for both flavor and beneficial nutrition. It's packed with antioxidants and can also help relieve nausea and digestive troubles. This helps it counteract any negative effects of the senna.
- Chamomile – This common tea ingredient is a flower that promotes relaxation. It has some anti-inflammatory properties and can assist with digestive issues as well.
- Green Tea – Green tea is the bulk of many tea blends and is packed with benefits. It has antioxidants and some unique compounds that help health in a variety of different ways. In particular, it promotes burning fat, and includes some caffeine for that stimulant effect.
- Peppermint Leaf – Like spearmint, peppermint is a great additive for flavor and scent. It has digestive properties, it can help with headaches, and it helps relieve fatigue.
- Cinnamon – In addition to adding a bit of flavor, cinnamon in high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps with blood sugar regulation, which can help reduce cravings and snacking.
- Fennel – This is a highly nutritious culinary seed that, in tea, provides a wide variety of different vitamins and minerals your body craves, which helps minimize the urge to snack. It has also may have some appetite suppressant properties, though these have not been proven.
- Dandelion – Even though many people consider dandelions a weed, they are actually very nutritious. In tea, they can fight inflammation, regulate blood sugar, and can lower blood pressure. Additionally, the plant may be able to reduce the conversion of energy into fat, though this also has not been proven.
- Pineapple – Pineapple is another ingredient that has antioxidant properties and can help suppress appetite. It's also a source of energy and vitamins.
- Sucralose – An artificial sweetener, a little sucralose goes a long way, and it's a healthier replacement for sugar.
All of this, in one tea blend, means you're getting a huge number of benefits in a small package. Drinking a weight loss tea regularly also means you're drinking more water, and staying hydrated is important for energy levels and for weight loss.
How do Supplements and Teas Compare?
Supplements and teas are difficult to compare because there are simply so many different products in both categories. Our tea listed above is just one of thousands of different blends, and our supplements are just one extremely limited example of the huge array of different supplements out there.
In terms of efficacy, or “how well they work”, it can be difficult to say. Weight loss is a highly personal journey, and it comes down to two things. One, it means building healthy habits by reducing bad foods and increasing good foods. Two, it means taking in fewer calories than you're burning through daily activity.
Supplements tend to be stronger than teas. That's because a supplement can deliver a much larger dose at once, while a tea has to steep and deliver some of its properties via the water you drink.
That's not to say that supplements are necessarily more effective. Much like superfoods, your body needs time to absorb nutrients, so megadoses tend to simply pass through you. This is especially true if you're taking a supplement that includes a diuretic.
That said, supplements tend to include stronger individual ingredients that you don't get from teas. A single cup of green tea blend will give you one serving of the beneficial ingredients in green tea, but a supplement that includes green tea extract might include 10 or 100 servings worth of that same nutrient blend. Even if your body only absorbs 20% of it, that's still far more than you get with the tea.
However, the benefits of hydration are important, and tea is a very good way to facilitate hydration. It's also a way to keep calm and relaxed, as drinking tea tends to be a relatively meditative experience.
One of the best benefits of tea is that, since brewing and consuming tea takes longer than downing a supplement pill, it's better for building healthy habits. These habits can help a lot more than either the tea or the supplement on its own, though of course it depends on the habits you build.
Another difficulty with judging how well tea or supplements work is that everyone's body is different. How we react to a weight loss tea blend may be different than how you react. This difference can come from different habits, different activity levels, different general diets, different medical conditions, and even different genetics. This is why weight loss is such a personalized journey. Some people don't respond well at all to supplements, while others find them working like a miracle. Some people find that only exercise works for them, while others can hit the gym every day and barely lose a single pound a month.
So what about other ways to compare teas and supplements? You can look at pricing, though of course the price of a supplement or a tea depends on the manufacturer, the seller, and the composition of the supplement.
A supplement might cost $2 per pill and ask you to take 1 pill a day. They might also cost 50 cents a pill and ask you to take 2-4 per day, which also works out to be $2 per day. Comparing a bunch of different supplement products on Amazon, it seems like $2-4 per day is average, though some supplements can be above or below that range. One form of hydroxycut, for example, asks for 4 capsules per day, but only costs 15 cents per capsule, for under $1 per day. Of course, it's also a very limited supplement rather than a robust blend, and may not work for everyone.
Teas, meanwhile, are typically recommended to be enjoyed 1-2 cups per day. The relative strength of a cup of tea depends on how long it is steeped and the ingredients in it, so it's difficult to reliably estimate. Again comparing a variety of different weight loss tea blends on Amazon, pricing runs from 50 cents per day worth of tea up to $3 per day. Some specific detox-focused products may be more expensive, and some less complex tea blends may be cheaper. And, of course, it all varies from seller to seller; the same tea blend might cost different amounts from different sources.
Thus, pricing tends to be around the same, typically an average of about $2 per day for various blends and supplements.
Which Should You Choose?
The question remains: should you go for a weight loss tea, or a weight loss supplement? The answer is, it depends on your preferences. Cost-wise, they're about the same, or similar enough to make no difference.
Teas tend to be less harsh on the body, so if you're looking to lose a few pounds or keep a few pounds off while you establish a workout routine, it can be a good option. Conversely, supplements tend to be more intense and work best when you're trying to lose a lot of weight in a shorter amount of time.
That said, it all depends on how your body reacts to specific blends of either supplements or teas. Make sure to look at the ingredients of any product you choose to buy and monitor your reaction to it.
Additionally, as long as you aren't doubling up on ingredients, there's nothing wrong with taking both a supplement and a tea regularly. Just try to avoid getting too much of some specific nutrients or chemicals, as that can have an adverse effect on your health.
What has your experience been with weight loss teas and supplements? We'd love to hear your stories in the comments below!