As the temperature outside drops, we begin embracing simple pleasures of the cold weather season once again. It’s that time of year where a pair of fuzzy slippers, your favorite holiday-themed movie, and curling up to enjoy them both with a steamy cup of tea sounds like the perfect end-of-day ritual.

I’ll apologize in advance to the coffee lovers who are reading this (hey, I swear I love coffee too) but for me, there’s simply no greater a hot beverage than tea. With so many different flavor profiles, and over 1500 caffeinated and decaffeinated varieties,  provides a ’round the clock option for keeping warm and staying hydrated in the fall and winter months.

Many studies have linked regular and frequent tea consumption (think 2-3 cups per day) with a number of health benefits including a reduction in coronary heart disease, stroke, and development of type 2 diabetes. However, most of these studies have been observational…which means no direct causal relationships can be drawn. If you’re anything like the majority of my weight loss clients, there’s one burning question you’re hoping I answer.

Is it true drinking green tea can help me lose weight?

Possibly. Nearly 20 randomized control trials have sought to answer this question. Their research found drinking green tea may result in a small amount of weight loss for overweight and obese individuals, but not a significant amount. Findings also showed green tea did not help those who had lost weight previously to keep it off.

If you’re trying to lose weight, green tea isn’t going to be your magic pill. However, it can be a great tool for staying hydrated , and hot or cold, an unsweetened warm beverage provides a nice, flavorful alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages.

So what’s the number one reason I drink tea? For enjoyment! And that reason my friends, is as good as any.


5 Tips for Your Best Brew:

1. Go for high quality brands of tea.

Even if you splurge a bit, chances are that per cup, you’ll still be spending less brewing your own than you would buying a cup to-go.


Photo credit: Kaitlin Williams MPH, RD, LD

2. Keep tea leaves stored in a cool, dry place.

This will help maintain the flavor of the leaves, and makes the last longer! Try storing it inside a tea chest or kitchen cabinet.


Photo credit: Kaitlin Williams MPH, RD, LD

3. Don’t store tea near fragrant foods.

The leaves can pick up fragrances easily! Which can impact that taste of the brew after it is made.


Photo credit: Kaitlin Williams MPH, RD, LD

4. Use filtered water.

Tap water with high chlorination can affect taste. Using filtered water can ensure that you have a nice, crispy, and flavorful cup of tea.


Photo credit: Kaitlin Eckstein

5. Read and follow the steeping instructions.

Different blends have different recommended steep times. Set a timer to ensure the end product has a nice, balanced flavor that isn’t too over-or-underwhelming. Sometimes, if you steep tea for too long, it can have a bitter taste that isn’t enjoyable! If you don’t steep it for long enough, you may not get all of the teas delicious flavor.


Photo credit: Kaitlin Williams MPH, RD, LD


REBEL Challenge: Next time you go grocery shopping, try out a new flavor of tea. If you’re feeling fancy, try steeping your tea in 4 oz. of water and adding that to 4 oz. steamed milk for a tea latte.

Slàinte! (To Health!)

Love what you’re learning? Your dietitian is full of useful tips and tricks that help make nutrition easy! Call 301-474-2499 or click here to schedule your next (or first!) appointment today.

With Contributions By Adrienne Inger RD, LD 

Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients.  Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and  Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.