While it seems like bottled teas have been around forever, they really hit the U.S. market with a vengeance in the 90s as the anti-soft drink. Having grown up in Southeastern Texas drinking too much sweet tea, I fell in love with the bottled stuff almost immediately while living in the Midwest, for their flavor and convenience.
But I didn't try to fool myself into believing I was making a healthier choice either, despite claims about higher amounts of antioxidants and such. I was merely trying to avoid consuming too many carbonated, sugary sweet soft drinks, a problem many of us deal with (me included) every day.
So I wasn't surprised to learn that bottled teas couldn't stand the test of closer scrutiny in a recent study, particularly when a half-dozen were examined in the laboratory for the amount of polyphenols they have with high-performance liquid chromatography, a process that separates compounds that are dissolved in a solution. That said, you may be surprised to discover just how little they actually contain.
The level of antioxidants in bottled teas is so low, you'd have to drink 20 bottles of some processed, store-bought teas to get the same amount from just one cup of home-brewed black or green tea, as three of the six bottled teas contained almost no polyphenols (13 mg. or less). The best of the bunch had 81 mg., not too shabby until you consider one cup of home-brewed tea may contain almost twice that amount (150 mg.).
And if the taste of tea is a turn off, you don't have to forgo it's healthy benefits. Try CNCA's Green Tea Extract capsules, standardized to 80% catechins (the active ingredient) for twice the potency of other brands - with very little caffeine!
ScienceDaily August 23, 2010
LiveScience August 22, 2010