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Bottled Tea

Bottled tea

You know that choosing varied sources of antioxidants in your diet can be part of a healthy lifestyle.

But when you buy those convenient teas in bottles from the corner store, are you getting all the antioxidant polyphenols that you want?

Maybe not.

What's in that bottle?

Dr. Shiming Li of WellGen presented preliminary test results of polyphenol content of commercial teas in bottles at the American Chemical Society Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, August 22, 2010.

Testing six different brands using high-performance liquid chromatography, he found that the polyphenol content varied from 3 mgs. to 81 mgs. for a 16 ounce bottle.

Fresh green tea antioxidant polyphenols

In comparison, a cup (8 ounces) of freshly made green or black tea contains 50 to 175 mgs. of polyphenols, including EGCG from green tea.

Thus, 16 ounces of home-brewed tea would offer 100 to 350 mgs. compared to 3 to 81 mgs. in commercial bottled tea.

In other words, home-made offers between 4 to 30 times more antioxidant polyphenols.

Less expensive home brew

And if you prepared your teas at home, you probably spent less than 10 cents per serving.

Another consideration is that commercial brands may contain sugars that add to your daily calorie count.

Antioxidants and free radicals

How did this difference in antioxidant content happen?

Antioxidants are basically fast-acting fragile chemicals.

Once they quench or combine with singlet oxygen molecules called free radicals, they are no longer active.

This can happen in water as well as inside your body.

Also they simply degrade over time.

The antioxidant polyphenols in teas that you make at home by heating water to extract the useful chemicals, then drinking at a comfortable temperature, will also degrade over time, usually within 8 hours.

Drink fresh green tea only!

So make sure you drink your healthy tea freshly made, but not too hot.

Otherwise, as they said in the old days:

Throw it out because...

“That’s yesterday’s tea.”

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This page last updated by Sharon Jones.

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