Just imagine: a magical drink from a fountain of life. It tastes great, soothes your stresses, clears your skin, and erases your fat. Sip by sip, it makes you your best and most beautiful self.
That’s not what this story is about (but kind of).
Hi, my name’s Abby. I’m a 23-year old writer and copy editor at The Everygirl, and I’ve had a love-hate relationship with my body for as long as I can remember. I’m a slave both to the gym and to Taco Tuesday. I’m happiest in a spin class, but I also make the best pumpkin muffins you’ve ever tasted (full of fat, full of sugar, and full of love). I love taking care of my body, but I also LOVE food.
All that being said, it should come as no surprise that I fell victim to the active marketing campaigns of one of the year’s biggest trends: fitness teas. You know what I’m talking about: stars and influencers like Kylie Jenner, Catherine Giudici Lowe, and Vanessa Hudgens are touting the successes of their respective experiences with fitness teas. These teas (by various brands) claim to eliminate bloat, cleanse your insides, and detoxify your organs. They claim to help you lose weight and curb cravings. Seriously? I thought as I scrolled through ad after ad. Sign. Me. Up.
What exactly does a teatox claim to do?
* Detox your body of toxins (whatever that means)
* Cleanse your body after overindulging in food and/or alcohol
* Eliminate bloat
* Flush out water weight
* Clear your skin
* Give you sustainable energy
Simply stated, tea detoxes claim to rid your body of the toxins caused by a build-up of unhealthy foods, alcohol, and a number of other things your body doesn’t use to properly function. The teas are mixtures of various ingredients (green tea, matcha, oolong, goji berries, etc.), all with impressive health benefits, and the point is that the tea provides you with sustainable energy while subsequently eliminating toxins from your body. Most teas are to be consumed at least once a day, and some are accompanied by an additional colon cleanser.
What was I hoping to accomplish?
As I said, it’s important to acknowledge your own goals for the experience. I personally wanted to lose a few pounds around my stomach and minimize bloating. I had a trip planned right around the end of my 28 days, and I wanted to look my absolute best in a bathing suit.
It’s important to note that I was not interested in, hoping for, or expecting any drastic changes to my appearance. I already lead a pretty healthy lifestyle: I drink 80 oz. of water a day, I work out at least 4-5 days a week, and I do my best to eat lean protein and lots of fruits and veggies. Like I said, I love food, but I’m usually good at keeping my cravings in moderation. I did not have a “goal weight,” and there were no numbers I was hoping to change (blood pressure, weight, heart rate, etc.). I cannot stress this enough: Acknowledge your own body, its needs, and its goals before you try any new regimen. A detox should fit into your life — you should not expect it to change your body overnight.
My 28 Day Experience
Day 1: So you’re supposed to drink your tea first thing in the morning (or before a workout), but I didn’t receive my package until after arriving home for the day (in the early evening). Since I am a slave to my own desire for instant gratification, I said “Screw the rules!” and made my first cup right then and there. Immediate observation: It’s actually pretty delicious. I don’t consider myself a tea connoisseur by any means, so I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t think it needed the recommended addition of honey.
Day 2: I hopped out of bed, made my 2nd cup of tea, then went about my day. As the hours wore on, though, I grew discouraged. The reviews I had read and testimonials from friends had assured me that the tea was going to start working its magic very quickly, but my stomach still felt perfectly normal and average. Since I am the perfect blend of spontaneous, self-destructive, and optimistic, I went ahead and made myself my 3rd cup in 24 hours (Remember that last night I drank it at night instead of the recommended first-thing-in-the-morning.).
Day 3: As I started to make my 5th cup in 3 days, my best friend said, “Ab, I really don’t think you should be drinking so much of this stuff. Why don’t you just stick to the recommended amount?” I responded with “It’s just TEA — what’s the worst that could happen?” On day 3, I learned. I had decided to give up coffee during my 28 days, both as a way to save my sanity and excretory system and as a way to wean myself out of my coffee habit. That was really stupid. By day 3, I was experiencing a horrifying caffeine headache and a rough case of the spins. I was also literally exhausted and finally feeling the ~desired effects~ of the detox (frequent trips to the bathroom, to put it lightly), so I was dealing with an excess of that on top of my other horrible side effects. Do I blame the tea? Not even a little. I blame myself for overindulging in too much of a good thing. From there on out, I decided to follow the rules.
Day 5: Once I committed to following the rules, I felt much better. I began to drink only one cup a day, and I started to experiment with the time of day at which I drank it. On day 5, I tried the tea about half an hour before a workout. It definitely didn’t weigh me down, and I had a good amount of energy as I ran.
Day 7: I had a formal event to go to on Day 7, and I had a flowy dress all picked out. My friend convinced me to try a much tighter dress at the last minute, and I kid you not when I say that my stomach felt flatter in this dress than it has felt in a long time. I ended up wearing the tighter dress and feeling VERY confident (see below — I’m the one on the left!). Do I owe it to the tea, to my workout regimen, or to my healthy eating habits? Probably some combination of all three (but let’s be realistic, I had just had McDonald’s that very morning, so probably just the first two).
Day 14: At halfway through my detox, I finally officially figured out what works for me and my body. The plan: my standard first-thing-in-morning cup of coffee, then an iced version of the tea to drink with me throughout the day. I sip it all day long, and it’s both refreshing and hydrating. I can very honestly say I feel AWESOME. I’m having no kinds of digestive problems, I feel lighter while running at the gym, and my stomach is significantly less bloated and more toned.
Day 18: So here’s what I ate today: a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich, a McDonald’s hash brown, a large coke, and two donuts. Does my tea cancel all of this out? Hell no. Did it curb my PMS cravings? Hell no. I’m still human, damnit. Day 18 was rough, but it proved that no tea can stop me from being myself.
Day 23: I’m growing anxious as I realize that the tea will soon run out, and by now I am constantly finding excuses to show people my stomach. I’m getting excited to show off at the beach this weekend.
Day 27: I’m relying heavily on the tea as I experience some unfortunate PMS bloating. I do feel like it’s helping, and I am genuinely dreading the fact that I only have one cup left.
Day 28: Honesty time — I took several days off. I went away for the long weekend, and I overindulged in Mexican food, wine tastings, and cherry ice cream. When I got home, I was nursing an exhausted body and a bad case of bloat. The solution? To drink my final cup of tea. After drinking it, I went to bed feeling refreshed and lighter, then woke up the next morning ready for a workout and a day back at work.
Did the detox tea drastically change my life? No. But did it reduce bloat, give me some new confidence, and taste great in the process? Yes. If you’re looking for a quick solution to lose weight, this is not for you. But if you’re looking for a delicious supplemental addition to a consistent workout regimen and a healthy diet, this IS for you. Don’t expect the tea to do all the work for you, but expect it to work withyou — helping you out wherever you’re at on your journey to your healthiest self.
So will I do it again? Heck yeah — in fact, I already ordered it.
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