When I have fallen off the Green Tea wagon (so…every other week!) I drink my breakfast tea black and strong, as that’s the only way to draw out all the caffeine-y goodness as fas as I’m concerned! Normally when people offer me tea and I say ‘No milk, no sugar’ people look at me like I’ve just asked for a mug of warm drool, and question me as to the motive of such a bizarre habit. Milk or no milk? Sugar or no sugar? Tea seems to spark more debates than Jeremy Paxman, particularly in the U.K., so I feel it’s only fair that I explain my motives behind my ‘radical’ choice.
My motive was, as it so often is, a health-related choice. After my Mum was diagnosed with cancer I developed a teeny-tiny obsession with googling all the different possible methods of lowering my own cancer risk, and tea-with-no-milk was the one that stuck with me. My Nan had always drank her tea black and so I decided it was probably worth a try. Despite the fact that initially I was forcing the tea down in the morning I persevered (caffeine addict, anyone?) and soon I became acclimatized to the new taste, and my tea dependence took off. As my Mum fought through and my anti-cancer obsession waned, I never looked at milky tea in the same way again. It was tainted, impure … and I’ve never regretted making the switch.
What are the pros to black tea? You get a few extra calories in the day to munch your way through, and if, like me, you drink an incessant amount of tea (when I’m working it can be in the region of 8-10 cups a day) you could be saving over 200 calories – milkiness depending. Create a deficit of 300kCals a day and you could be losing a pound every 10 days! Plus, research has shown that black tea has plenty of antioxidants and health benefits. Research has also shown that milk may actually block the positive cardiovascular effects of tea, although it’s a ‘controversial’ area of research (only the British would call research into their cups of tea controversial!) When I first started I felt like my waist got a bit trimmer too, so call it a tried and tested method!
Are there any cons? Only a handful, as far as I can tell. My nails break more often than they used too, something I put down to the reduced calcium in my diet. I also have to whiten my teeth more often since I made the switch, and I have lost my ability to gauge the milkiness level of tea. I have to put up with people constantly forgetting and putting milk in my tea, and as time has gone on I’ve found the smell of milky tea quite stomach turning. It’s amazing how people can always grasp no sugar but never no milk. The only other con is hypothetical, as apparently tea stains your insides. I can’t check if this is true, but if it is my insides are probably as black as night, something that I can probably live with, to be perfectly honest!
Recommended if you have Hypermobility? If you can stomach the taste! I’m the first to admit that it takes some getting used too, at the beginning that tea taste was almost overwhelming. However if, like me, you can’t work out as hard as you used too, it’s an easy way of shaving a few kCals of your ‘calories in’ and means your ‘calories out’ can be slightly less but still have the same impact. People with injuries are more likely to take on diets than exercise, so shave a few calories off your day to kick-start your diet into shape! As the saying goes, once you go black you never go back!
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