It is difficult for many individuals to envisage a day without their favourite cup of tea. Aside from water, tea is also one of the world's most widely taken beverages. Even though you can relish both cold and hot tea, the latter has a history of being notably soothing.
A genuine tea is made out of the leaves and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant, which comes in various regional variants worldwide. True teas are classified as White Tea, Black Tea, Yellow Tea, Green Tea, Pu Erh Tea, and Oolong Tea. However, when individuals consider teas, they also include herbal teas. There are many multiple kinds of herbal tea available all around the globe. Hibiscus, Rooibos, Chamomile, and Peppermint are among the most common.
When it concerns brewing, many tea lovers have a particular taste: they prefer their tea cold or hot. Several people argue over which is superior. However, many would agree that when the temperature is dry and hot, iced tea drinks are refreshing, but hot teas are comforting when it gets frigid in the cold season.
However, is there a significant health difference between hot and iced tea, aside from personal tastes and opinions? Continue reading to find out more!
Similarities between Hot and Cold Teas
Before going to the health differences between hot and cold tea, it is important to note their similarities, especially since there is not much difference in the first place as long as you choose to drink natural "tea" derived from the Camellia sinensis plant.
Tea has no substantial amounts of calories or macronutrients, whether cold or hot. However, it does contain potent antioxidants and health-promoting chemicals such as polyphenols and catechins. Teas have been shown to provide a wide range of health advantages. Among them are:
- Lowering the cardiovascular risk. Two cups of tea each day may help prevent heart disease illness by 26%, whereas three cups of green tea daily can decrease cardiovascular mortality by 26%.
- Some malignancies are being prevented. Taking one cup of black tea per day lowers the likelihood of death from cancer by 21%, whereas consuming one cup of green tea each day reduces the risk of developing endometrial cancer by 11%.
- Reduce your chances of having diabetes. It has been discovered that consuming four cups of tea every day reduces the incidence of type 2 diabetes by about 10%.
- Reduce your blood pressure. Tea drinking can help lower blood pressure slightly due to catechins, found in green and black teas, which help relax the smooth muscle that makes up the blood vessels.
- Improve your mental health. Tea use may help prevent depression and neurological diseases like Alzheimer's disease.
- Assist in preventing obesity. Tea consumption has been linked to a reduction in fat mass. Green tea polyphenols may assist enhance metabolism, whereas black tea polyphenols may avert and control obesity.
Furthermore, herbal teas have been linked to health advantages like enhanced sleep, menstrual pain relief, menopausal symptom reduction, lower anxiety, and stress reduction.
Differences in Health Benefits
Reduce the risk of Glaucoma.
Glaucoma is considered an eye condition that is the world's top cause of permanent blindness. Consuming hot tea has been associated with a reduced risk of Glaucoma in population-based studies. According to research, persons who regularly drink one cup of hot tea each day had about 74% lower risk of Glaucoma than others who did not. Freshly brewed hot or cold tea had no effect, which was surprising. The potential benefits are most likely attributable to the flavonoids in natural tea, which are found in lower concentrations in decaffeinated and iced teas. However, it is good to note that more research is needed to determine whether and how hot tea can help prevent Glaucoma.
It has the potential to improve mood.
A hot cup of tea is thought to provide emotional advantages such as soothing and mental clarity. Tea consumption has been associated with about a 30% reduction in the risk of depression. Caffeine, polyphenols, tea saponin, and L-theanine, among other components of authentic "tea", affect the brain via lowering inflammation, operating on neuronal pathways, and altering mood-affecting substances like dopamine. Furthermore, making and sipping tea may have a favourable impact on emotions and mood. The emotional influence of tea is likely caused by a long time preparing hot tea and the excitement of drinking it.
It can help give you warmth.
According to some researchers, the average stomach has temperature sensors. As a result, consuming a hot drink like tea may alter your body's temperature reaction. A study discovered that drinking hot water at 126°F (52°C) for 10 minutes can minimize shivering, which could be helpful when working or moving in cold weather.
Higher active compound content
If you consider yourself a heavy tea drinker, you most likely have a preferred temperature for your beverage. While the therapeutic effects of both hot and cold tea far outweigh any potential drawbacks, some study suggests that cold brewing for a more extended period has more health advantages than steeping your tea leaves in hot water. Tea is traditionally made by steeping the tea leaves in the heated water at temperatures ranging from 158 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to a study conducted by Lantano et al. in 2015, cold water steeping is said to optimize tea's beneficial properties, including more significant antioxidant activity, phenolic content, and gallic acid concentration. However, you will have to give the tea an extended infusion time to accomplish this.
Better Cardiovascular advantages
Although some experts suggest that iced teas have more antioxidants than hot teas due to the more extended steeping period, more clear investigations are needed to back up this claim. The antioxidant amount of different teas depends significantly on the tea leaves' variety, cultivation practices, temperature, tea manufacture, and brewing duration.
Claire M et al. discovered in 2018 that an unsweetened caffeinated herbal tea drank at a cool temperature had more substantial cardiovascular health advantages than hot tea. The cold temperature was thought to encourage higher fatty acid oxidation and metabolic activity, enhancing overall cardiovascular health. These effects could benefit people who cannot utilize thermogenic medications due to obesity, hypertension, or other cardiac problems. According to the researchers, the findings are inconclusive, and more research is necessary to confirm the effectiveness of unsweetened caffeinated cold tea for losing weight.
Lower caffeine content
When it comes to caffeine, your preferred cup of tea is likely to contain some. According to studies, an 8-ounce glass of black tea contains about 25 to 48 mg of caffeine. About 25 to 29 mg of caffeine is contained in an eight-ounce cup of green tea. If you are attempting to cut down on caffeine, a study published by Lin et al. in 2014 found that iced tea has even less caffeine than hot tea when using the same tea. This benefit is fascinating for someone who wishes to enjoy black and green tea without adverse caffeine-related effects.
To summarize, both hot and iced tea have the same health benefits. Given the lack of definitive clinical research, it would be not very reasonable to favour one over the other. You can profit from each other and select according to your preferences. If you drink a lot of iced tea, it is essential to watch your sugar intake because it might add extra calories to your body. Alternatively, you can increase the flavour of your teas by using natural flavour boosters such as fresh mint, cinnamon sticks, or raw flavour additives.
- Healhtline. 2022. Is Hot Tea Good for You? Everything You Should Know. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-hot-tea-good-for-you. Retrieved on 26 May 2022.
- Lantano, C., Rinaldi, M., Cavazza, A., Barbanti, D., & Corradini, C. (2015). Effects of alternative steeping methods on composition, antioxidant property and colour of green, black and oolong tea infusions. Journal of food science and technology, 52(12), 8276–8283. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-015-1971-4
- Lin S-D, Yang J-H, Hsih Y-J, Liu EH, Mau J-L. Effect of different brewing methods on quality of green tea. J Food Process Preserv. 2014;38:1234–1243. doi: 10.1111/jfpp.12084.
- Live Strong. 2020. What Are the Benefits of Drinking Tea Hot Vs. Cold?. Retrieved from: https://www.livestrong.com/article/268754-what-are-the-benefits-of-drinking-tea-hot-vs-cold/. Retrieved on 26 May 2022.
- Maufrais, C., Sarafian, D., Dulloo, A., & Montani, J. P. (2018). Cardiovascular and Metabolic Responses to the Ingestion of Caffeinated Herbal Tea: Drink It Hot or Cold?. Frontiers in physiology, 9, 315. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2018.00315
- Only My Health. 2021. Hot Tea Vs Iced Tea: Know Which One Is Healthier And Why?. Retrieved from: https://www.onlymyhealth.com/hot-tea-vs-iced-tea-what-is-healthier-and-why-1611041679. Retrieved on 26 May 2022.