Instant Green Tea Powder Mix
Antioxidants and Fluoride

Convenience and taste aside, there are two problems with instant green tea powder mix in terms of its use as a healthy beverage.



Instant tea was developed in the 1930s, but not commercialized until the late 1950s. Similar to freeze dried instant coffee, it has recently become popular.

It is great for people who want to enjoy tea but don't have time to brew the tea.  It is ideal for making iced tea, as it doesn't require boiling water to brew. In addition, these products often come with added flavors, such as lemon, raspberry or honey. They can be sweetened or unsweetened.

Convenience and taste aside, there are two problems with instant green tea as a healthy beverage.

Lacking Antioxidants

When making green tea powder, steam or hot water is used to extract the tea nutrients. The extract is concentrated under low pressure and dried to a powder by freezing, spraying, or vacuum packing.

According to an estimate, this lengthy process can result in an 85% nutrition loss.

A 2007 report published by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) compares nearly 400 foods for their flavonoid content. The researchers concluded that instant green tea has only 10% of the antioxidants found in a cup of regular tea.

Without the antioxidants, you would be missing out on most of the health benefits of green tea. Drinking more of this instant tea powder won't help, as you will see next.

Too Much Fluoride

Drinking tea is seldom associated with any serious side effects.

In 2005, Dr. Michael Whyte from the Washington University in St Louis raised some unusual concerns about instant iced tea. He reported a middle aged woman who was diagnosed with skeletal fluorosis as a result of drinking too much Lipton tea.

Dr. Whyte tested the fluoride content of instant tea available on supermarket shelves. He found that these instant teas contained 1.0 to 6.5 part per million of fluoride. Lipton's Instant tea tested 6.5, well above the maximum level of 4 permitted by US regulations!

Click to read further information on Green Tea and Fluoride.

References

US Department of Agriculture. USDA Database for the Flavanoid Content of Selected Foods Release 2.1. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/Flav/Flav02-1.pdf

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