Is Green Tea Good for You even when it's cold?
November 2, 2009 5:09 PM   Subscribe

I heard Green Tea is extremely good for you. If I drink it cold, will it give me the same benefits as hot green tea? I like the Snapple Green tea drink you can get in a glass bottle and you drink it cold. Thanks, Lynnie-the-pooh
posted by lynnie-the-pooh to Food & Drink (29 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm curious: why do you think the benefits might be different?
posted by Electrius at 5:11 PM on November 2, 2009

Hot = better!
posted by lungtaworld at 5:13 PM on November 2, 2009

You still probably get the same benefits but since it is a bottled snapple drink it probably comes with additional sugar and preservatives that outweigh the benefits.

So if you like it, drink it. But only drink it because you like it, not because of the health benefits.
posted by lucy.jakobs at 5:14 PM on November 2, 2009 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Well, I thought that maybe the antioxidant components might be better activated while hot.

posted by lynnie-the-pooh at 5:15 PM on November 2, 2009

As far as I've ever heard, the temperature of green tea doesn't have much to do with its benefits. The antioxidants are present in both cold and hot tea.
posted by Nattie at 5:15 PM on November 2, 2009

I'm sure the benefits are the same-- but Snapple is really, really sugary, which kind of cancels out the health benefits. I really like Ito En teas; you might want to give them a try.
posted by oinopaponton at 5:16 PM on November 2, 2009

"One thing you should be aware of when you brew iced sencha is that it affects the chemical composition of the beverage.

Cold-brewed tea will have fewer of the important antioxidants like EGCG that give sencha green tea its powerful health benefits."


posted by Jaltcoh at 5:16 PM on November 2, 2009

Response by poster: So are you saying that if I drink the Snapple Green Tea.........the benefits aren't worth it because I'm getting sugar in there too and that negates the antioxidants in the green tea?

posted by lynnie-the-pooh at 5:18 PM on November 2, 2009

Cooling tea from the point at which it is brewed should not alter its chemical properties: unless something comes out of suspension/solution or evaporates, it all ends up the same temperature in your stomach anyway.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:19 PM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't know what difference the temperature would make, save one:

Hot green tea is probably just green tea, plus whatever *you* might add to it. With a little honey, mmmmm . . .

The ingredients of Snapple's Green Tea?

The Snapple Green Tea product line only lists filtered water, sugar, natural flavors, citric acid, green tea and vitamin C as its ingredients.

While they maintain this tea is "healthy," I'm a little suspicious of a green tea where there is more citric acid by weight than there is actual green tea. Honey might be better than sugar (though I reckon sugar is an improvement over HFCS), and what are "natural flavors" anyhow?

If you made your own green tea, sweetened it with honey or sugar and maybe a little lemon, then refrigerated it, that'd be better . . . and a lot cheaper . . . than Snapple.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 5:19 PM on November 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

You're way better off brewing your own green tea.

Snapple Green Tea has 15 g of sugar and 60 calories per 8 oz. A bottle of Snapple is 16 oz. The amount of EGCG, the healthy metabolism-boosting ingredient in green tea, in 8 oz of Snapple is 25 mg. As it says on the bottle, "studies indicate about 300 mg of EGCG is needed..." to boost metabolism. So, to get the metabolism boost you'll need to drink six 16 oz bottles per day. That's an extra 180 g of sugar and 720 calories per day.
posted by plastic_animals at 5:25 PM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Hot drinks can increase the risk of throat cancer.

Depending on how much you drink, you shouldn't have your tea piping hot.

Re: antioxidants. There is are demonstrated effects, but the link is yet to be fully understood.

Snapple is not really going to give you any net health benefits most likely, and all the sugar in it is definitely a negative.
posted by smoke at 5:32 PM on November 2, 2009

Hot or cold, try mixing green tea and mint tea, which is what Starbucks does with its Tazo green tea. You don't need added sugar at all.

(And you also don't need to sign your posts or comments. Your name appears in your byline each time.)
posted by maudlin at 5:34 PM on November 2, 2009

Here's an earlier thread on recreating Starbucks green iced tea that you might find useful. It's not Snapple, but it's delicious, cheap, easy and healthy.
posted by maudlin at 5:40 PM on November 2, 2009

Re: Hot drinks can increase the risk of throat cancer.

News network science exists to sensationalize. After reading that article, it cites two studies that support the cancer hypothesis and one expert who disagrees, seemingly fails to separate correlation and causation, the headline does not discuss the other risk factors it mentions in the article and to top it all off, it's just a poorly written article.
posted by battlebison at 5:44 PM on November 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

The evidence for green tea's benefits is slender and massively overhyped to sell the stuff.

You get the same benefits from eating vegetables and fruit.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:55 PM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't know about the hot/cold thing, but with regards to Dee Extrovert's suggestion to add honey: According to my brother-in-law (who INAD but is 4th year med student) adding honey negates the health effects of green tea. I do not know why this would be so or where he got his information, so, y'know, grain of salt, but something to look into.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 6:04 PM on November 2, 2009

Brew your own. While I was home this summer, I was missing green tea (which I drink once in a while here, though I prefer jasmine and mugi-cha more). When I looked in supermarkets for a bottle of plain green tea, I was unable to find it. There were all kinds of green tea with random things, sugared green teas, sweetened green teas, but no plain green tea. Buy some tea bags, brew your own, fill your drink bottle from that. It'll be cheaper overall, and healthier to boot. You might want, since you've started from the sweetened snapple version, to add some honey, but, although it's bitter, green tea really doesn't need much else.

As an added benefit, if you want to think of it that way, plain tea has no calories. You'll be cutting out all the calories you'd have been getting from snapple, which are more than you want, I imagine.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:04 PM on November 2, 2009

Is green tea good for you even when it is cold? Yes. Snapple isn't green tea. It's a sugar drink. The fact that it contains green tea as an ingredient is a marketing gimmick.
posted by whiskeyspider at 6:16 PM on November 2, 2009 [3 favorites]

Snapple doesn't use regular sugar, HFCS is the second (maybe third) ingredient in every version of both Snapple and Arizona green teas I've checked over the past few-to-several years. And I've checked, because I wish they weren't using it and am (or was) waiting for them to get with the program.
posted by rhizome at 6:16 PM on November 2, 2009

Nthing make your own. My mother, for whatever random reason, brought me a Mrs. Tea (iced tea brewer made by Mr. Coffee) that turned out to be remarkably useful all summer long and well worth clearing a little space off the counter for: big pitchers of green tea daily. If you prefer yours sweetened, I find that agave syrup dissolves better than honey or sugar in a cold beverage.
posted by padraigin at 6:26 PM on November 2, 2009

Best answer: I read a study of green-tea drinkers in Japan which found that you'd have to drink at least three cups of (real, good-quality) green tea to get any significant health benefits. The problem with Snapple is not that the tea's benefits are outweighed by the sugar (in which case Snapple would still be better than other sugary drinks) but that there is probably so little actual tea in the Snapple that the benefits would be negligible.
posted by k. at 7:10 PM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

P.S. "Honest Tea" makes really good cold bottled tea that is actually tea (green and other kinds).
posted by k. at 7:12 PM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

You have to weigh the health benefits of drinking Snapple green tea versus the health affect ingesting all the sugar and other shit they put into a cold bottled drink.

Even if you brewed hot green tea, you have to be careful of what you're ingesting. If it's from China, you just don't know what kinds of crap they put on the tea crop. Better to stick with more expensive blends from Japan.

Anyway, when I lived in Japan I drank a lot of cold green tea. You can buy it at the store. I also brewed cold green tea to drink in the summer. I drank about two liters a day. No idea if it provided me with any health benefits.

Even if it did, I canceled it out by eating Korean BBQ and drinking copious amounts of beer every weekend.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:25 PM on November 2, 2009

rhizome, Snapple has switched from HFCS to sugar.
posted by Majorita at 8:29 PM on November 2, 2009

You musn't drink green tea too hot. Too hot means the "kettle has just boiled" temperature.
posted by devnull at 1:28 AM on November 3, 2009

Majorita: Their distributors haven't (yet). That article is pretty much just a press release saying they're "going to." I checked some new green tea Snapple just a couple of days ago. HFCS.
posted by rhizome at 10:29 AM on November 3, 2009

Rhizome - sorry to further derail this thread, but perhaps it is a region by region roll out? because New York is overflowing with "Natural" Snapple and has been for months.
posted by Julnyes at 11:43 AM on November 3, 2009

I just can not imagine there is much benefit to Snapple Green Tea after getting sugared, packaged, preserved, etc. And it's probably not as potent as green tea you brew on your own. I say just make your own, or at the very least, buy something from a health food store.
posted by Rocket26 at 3:51 PM on November 3, 2009

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