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Milk tea or black tea: What is better for you?

Black tea vs milk tea: If you are confused about which one is better, fret not. Here's everything you need to know about these two beverages, plus the difference to help you choose.
A cup of tea
Find out the difference between black tea and milk tea. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Aayushi Gupta Published: 15 Nov 2023, 08:59 am IST
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Some of us just cannot start our day without a steaming cup of tea, isn’t it? It feels necessary to refresh our minds and kickstart our day. A morning cup of tea also fires up energy levels. But when it comes to black tea or milk tea, is one better than the other?

To keep the answer simple, both types teas have their own pros and cons. To find out which one is better for you, Health Shots reached out to Eshanka Wahi, a wellness advocate and nutrition coach. Scroll down to know more!

What is black tea good for?

Black tea, derived from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, is known for its robust flavour and dark colour. It contains caffeine, antioxidants, and various beneficial compounds, making it a popular choice worldwide. Here are the health benefits of black:

1. Packed with antioxidants

Black tea is abundant in antioxidants, particularly polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins. These compounds combat oxidative stress, helping to neutralize free radicals and potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

black tea
Black tea offers a plethora of health benefits. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Promotes heart health

Regular consumption of black tea has been linked to improved cardiovascular health. The flavonoids in black tea may enhance blood vessel function, regulate blood pressure, and lower cholesterol levels, contributing to a healthier heart.

3. Good for cognitive function

The presence of caffeine in black tea can enhance alertness and improve cognitive function. Additionally, the amino acid L-theanine in black tea may have a calming effect, promoting relaxation without causing drowsiness.

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4. Supports immunity system

Black tea contains compounds that may strengthen the immune system. The polyphenols in tea have antimicrobial properties, and the beverage itself can contribute to overall hydration, which is crucial for maintaining a robust immune response.

5. Boosts healthy digestion

Tannins in black tea may have a positive impact on digestion. They have been associated with reducing intestinal inflammation and can potentially alleviate digestive discomfort.

6. Aids weight loss

Some studies suggest that the compounds in black tea, particularly polyphenols, may aid in weight management by boosting metabolism and reducing the absorption of fat. However, it’s important to note that black tea alone is not a magic solution for weight loss and should be part of a balanced lifestyle.

Is milk tea or milk chai good for health?

Milk tea is quite common in India. It combines black tea with milk, sugar, or other sweeteners, creating a creamy and delightful beverage. However, its nutritional benefits depend on the added ingredients, which determine the calorie, sugar, and saturated fat content of milk. Hence, there are both pros and cons of milk tea.

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Pros of milk tea:

1. Good for bones: Since milk tea provides essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and protein due to the addition of milk, it is good for bone health, immunity, and overall well-being.

Think twice before you drink tea right in the morning! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Antioxidants: Milk tea contains antioxidants that can help combat oxidative stress, reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

3. Caffeine: Milk tea often contains caffeine, which can enhance alertness and cognitive function.

Also read: I swapped my doodh wali chai with green tea for a month and the results are beyond amazing

Cons of milk tea:

1. High caloric and sugar content: Milk tea can be calorie-dense, especially with full-fat milk and added sugars, potentially contributing to weight gain and other health issues.

2. Digestive discomfort: For some people, the tannins in tea may lead to digestive discomfort or irritation.

3. Bad for oral health: The sugar content in sweetened milk tea can contribute to dental problems, including cavities.

4. Caffeine sensitivity: Excessive caffeine intake can lead to negative effects like insomnia, increased heart rate, and jitteriness, particularly for those sensitive to caffeine.

5. Dehydration: Since caffeine is a diuretic, consuming excess milk tea can increase your number of visits to the washroom, which may cause dehydration.

Which one is better: black tea or milk tea?

Black tea offers a rich source of antioxidants, such as flavonoids, and potential cardiovascular benefits. It is not only a non-sweetened and low-calorie drink; it actually offers a range of health benefits, including weight loss. In fact, a study published in the National Cancer Institute found that drinking at least two cups of black tea daily lowers the risk of death from any cause by almost 9-13 percent.

black tea
Black tea is better than milk tea. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

On the other hand, milk tea combines black tea with milk, providing additional nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. However, the caloric content increases, particularly with added sugar, which can even result in digestive issues. According to a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, milk tea addiction may have a detrimental impact on mental health, such as anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. Not only this, but it can cause sleep issues, acne, breakouts, and even constipation.

So, the choice between black tea and milk tea is pretty clear. Go for black tea when it comes to making a healthier pick!

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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