Most breakfast buffs would argue that coffee reigns supreme in the morning beverages department. Although a cup of joe is the perfect liquid pick-me-up to get you through a long day, drowning it in cream and sugar could take a serious toll on your waistline. (Here’s how to make your coffee habit healthier.) On the other hand, English breakfast tea, a combination of different kinds of black tea, might be the best of both worlds.
Not only does black tea provide the a.m. caffeine rush you need, but it also has some pretty incredible weight loss benefits, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of California report that black tea could produce healthy gut bacteria and even boost your metabolism. Here are even more surprising benefits of black tea.
To determine the effects of black tea on weight loss, the researchers randomly assigned mice to four different diets: Low-fat and high-sugar; high-fat and high-sugar; high-fat, high-sugar, and green tea extract; and high-fat, high-sugar, and black tea extract. Then, they tracked the mice’s weight for four weeks.
Overall, mice who received both black and green tea lost the same amount of weight as those on a low-fat diet. And mice on the black tea extract diet, in particular, showed an increase of the metabolism-boosting bacteria Pseudobutyrivibrio in their systems. (Ready to make the switch from coffee to tea? Here’s what might happen to your body if you do.)
“Our new findings suggest that black tea, through a specific mechanism through the gut microbiome, may also contribute to good health and weight loss in humans,” Susanne Henning, lead author of the study and human nutrition professor at UCLA, said. “For black tea lovers, there may be a new reason to keep drinking it.”
Polyphenols found in black tea spurs the gut’s production of short-chain fatty acids, which have been shown to speed up the body’s metabolic rate, researchers explain.
But before you start chugging tea by the gallon, it’s worth noting that this study only tested black tea by itself. Researchers are unsure of how milk or other additions could affect tea’s weight loss perks. Since this study was only performed on mice, its effect on humans remains unclear.
Still, we say it can’t hurt to squeeze a cup or two of English breakfast tea into your breakfast lineup! Just make sure to pair it with the best metabolism-boosting breakfast of all time.