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How much sugar do you put in your tea? It would be equally enjoyable without any

Posted April 29, 2019

Everyone knows that sugar is unhealthy, but it is so difficult to cut down its intake. It seems like every single bite of food we take has at least a little bit of sugar and what can we do about it. At least we have control over the sugar in our tea, but less sugar means a worse drink, right? UCL-led trial revealed that reducing the amount of sugar in the tea does not affect the enjoyment of the drink.

Tea can be equally as enjoyable without any sugar. Image credit: Laurel F via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A cup of tea is a treat we give ourselves. It is a beverage of enjoyment, which helps us relaxing, calming down and resetting for the work on the rest of the day. Therefore, the enjoyment tea provides should be the most important factor determining its quality. Scientists now have followed 64 men and women who drank sugar-sweetened tea over the course of a month. The mean age of the participants was 23, but all of them were enjoying a good cup of tea once in a while.

Scientists divided participants into three groups – one continued using sugar, the other stopped putting sugar in tea and the third one had to gradually reduce the intake of sugar by 25% a week. Then, after a month, participants had to talk about how their enjoyment changed. Scientists discovered that a reduced amount of sugar didn’t really have any influence on drinker’s enjoyment. People were still enjoying their tea while decreasing their sugar intake by an average of 12.7 teaspoons a week. Of course, this doesn’t seem like a lot, but by proving that sugar is not needed for enjoyment scientists could encourage cutting sugar in other areas as well.

People love tea for its flavour and its calming quality. Also, its social function. No one really likes tea, because it’s sweet. Sugarless tea is still fully enjoyable. In fact, most avid tea drinkers could’ve probably confirmed that without any research. Now scientists say that a broader research is needed to confirm these findings and to see whether cutting sugar abruptly or reducing its intake gradually would be a preferred method.

Sugar contributes to a huge variety of different conditions, including cancer and diabetes. Reducing your sugar intake is simply a good idea. Dr Andrea Smith, lead author of the study, said: “Reducing sugar in tea doesn’t affect whether we like drinking it, suggesting long-term behaviour change is possible. Similar interventions could be used to reduce intake of sugar in other beverages such as dilutable fruit juices.”

Tea doesn’t really have any nutritional value, but it does have some benefits. You should not nullify them by putting it loads of sugar. Also, you should mind the snacks you are having with your tea. If you are having cookies, do you really want that spoon of sugar in your tea?


Source: UCL

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