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What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Iced Tea

From your heart to your teeth, here's how your favorite iced beverage really affects your health.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

With the weather heating up across the U.S., countless people are once again firing up their grills, hearing the dulcet tones of their local ice cream truck's jingle, and cooling off with a glass of iced tea.

However, that steeped and often sweetened drink may be doing more than just providing you some much-needed refreshment on a hot day. From your weight to the functionality of your vital organs, read on to discover the side effects of drinking iced tea, according to science. And if you want to improve your health the easy way, check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

You may lose weight.

woman weighing herself overweight on scale

If you sip on iced green tea throughout the day, you might find yourself dropping a few pounds. A 2009 meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Obesity (London) found that catechins, a type of antioxidant that's abundant in green tea, "significantly decreased body weight and significantly maintained body weight."

Among a 2013 study of adults with diabetes, green tea consumption was not only linked to weight loss but also a decrease in systolic blood pressure. For more, check out What Happens To Your Body When You Drink Green Tea.

But you may gain a few pounds, depending on your drink of choice.

Woman drinking iced green tea

However, if you're loading that cup of iced tea with sugar, don't be surprised if the numbers on the scale start moving in the wrong direction.

A review of research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages—including iced tea—is strongly associated with weight gain.

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You may reduce your risk of kidney stones if you drink iced green tea.

Woman with pain in kidneys at home on couch

If green tea happens to be your brew of choice, your kidneys may benefit from your iced tea consumption.

A 2019 clinical investigation published in the International Journal of Urology found that green tea consumption was linked to a reduced likelihood of developing kidney stones, particularly among men.

Your oral health may improve.

woman looking at her teeth in the mirror

Want to make your dentist proud? One of the pleasant side effects of drinking iced green tea may be an improvement in your dental health. A comparative study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that consumption of green tea was associated with a lower risk of developing periodontal disease.

You may lower your heart disease risk.

Woman making a heart gesture with her fingers in front of her chest.

What you eat and how you exercise aren't the only factors that keep your heart healthy—what you drink may be just as essential when it comes to your cardiovascular wellbeing. According to a review of research published in the International Journal of Cardiology, green tea has been linked to lower blood pressure, lower total cholesterol, lower levels of fat in the bloodstream, and a lower total risk of coronary heart disease.

If you want to reap the benefits of iced tea—black, green, herbal, you name it—you need to be wary of the amount of sugar per bottle. Opt for unsweetened versions, and please avoid all of The Unhealthiest Bottled Iced Teas on the Planet.

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more about Sarah
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