Tea is one of the healthiest things you can put into your body.
Its powerful antioxidants provide tremendous and diverse benefits. They improve bone density and heart health. They help you lose weight, boost your immune system, and even slow brain aging.1 2
But a new study discovered a downside to tea.
Researchers led by the National Natural Science Foundation of China followed more than 450,000 adults for 9 years.3
They found that people who drank hot tea were more likely to get esophageal cancer.4
Your esophagus is the long, hollow tube that runs from your throat to your stomach. Esophageal cancer kills about 16,000 Americans every year.
Researchers believe that when you drink piping hot tea, it damages cells in the lining your esophagus. This can lead to cancer-causing inflammation.5
The study concluded that hot tea is “probably carcinogenic.” The research was published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The study confirms earlier findings by the World Health Organization (WHO). A 2016 review found that drinking any beverage at high temperatures can cause chronic irritation of esophagus tissue. It concluded that this can result in the development of malignant cells. They found that hot beverages – including tea and coffee – are “carcinogenic.”
How Hot is Too Hot?
According to the WHO, you should never drink a beverage hotter than 149 degrees Fahrenheit. 6
How hot is that? Coffee comes out of most coffee makers at about 180-185 degrees, according to the National Coffee Association. McDonald’s serves it at 170 degrees.
Water comes out of most household taps at about 140 degrees. A simple guideline is to wait until your coffee or tea cools to the temperature of hot tap water before you start sipping it. If you don’t want to wait, add an ice cube.
8 Health Benefits of Tea
Whatever you do, don’t stop drinking tea. Since ancient times, tea has been considered a health-promoting beverage. It’s the world’s most widely consumed beverage after water
And studies link tea to a wide variety of benefits, including:7
- Better bone density
- Lower triglycerides
- Diabetes prevention
- Lower risk of lung, prostate, and breast cancers
- Weight loss
- Stronger immunity
- Arthritis pain relief
- Slower brain aging
Green tea is especially potent. It’s loaded with a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).8
Studies show it neutralizes free radicals 100 times more effectively than vitamin C…and 25 times more effectively than vitamin E.
So keep drinking your tea…after it cools downs.