Green tea is healthy. We all know that.
So obviously, Arizona green tea is healthy as well, right?
Not so fast.
While Arizona markets their drink as healthy, it is very far from it.
They commit the same sin that so many bottled and canned drink makers commit. They add such an insane amount of sugar to their beverages, that drinking them regularly will lead to very serious health risks.
The amount of sugar goes far beyond anything you would consider normal if you saw the sugar in its raw form sitting next to your drink. The sugar easily outweighs any healthy aspect of Arizona’s green tea drink.
Let’s find out just how much sugar is actually in one of these cans and what that amount of sugar can do to you.
Arizona Green Tea Calories: Liquid Sugar Troubles
Arizona green tea contains 70 calories per 8 fl oz (240mL). That means the standard sized can (23 fl oz) has just under 280 calories. And unfortunately, most of that is from sugar.
According to the American Heart Association, for a healthy lifestyle and optimally functioning organs, the daily average intake of sugar for men should be around 9 teaspoons at the most. Women should ideally consume only 6 teaspoons a day.
One can of Arizona Green Tea contains almost 68 grams (17 grams per 8 oz serving size) of sugar.
This amounts to around 16 teaspoons!
This insane amount of sugar is almost triple what the average woman should consume, and nearly double what the average man should consume. In an entire day!
These sugars are in a liquid form in most beverages. In Arizona Green Tea, the sweetness comes from a mixture of honey and high fructose corn syrup.
The gut quickly absorbs liquid sugar. Given that sugar makes up most of Arizona Green Tea’s calories, your gut will quickly absorb a high level of sugar from just one can.
A study conducted randomized tests and found fructose-containing drinks to increase the body’s chances of developing a high concentration of triglycerides. These are a form of fat found in the blood, created when the body is unable to use excessively consumed calories.
These calories convert to fat, and the more you consume, the higher the conversion rate. Overall, the consumption of fructose-laden beverages can amount to problems with obesity and metabolic abnormalities. Obesity and uncontrolled weight gain can then lead to further complications, such as cardiovascular problems and high blood pressure.
Arizona Green Tea Nutrition Label
I just wanted to add a quick note about labeling practices. I’ve seen far too many websites state that a can of Arizona green tea contains 70 calories and 17 grams of sugar. They say that, because that is what is says on the label.
What they fail to realize is the serving size. The label is per 8 oz serving. Since a can holds 23 ounces, you need to multiply all of the numbers on the label by 4.
Yes, I know it’s not quite 4, but the point is, nutritional labels are purposely misleading. Arizona wants you to think their drink contains a bit under the daily recommended amount of sugar, when in fact, it contains 2 to 3 times the recommended amount.
Arizona Tea Ingredients: Weakening the Body
Arizona Green Tea can seem like a pick me up drink made from natural ingredients. And it is made from natural ingredients, though not always what is claimed (more on that below).
The problem is mainly the insane amount of sugar. Because of that, the long term implications on the health of a person make this drink anything but a “pick me up” or healthy.
The sugars present in Arizona green tea break down in different parts of the body. The Fructose is broken down in the liver, while the glucose enters the blood.
The body’s response to glucose is a steady release of insulin to absorb its energy. An excessive amount of glucose can cause the body to overcompensate and release high levels of insulin. This can build up an insulin resistance in the body.
Over time, this can develop into type 2 diabetes. The same study discussed above also determines other ill effects of fructose consumption in high quantities. Since Fructose is mainly broken up in the liver, excessively high intake can deteriorate health quickly.
It leads to increases in body weight, causes fatty liver, gout problems, diabetes and a hiked up uric acid production in the body.
High uric acid can be a painful condition that leads to sore joints. Even a teenager can feel like they have the joints of 70 years old with uncontrollably high uric acid levels.
Additionally, the sugars in the drink cling to your teeth, letting bacteria thrive. Over time, you may develop problems with diminishing tooth enamel and notice cavities forming in your teeth.
In short, it is safe to assume that in the long run, Arizona Green Tea is not good for your body or teeth, especially if you consume substantial amounts of it daily.
Slow Poison for the Body
Although the Arizona Green Tea nutrition label has beneficial elements written on it, such as ¼ of the required daily intake of vitamin C, as well as antioxidants, their benefit is overshadowed by the excessive amounts of sugar.
The cancer-fighting advantages the body can gain from green tea Polyphenols are negated by the slow poison this beverage can spread in the body. The drink has no fiber; hence it does not satiate your hunger. Instead, you end up craving more sugary foods.
Additionally, insulin resistance and elevated levels of sugar in the blood can cause long term problems, such as damage to the nervous system, numbness, kidney failure, and cardiovascular attacks. You are essentially consuming a slow poison to will gradually destroy your body.
The Aluminum cans themselves are also shrouded in scandal, due to their potentially memory-degenerating toxins. Evidence suggests that aluminum exposure can lead to faster aging of the brain and increases the chances of developing neurological disorders.
If you prize your long term health, then steer clear of aluminum products. There is mounting evidence that they are bad for you and they do not have many redeeming qualities.
Arizona Green Tea With Ginseng: A Scandal In The Making?
The inclusion of health-benefiting ingredients can increase the appeal of products and push consumers to purchase them. Arizona knows this and advertises such ingredients heavily.
Most people purchase Arizona green tea with the assumption that it is an all-natural, energy boosting, healthy drink.
The reason they think this is the heavy promotion of natural Arizona tea ingredients on the cans.
Advertising natural ingredients lures in consumers to take a sip without questioning the long term ill effects. Terms like ‘Green Tea’, ‘Honey’ and ‘Ginseng’ printed elaborately on the turquoise cans invoke a sense of healthy consumption in the consumers.
Ginseng, a Chinese herbal plant, is widely celebrated for its medicinal properties. Known to benefit the human body, studies support the notion that its ginsenosides have wide and far-reaching benefits on human health.
Research confirms it can boost vitality and strength, improve anti-aging capabilities, improve immunity and enhance memory. Further studies and refinement processes could lead to it being an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
As a result, ginseng is a very expensive medicinal herb, costing around $1000 per pound. Its inclusion in Arizona’s tea supports its branding as a premium health boosting drink.
Given all the possible benefits of ginseng, Arizona Green Tea may look like the perfect drink for your health. It definitely appears to be a much healthier alternative to sodas.
Sadly, the claims of ginseng being an active ingredient in Arizona green tea have turned out to be false.
Vice reported in early 2019 that Arizona was being sued for falsely claiming the inclusion of ginseng extracts in their green tea. Such false advertising has raised a scandal around this drink, tainting its credibility as a healthy beverage.
The missing premium ingredient also raises questions about the ethics of the company for misleading their consumers.
So far, the laboratory tests have found no traces of the plant in the drinks, making its claimed benefits null and void. If the lawsuit is found to be valid, Arizona will not only have to change its packaging and labels, but also confirm the truth about the missing ingredients in Arizona tea.
Combining ginseng and tea is a great idea, though. Read more about green tea with ginseng, including where you can find some on Amazon at a very reasonable price (basically the same as any other tea).
The Benefits of Natural Green Tea
Green tea and human health have gone hand in hand for many decades, even centuries, in the Asian parts of the world. Its manufacturing process maintains the presence of natural Polyphenols in the leaves and this is one of the main reasons for its reputation as a health-boosting natural product.
Green tea contains a good concentration of amino acids like theanine, as well as active elements like flavonoids, calcium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins B, C, and E. Fresher leaves also have a higher likelihood of containing alkaloids such as caffeine and theophylline, to name a few.
The benefits to health are multifold such as possible cancer prevention capabilities. The presence of Polyphenols has been linked to the prevention of cancers of the liver, kidney, intestines, mammary glands, lungs, and more. It is a natural cancer deterrent.
Additionally, tea can also prevent neurological problems, coronary heart problems, and control weight gain.
The benefits are heightened when organic green teas leaves are brewed in plain water and consumed in that natural state. Perhaps they are infused with other natural herbs or plants, like the above-mentioned ginseng.
Bottom line: if you wish to optimize the health benefits, you are best off making tea yourself at home, from natural tea leaves. Avoid the canned or bottled teas, apart from some of the brands found in Japan.
What to Drink Instead
First off: you should quit drinking anything that comes in a can. Second: avoid drinks with massive amounts of sugar.
Knowing the ill effects of both sugary drinks and aluminum cans on the brain and body, it is safe to say that mass-produced green tea drinks packaged in cans are detrimental to your health.
Eliminating such drinks from your diet can also eliminate triggers for cravings for sweet foods, which is often go along with the consumption of unnaturally sweetened drinks.
This will make the transition to a healthier diet easy, too. If you wish to enjoy the benefits of green tea, the best way to do that is to switch to natural and/or organic varieties.
You can drink your tea hot or iced, sweet (by adding honey or sugar, but in reasonable amounts, not by the bucketful) or infused with herbs.
The possibilities are endless. And they are all better for your body, too.
If you are not sure what kind of green tea to get or where to get it, read this article.
How to Elevate the Tea Drinking Experience
My favorite way to brew tea is in a glass teapot. Ideally, you want to get one with a strainer. That allows you to easily brew loose leaf tea, without getting any tea leaves in your cup.
The reason I prefer a glass teapot is that I like to see the color of the tea as it steeps. When it reaches the color I like, I know it’s done. I prefer that to using a timer, because each subsequent steeping will require a different steeping time.
Since most of us already own a mug, the easiest and cheapest way to get started brewing your own tea is to just get a strainer that you can use in any existing mug. They are inexpensive and very easy to use.
I recommend drinking your tea without any sweeteners. If you don’t like it plain, try using honey to add a naturally sweet flavor.
If honey doesn’t work for you, use sugar. I would avoid any unnatural sweeteners. Despite the bad rep, sugar is not actually bad for you, assuming you keep it to a small spoon full or two at the most.
Is Arizona Green Tea Good For You?
When it comes to health, we can become negligent and opt for convenience over our body’s needs. No doubt buying cans is simpler, cheaper, and easier than brewing a fresh cup every day.
There are, however, very few shortcuts to attaining good health, and products that are good for us rarely ever come packaged in sugary cans.
Arizona Green Tea does not have the same benefits you get from a calorie-free, home-brewed cup of antioxidant and Polyphenols rich green tea.
If good health is what you seek, then go with a natural green tea that you brew yourself.