In keeping with the summer heat, new types of iced tea are constantly coming to the shops. However, the thirst quenchers popular with children contain almost all additives – and far too much sugar.
The Schleswig-Holstein consumer advice center examined the ingredients of 54 ready-made iced teas from the supermarket and came to the conclusion that the trend drinks that are so popular with children contain too much caffeine and sugar, as well as flavorings and additives.
The most striking result of the study: all the iced teas examined contain caffeine. The stimulant affects the central nervous system and can cause tachycardia, nausea and circulatory disorders in too large quantities. That’s why caffeine is actually taboo for children.
Frightening: Less than a third of the packaging contained a reference to the caffeine it contained. “The reference to caffeine is not mandatory if tea is in the list of ingredients,” explains nutrition expert Selvihan Koç from the Schleswig-Holstein consumer center. “Above all, to protect children, a mandatory reference to caffeine in iced tea is necessary,” demands Koç.
Way too much sugar in the iced tea
And the ready-made teas also contain plenty of sugar: the four sweetest products contain more than seven cubes per glass.
The four cutest products are:
- Thirst quencher ice tea peach: 8.8 grams of sugar in 100 milliliters of drink
- Thirst quencher ice tea lemon: 8.8 grams of sugar in 100 milliliters of drink
- Arizona Pomgranate Green Tea: 8.7 grams of sugar in 100 milliliters of drink
- River Peach Flavor Iced Tea: 7.5 grams of sugar in 100 milliliters of drink
Sugar provides a lot of calories, but does not fill you up. And it causes the blood sugar level to rise quickly, so that the body has to release a larger amount of insulin in order to lower the blood sugar concentration again. For this reason, drinks containing sugar are suspected of increasing the risk of obesity and type II diabetes mellitus.
The teeth also suffer: Sugar and acid in iced tea attack the tooth enamel and promote tooth decay. Zero and diet drinks are not good substitutes as they affect appetite.
Little fruit, many additives
There is hardly any fruit juice in finished iced teas. “The fruity taste of peach and lemon comes from added aromas. Only two of the tested iced teas contain no aromas, but at 4.50 euros per liter they cost about nine times more than the average,” says the nutrition expert from the consumer advice center. ChariTea Black and ChariTeam Green do without flavors. A third of the products have a fruit content of three percent or more.
Only four of the 54 products are free of additives. These are ChariTea Black, ChariTea Green, Pure Tea Green Tea and Volvic White Tea Rhubarb Cranberry.
Making iced tea yourself is the better solution
Iced tea usually consists of black tea, but mixtures based on green or white tea are also delicious. For children, iced tea made from fruit or herbal tea is the best choice. Refreshing iced tea for kids without sugar, flavorings and caffeine is easy to make at home.
Brew strong herbal or fruit tea. When cool, add fruit juice and ice cubes. Decorated with lemon slices, fresh fruit or a few mint leaves, the homemade iced tea also looks good and is a healthy refreshment for young and old.
The following combinations are particularly suitable for children:
- Peppermint Tea & Lemon Juice
- Herbal Tea & Raspberry Juice
- Peach Tea & Peach & Lime Juice
- Fruit tea & apple and orange juice