But what exactly is Fit Tea? What are the marketing claims relative to what you can reasonably expect? Will it slim you down? Will it really “detoxify” you?
In this review, I will answer all these questions, in addition to the potential risks and side effects. If you insist on using a detox tea, then it’s always best to be a wise consumer and arm yourself with the facts.
What is Fit Tea?
According to the company’s website, Fit Tea claims to be a “detoxifying tea blend of certified organic herbs which are formulated to enhance your weight management program as part of a healthy diet and exercise regimen.”
A number of products on the website tend to give the impression they will “detox” and help you burn fat. The tea contains a combination of caffeinated ingredients, diuretics, and other herbs with a variety of effects.
Fit Tea ingredients list
There are 13 ingredients in Fit Tea products combined into 5g tea bags.
The exact quantities of each ingredient are not stated on the label, so we are not able to compare each of them to other published studies.
Organic green tea
Green tea contains a small amount of caffeine which might give you a feeling of pep in your step and help suppress appetite.
Oolong Wu Yi
Oolong tea contains caffeine which will give you a feeling of alertness. It may also exert a diuretic effect on your body which will make you pee more.
Garcinia Cambogia Extract
Garcinia Cambogia, also known as the Malabar tamarind, contains hydroxycitric acid, or HCA. It has been touted as a “fat-burner” supplement but no significant body of evidence conclusively supports this effect.
Pomegranate contains chemicals which may exert an antioxidant effect in the body and help combat atherosclerosis and cancer, but it’s not known if these effects are conferred when consumed in liquid form.
Rooibos is an African tea that is red in colour. Pronounced “roy-boss” and means “red bush” in the Afrikaans language. It is caffeine free, contains valuable antioxidants, and may protect you against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Ginger can have a laxative effect on the body by stimulating the bowels and may be useful for upset stomach, gas, and diarrhoea. It may also promote fluid loss as a diuretic. Ginger might also stimulate appetite which may counter other ingredients in the teas that decrease appetite.
Stevia is a sugar substitute extracted from the plant species Stevia rebaudiana. Steviol glycosides are the active compounds and have 30 to 150 times the sweetness of regular sugar.
Honey is used as a sweetener in many products. There are varying degrees of honey quality but it’s not known exactly what type of honey is used in Fit Tea and what its specific nutrient profile is.
Guarana contains the central nervous system stimulants caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine. Similar to yerba mate, guarana can increase your heart rate and blood pressure.
Despite its chemical-sounding name (oh nooo chemicals!), citric acid is just a light acid commonly found in citrus fruits like lemons and oranges. Citric acid is commonly used as a preservative in food products.
Sea salt is a fancy name for salt or sodium chloride (NaCl). Salt has been used since ancient times as a food preservative due to its ability to absorb water and repel bacteria.
Lemon juice as a food additive offers a tangy flavour to food products and, by virtue of its citric acid content, may also serve as a preservative against spoilage.
Matcha Green Tea
Matcha green tea contains caffeine but boasts a more level, even-keel sort of high compared to standard coffee’s jolt. Like other classes of green tea, it also contains the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which may have protective effects against cancer.
More ingredient information
Also be sure to check out Joe Cannnon’s comprehensive Fit Tea review (here) which discusses the ingredients in greater detail.
Fit Tea Clinical Studies
To my knowledge, there are no independent published scientific studies on the Fit Tea product.
On the company website, they provide a small write-up of a single Fit Tea-sponsored study, but there is no mention as to if/where this study was published (if at all).
Publication in a reputable scientific journal is important because it means the study has been reviewed by independent experts to make sure it isn’t junk science.
I break down this “study” below in detail and provide a critical interpretation of the results.
Study design and methods
Fifty participants (41 women and 9 men) between the ages of 18 and 60 years were recruited for the study.
It was a non-experimental study design looking at the effects of FitTea 28 Day Detox tea to:
- Aid in weight loss (primary outcome measure); and
- Increase energy levels, concentration levels, and decreasing appetite (secondary outcome measures)
A physical exam was conducted on study participants which included:
- Blood thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels
- Complete blood count
- Metabolic and lipid levels
- DEXA scan for body composition
- 1-10 Likert scale questionnaire to assess appetite, energy, concentration, and adverse events
According to the website, of the 50 individuals, 25 or 50% had lost weight (-0.5 lbs [or 0.23 kg]) within the first 14 days, and 33 or 66% had lost weight (-2 lbs [or 0.91 kg]) within the 28-day period.
Of the 33 participants who lost weight, 24 participants or 72.7% lost 3 or more pounds (1.36 kg), and 14 or 42.4% of those lost 5 or more pounds (2.26 kg) by the end of the study.
Energy, concentration and appetite
For the secondary outcome measures, 43/50 participants stated they had increased energy levels, 42/50 stated they had increased concentration levels, and 47/50 experienced a decrease in appetite.
12 participants experienced self-resolving side effects which included:
- Other (not defined)
If you’re a layperson reading these results, you might think, “Great, people lost weight. Good enough for me,” but not so quick. You have to look at these results carefully and consider the following limitations:
1) No control group
The study had no control group to compare results. While the authors reported that people “lost weight,” we have no idea how these results would have compared to an age- and gender-matched control group. In many studies, reductions in body weight can occur in both the experimental and control groups due to things like inadvertently or purposely eating less or doing more exercise.
2) No accounting for exercise/activity levels
There was no mention if the research team controlled for activity levels. We know that when people participate in weight loss studies, there can be either an inadvertent or deliberate attempt to enhance weight loss by adding in more exercise and/or incidental movement (i.e., walking or standing more).
3) No accounting for diet
There was no mention if the research team controlled for dietary variations. As with physical activity, when people know they’re under the microscope, they can sometimes moderate their food intake which will result in enhanced weight loss (these “results” can then be erroneously attributed to the intervention).
4) Predominantly female participants
41 out of 50 participants (82%) were female. Because there can be hormonal differences between the genders which impact weight gain or loss, it would have been more prudent to focus only on female or male participants, or at least have the results stratified by gender rather than lumping them altogether.
5) A wide age range
Participants ranged from age 18 to 60 years. This is a reasonably large age range and, given that there are age-related hormonal changes and differences in lean mass (i.e., muscle). Having them all lumped together may provide a skewed picture of the results. We don’t know who the responders were (i.e., younger versus older participants, which genders, etc).
6) No explanation for changes in body weight
The authors reported a range of “weight loss” but did not provide any DEXA body composition results to explain the said weight loss. Given that the product contains mild laxative and diuretic ingredients, it is plausible that the said weight loss might have been, in part, fecal and fluid waste. If participants were cutting food intake or increasing their activity levels, this would also have enhanced the weight loss effect. In the absence of any concrete body composition data, a simple before and after scale weight is not very informative.
7) No mention of blood biomarker results
The study authors mentioned that bloods were drawn, but these were completely omitted from the write-up. It would be helpful to see the participants’ pre and post-study blood biomarker values to determine how this product affected blood sugars, lipids, etc. When it comes to research, authors should disclose all results, including the good, bad, and ugly (i.e., results which don’t “look good” shouldn’t be omitted as inconvenient truths). It would be helpful to know why Fit Tea has not disclosed the entire results of their study.
8) Broken images in the result section
On the results page, there are a number of broken images (i.e., graphs, tables) which presumably offer more information on the study results. It would be helpful for the company to fix these errors and provide full disclosure of ALL the results.
Fit Tea review of marketing claims
Fit Tea makes a number of marketing claims but is there any evidence to support them?
Claim 1: “Reduce your bloating”
Before we discuss this claim, it’s important to provide some operational definitions for the word bloating.
Actual bloating, as in fluid retention, is a real and biologically normal thing, but tends to be transient and self-resolving.
“Bloating,” on the other hand, is also a cutesy and ambiguous marketing euphemism for having some extra body fat in those undesirable trouble spots.
Whatever your definition of “bloating,” it is important that you compare your expectations on what the product can deliver against the product claims.
Any product which contains diuretics and laxatives will make you urinate and defecate more frequently. You will “lose weight” on the scale, but it’s important not to confuse this with fat loss. You will replace the lost fluid and fecal waste with your next meal (remember, your body weight fluctuates every day with meals, drinks, and your normal bladder and bowel movements).
Claim 2: “Support your metabolism”
The phrase “support your metabolism” is an ambiguous and misleading marketing phrase that can mean different things to different people.
Do they mean “increases your metabolism?” “Makes you burn more fat?” Fit Tea should be specific with this claim and explain to consumers exactly what they can expect.
The “research” study on their website did not include any outcome measures or results related to metabolism so, to the best of my knowledge, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.
The product does contain caffeine which could theoretically provide an increase in calorie burn – but not so fast. An article published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism found that 12 healthy young male volunteers who consumed 200 mg of caffeine increased their metabolism by a negligible 13 calories – in other words, pretty much nothing.
Moreover, because we don’t know the EXACT AMOUNT of caffeine contained in the product, we cannot conclusively state what effect the product would have on metabolism.
Claim 3: “Detoxify your system”
I’ll be blunt: this is a false claim.
Like with “bloating” and “support your metabolism,” “detox” is a popular and ill-defined marketing term used on a number of “teatox” products, including Fit Tea.
If you don’t specifically know which toxins or how many/how much are in your body before you start drinking the tea, and you don’t have a measure of toxins after you’ve drunk the tea, then how do you KNOW it’s “detoxifying” you?
The truth? Spoiler alert: “detox” teas don’t detox you. Period.
If you have a working liver and two normally functioning kidneys, then your body can “detox” itself. Defecation and urination are normal bodily functions, not “detoxification.”
Claim 4: “Decrease your water retention”
As with the bloating claim, the diuretics will make you pee a bit more and may result in less water retention… temporarily. This is only a cosmetic effect that will disappear once you stop taking the tea and drink water (or other fluids) again.
Claim 5: “Cleanse your digestive system”
The laxative effect of some ingredients will make you defecate more frequently but, to be clear, this should not be confused with “cleaning your digestive system.” It’s just a normal bodily function.
By this logic, eating a big T-bone steak will eventually need to come out the other end too. Does this mean that a T-bone steak is “cleansing your digestive system.”
Bottom line: your digestive system is already a self-cleaning model that really doesn’t need any help under normal circumstances.
Claim 6: “Clinical studied” [sic]
The company claims that Fit Tea “contains ingredients that are ‘clinically researched’ to help burn calories.” They then provide a list of links to a number of legitimate research articles on the effects of green tea and green tea extract on different health biomarkers.
Piggybacking these studies is misleading because the published research used specific quantities of green tea or green tea extract whereas Fit Tea has an unknown amount of green tea mixed with 12 other ingredients. In other words, there is no way to know what effects, if any, are attributable to green tea versus other ingredients.
Also remember that the terms “clinically proven” really don’t mean much in a marketing sense. This phrase can mean different things to different people and there is no standardised definition or regulation of its use. See my article here on what “clinically proven” really means.
Fit Tea side effects
Fit Tea is essentially a combination of laxatives, diuretics, and mild stimulants. For the most part, it probably won’t do you any harm unless you abuse it in large doses (please don’t do this).
In the company-sponsored “research” study published on the Fit Tea website, of the 50 participants, 12 complained of a number of self-resolving side effects including: bloating, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and “other” undefined side effects.
In other words, about 1 in 4 users may experience side effects from Fit Tea.
Potential risks and warnings
It is important to remember that when it comes to herbal products, the risk may be low but is never zero. If you have medical issues or are taking medications, you should consult your doctor to ensure herbal products are safe and there are no herb-medicine interactions.
Fit Tea contains garcinia cambogia which may have possible interactions with:
- Asthma and allergy medicines such as Accolate and Singulair
- Diabetes medicines, including pills and insulin
- Iron, for anemia
- Pain medicines
- Prescriptions for psychiatric conditions
- Statins, drugs that lower cholesterol
- Warfarin, a blood thinner
Guarana contains the central nervous system stimulants caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine. Similar to yerba mate, guarana can jack up your heart rate and blood pressure. If you have a heart condition (or are at risk of heart problems or stroke), you should discuss the tea ingredients with your doctor to ensure it is safe for you.
Pomegranate may decrease blood pressure so if you are already taking blood pressure-lowering medications, this could potentially cause your blood pressure to bottom out (i.e., go too low and make you feel dizzy or pass out).
Pomegranate may decrease the speed at which the liver metabolises rosuvastatin (Crestor), thus increasing the effects and side effects of the medication.
Pomegranate might decrease how quickly your liver breaks down some medications, which can increase some effects and side effects.
Bottom line: speak with your health care professional about use of detox teas and their potential effects on your medications.
Fit Tea contains mild diuretics and laxative ingredients. If used as indicated, you are not likely to experience dehydration. However, if for whatever reason you experience diarrhea or vomiting, discontinue the product and seek medical help if it does not resolve on its own.
Electrolyte imbalances and nutrient deficiencies
The diuretic effect of the tea could contribute to dehydration if you abuse the product. If you have diarrhoea, then it could further hasten dehydration and contribute to an electrolyte imbalance and nutrient deficiencies.
Reduction in bowel movements
Detox teas should only be used for the short term and as indicated. Long term use could result in your body habituating to the laxative effect which may lead to a reduction in bowel motility (leading to intestinal paralysis, lazy gut, and IBS) and make you dependent on the tea for normal bowel movements. If you’re having problems with your bowel movements after using the tea, you should consult your doctor for further evaluation.
Weight loss abuse
Because “detox teas” promote “weight loss” through increased urine and fecal loss, consumers obsessed with quick-fix weight loss products may be at higher risk for abuse. If you’re the parent of a teen with body image issues, you should pay particular attention to their use of the products.
How much does Fit Tea cost? According to the company website, the tea will set you back anywhere from $25 to $45 USD.
- 14 Day Detox – 24.99 USD
- 28 Day Detox – 44.99 USD
- Fit Tea Sticks – 24.99 USD
If you’re buying it within the United States, then shipping is free, but will cost you $10 USD for international shipping to overseas locations.
Fit Tea will only cancel your order before processing and will refund your payment.
I did not find any information regarding a satisfaction guarantee or product returns if you tried the product and are unhappy with it.
Does Fit Tea work? The verdict
Whether or not Fit Tea actually “works” depends on your own personal definition of the words “detox” and “cleanse.” If you consider urine and feces to be “toxins” then, sure, diuretics and laxatives will do the trick. But it’s unlikely to fix that KGB polonium poisoning thing you’ve been dealing with.
Will you “lose weight?” Sure. The more time you spend on the toilet, the more “weight” you will lose. But if you have an expectation of losing stored body fat, well, that’s going to take a bit of commitment to changing your diet and physical activity habits.
Will it jack up your metabolism into a raging inferno? Unless it’s packed with 1000 mg or more of caffeine, probably not. And even if it bumps up your body temperature a notch, it’s unlikely to result in any appreciable fat loss.
Bottom line: spend your money on whatever the heck your want, but make sure you are making an educated buying decision and putting your safety above all else.
Remember there are no “teatoxes” on the market that actually “detox” you (for real). If you’re looking to lose stored body fat and get healthier, then the scientifically-proven healthy lifestyle foundations still hold true: eat a nutrient-rich diet that contains lots of fruits and veggies, limit alcohol intake, do regular physical activity, get adequate sleep, and reduce stress.
Sometimes the basics are all you really need…and they’re a lot cheaper!