Many have the impression that teas are a healthy beverage choice. That isn't always true. Is bottled tea another junk drink? For many popular brands such as Lipton, Tazo, Snapple, and Arizona green tea, you could easily make the argument they are not good for you. Or at least, the sweetened varieties are not.
For example, take a look at a bottle of Tazo green lemon ginger tea. Coming in glass bottles and with many flavors being organic, this is definitely a higher-end brand whose marketing and labels create a healthy vibe. But looking at the nutrition facts label, you will see that 1 bottle contains a whopping 30 grams of added sugar. That doesn't come from a low glycemic sweetener either - it's from pure cane sugar. Now compare that to a can of Coke, with 35 grams of sugar. Granted, the can of Coke is a bit smaller and may possibly use artificial flavors, coloring, and high fructose corn syrup, but still the sugar content between the two is quite similar. It's not right to demonize one as a junk food and let the other off scot-free.
So don't lie to yourself and believe bottled green tea is good for weight loss or as part of a low glycemic diet. If you're dieting and trying to lose a few pounds or just want to reduce your sugar intake, then stick with the unsweetened versions of the bottled teas. Most manufacturers, whether it be Tazo, Lipton or others, do make varieties with no sugar added, they're just not as popular and therefore you won't find them for sale everywhere. Those versions are good for you!
When it comes to antioxidant content, is bottled green tea the same as freshly brewed? Based on the ORAC test results from the USDA, the brewed version comes in with over twice as many antioxidants. However it's worth noting they did not disclose which brands of bottled or brewed tea packets were used in their testing.
USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2 - Prepared by Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - May 2010