If you’ve been on social media at all lately, you’ve probably seen influencers toting around vibrantly colorful drinks. These are called loaded teas and have cute names like Bahama Mama or Gummi Bear. But just what’s in a loaded tea?
Are they healthy, and if so, can you make your own loaded tea at home? Read more in this blog post to find out what you need to know about these energy drinks along with simple recipes so you can make your own loaded teas at home.
What’s a loaded tea?
A loaded tea or boosted tea is a mixture of tea concentrate, fruit juices and other supplements, like vitamins, added caffeine and other flavors. The “loaded” in loaded tea refers to the fact that they are usually high in caffeine, but also have antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients to balance the caffeine.
People who love loaded teas swear by the energy boost they get from these highly caffeinated, low sugar beverages. They love the weight loss and boosted energy levels they get from this concoction of ingredients.
What ingredients are in a loaded tea?
Loaded teas can vary depending on where you get them, but the basic ingredients are usually a mixture of:
- Tea extracts or herbal tea concentrate
- Fruit flavors
- Multivitamins like b vitamins and vitamin c
- Nutritional supplements
- No calorie or artificial sweeteners
- Food Coloring
- Dietary supplements like caffeine powder
Does loaded tea always contain tea?
Nope! There is really no standard recipe. While some loaded teas may actually have a tea base like green tea, black tea or oolong tea, many are just fruit flavored mixes along with a blend of caffeine or other herbal stimulants.
The originators of loaded tea have probably co-opted the use of “tea” because most people associate tea with health benefits.
What herbal stimulants are in loaded tea?
Along with caffeine, most loaded teas contain the same natural stimulants you’ll find in other energy drinks. Here are a few common ones used in many loaded tea recipes:
- Guarana: Provides caffeine and antioxidants
- Ginseng: May enhance brain function
- Taurine: May improve athletic performance
- Inositol: May improve insulin resistance
- Niacin: May improve brain function. High levels of niacin can cause flushing and a skin tingling sensation.
Are loaded teas meal replacements?
Meal replacements should always have a healthy mix of protein, carbs and fat.
Loaded teas aren’t meant to be meal replacements however since they are usually very low in calories, and contain negligible amounts of protein, if any.
Is a loaded tea an energy drink?
Pretty much. Since it’s loaded with caffeine, but low in sugar and calories, a loaded tea can be considered an energy drink.
Benefits of loaded teas
Fitness buffs love loaded teas because they provide energy without the calories of a soda. Users swear that they help them stay on track with their diets and boost metabolism while offering a boost of energy.
From performance enhancement and mental clarity to a metabolism boost and hunger suppression, here are some health benefits touted by loaded teas:
- Clean energy
- Low sugar
- Faster metabolism
- Vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants
- Different formulas for different needs
It’s important to remember that the health claims and promises of energy are usually anecdotal, so take them with a grain of salt.
How much caffeine is in a loaded tea?
Here’s where the energy blast comes from. The caffeine content in these drink mixes is huge. A typical loaded tea has between 160 to 200 milligrams of caffeine. That’s a boat load of caffeine.
As a comparison, Red Bull has 80 milligrams per serving, a cup of coffee contains 95 milligrams while a cup of black tea has less than 50 mg caffeine.
Any way you look at it, that’s a TON of caffeine. No wonder people swear by the energy boost that loaded teas provide.
Are loaded teas safe?
Experts agree that healthy adults should limit their caffeine consumption to less than 400 milligrams a day as part of a healthy diet. But that’s a big dose of caffeine for the average person. Many people find that they are sensitive to caffeine at levels way below that threshold.
Caffeine is known to spike blood pressure, so if you know you already have high blood pressure, a loaded tea probably isn’t your best choice.
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should cut back on your caffeine consumption and talk to your doctor:
- Digestive Troubles
- Rapid Heart Rate
- Frequent Urination
Herbalife products and loaded teas?
Herbalife is a MLM company that specializes in nutrition products. Herbalife nutrition products are sold by a legion of independent Herbalife distributors, who make money every time they sell a product.
Because nutrition products are popular with trainers and fitness buffs, hawking them in a gym environment became popular, resulting in smoothie, loaded tea, and nutrition cafes popping up, all using these supplements to make both Herbalife shake recipes and Herbalife tea recipes.
Many of the loaded tea recipes you’ll find include supplements from Herbalife, especially if they’re coming from a nutrition cafe owned by an Herbalife distributor.
FYI: You may want to know that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken several actions against this company for its reputation as a pyramid scheme.
Where can you get loaded teas?
Impressed by all the hype on social media platforms, popular tea shops, many a grocery store, and even Herbalife nutrition clubs have popped up to to supply the public with what they want. There are even tons of sellers on Etsy ready to send you ready made powder blends with interesting names like:
- Captain America loaded tea
- Hippie Juice
- Wonder woman fruit punch
- Mermaid Water
- Brave (on TikTok)
These are usually sold in a packet of powder. Just add cold water, and you’re ready for a cocktail of vitamins along with the sweet taste and sustained energy promised by these loaded drinks.
This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is sort of boring, but you can find it here.
Can you make your own loaded tea?
Yes! The best part about making your own DIY loaded teas is the cost savings. Instead of paying $5-8 each for a single powder pack online, on Etsy, or in a local tea shop, you can make your own for a fraction of the cost all while knowing exactly what ingredients are going into your homemade frugal loaded tea.
Easy Loaded Tea Recipe to Make at Home
So if after reading all this you still want a big caffeine blast, here’s how you can make your own loaded tea at home.
Homemade Loaded Tea Ingredients
To get that big caffeine boost, we’re going to mix together iced tea and a sugar-free energy packet. The combination of these two will bring your frugal loaded tea up to a whopping 190 milligrams of caffeine.
- Iced tea: You can buy ready made unsweetened tea, unsweetened tea powder, or make your own cold brew iced tea in advance. A large 16-ounce cup of iced tea will provide about 20 mg caffeine. if you decide to use the powder make sure you’re NOT accidentally buying the decaffeinated version.
- 4C Energy Rush Packets: These supply the added caffeine and are really inexpensive. If you click on the photo you can see what they cost on Amazon. Each stick packet contains 170 milligrams of caffeine and only 15 calories. These packets also provide: taurine, niacin, and vitamins B6 and B12.
Extra supplements to add if you like:
- Guarana (optional): You probably don’t need any more caffeine, but you can add a bit of this if you’re really looking for a a jolt.
- Ginseng (optional): For sharper focus and more energy, add powdered ginseng.
Instructions for making your own loaded tea
The step by step instructions are as simple as they get.
- Add a stick pack of 4C Energy rush to a shaker cup.
- Add any other additions like ginseng or guarana.
- Pour in iced tea. Shake well until powders are dissolved.
- Pour over ice and get ready for that energy boost.
- 16 oz unsweetened iced tea
- one stick pack of 4C Energy Rush
- Ice cubes
- Add stick packet of 4C Energy Rush to a shaker cup.
- Pour in iced tea and shake until well blended.
- Pour over ice and enjoy that caffeine kick.
The 4C powder contains taurine and B vitamins. If desired, you can add more supplements like ginseng or guarana. The 4C powder comes in many flavors so mix and match to find your favorite flavor.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 15
How to Make an Herbalife Loaded Tea
Looking for that 160 milligram caffeine blast, but really want the Herbalife version? You’ll never know the exact formulations of these Herbalife drinks, but you can approximate the taste and caffeine levels by combining these two ingredients.
- Herbalife Herbal Tea Concentrate: 85 mg caffeine
- Herbalife Liftoff: 75 mg caffeine. These come in many flavors like:
- Tropical punch
- Ignite me orange
- Tropical fruit force
- Lemon lime blast
- Pomegranate berry burst
To make this Herbalife loaded tea version, dissolve the Liftoff tablet and tea concentrate in water, mix well and pour over ice.
The Takeaway: Looking for an Energy Boost: Make Your Own Loaded Tea Recipe at Home
If you’re craving the blast of caffeine you used to get from an Herbalife loaded tea, but can’t stand the steep price tag, it’s good to know that you can make your own loaded tea recipe at home with just a few inexpensive ingredients.
Make sure you’re not overdoing it on the caffeine though and make sure to cut back if you experience any caffeine sensitivities.