4 Health Benefits of Unsweetened Iced Tea

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Drinking unsweetened tea is very common for those who want to avoid adding too much sugar to their diet, while still benefitting from the other nutrients found in tea.

What is Unsweetened Tea?

Unsweetened tea is a common name for iced tea (black or green) that isn’t additionally sweetened with sugar. Essentially, unsweetened tea is just a regular tea on ice. Since most iced tea varieties include some type of sweetener to improve flavor and make the beverage more appealing, unsweetened tea may taste unusual at first, but it has a wealth of health benefits. Many people mistake this drink for something besides basic “iced” tea, but it does have all the same components as a cup of black or green tea, including the caffeine. [1]

Unsweetened Tea Nutrition

A glass jar filled with Thai iced tea kept atop a black table against a grey background

Thai iced tea is a delicious and refreshing drink made of milk, tea and sugar. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In terms of nutrition, this tea contains less than 5 calories, zero fat, and zero sugar, as well as a negligible amount of carbohydrates, which promotes weight loss. It also regulates blood sugar. There is also a good supply of manganese, fluoride, and a variety of flavonoids, as well as catechins and other antioxidants, all of which can have notable effects on your body.

Unsweetened Tea Benefits

There are quite a few benefits to unsweetened tea, such as:

  • Increased energy levels
  • Boosted immune system

Immune System

Black and green tea is known to stimulate the immune system due to the activities of various antioxidants, which can counter much of the strain on the system due to excess inflammation. [2]

Blood Sugar

By removing the sugar from sweet tea, and avoiding carbonated beverages with even more sugar, you are better able to keep your sugar levels under control, which is good news for diabetic patients. [3]

Chronic Disease

Antioxidants counter free radicals, which are the substances that can cause chronic inflammation and diseases. [4]

Mental Alertness

The caffeine in this tea helps to boost energy levels and stimulate cognitive function.

How to Make Unsweetened Tea?

Making your own unsweetened tea at home is a simple way to avoid the addition of any sugar.

A glass jar filled with Thai iced tea kept atop a black table against a grey background

Unsweetened Iced Tea Recipe

Iced tea is a refreshing drink on a hot summer day. But the sugar content in store-bought tea is far more than you need. Try this unsweetened iced tea to cut down on your sugar intake. 
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Course: Tea
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Unsweetened Iced Tea
Appliance: Kettle
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 Glasses
Author: Paromita Datta



  • Bring a pot of water to boil over the stove.
  • Depending on how strong you want your tea, add tea bags (black or green) to the water.
  • Allow the tea to steep for 4-6 minutes, then remove the tea bags and allow the tea to cool.
  • Place the tea in the refrigerator and serve over ice.
    Two cocktail glasses filled with iced tea and garnished with mint leaves


You can also add a little lemon juice and mint to your iced tea for a refreshing taste. 

    Unsweetened Tea Side Effects

    In terms of side effects, the main things to consider when drinking the unsweetened variety of tea is its impact on your stomach, as well as the negative effects of caffeine. Excess consumption of this tea can lead to the following:

    As mentioned, there is caffeine in unsweetened tea, which means there could be side effects like

    • Sleeplessness
    • Irritability
    • Anxiety,
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    About the Author

    John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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