There’s a probiotic product on the market to suit everyone these days, and now there’s even probiotic tea! We’re going to take a look at what goes into making a probiotic tea, if they actually work and what kind of health benefits you can expect from this humble drink. Read on to discover the wonders of probiotic tea.
What are probiotics?
Let’s start with the basics, what are probiotics? They’re friendly bacteria that live throughout your body but mainly reside in your small and large intestines. In your gut there’s a mix of good and bad bacteria. There are actually trillions of them in your body, so it’s important to maintain a good balance, otherwise you could get sick! Here’s just a few things probiotics assist with:
- Producing essential vitamins like A, K and B1
- Promoting optimal digestion and absorption of nutrients from food
- Controlling around 70% of your body’s vital immune response
- Regulating hormones
- Maintaining urinary, vaginal, colon, heart, bone health and more
- Managing and reducing symptoms of common and chronic conditions and infections
- Reducing bad cholesterol
If all of this is sounding pretty good, then we’ve got some great news for you! The probiotic market is extremely accessible in this day and age and it’s saturated with top quality products of all different types.
You can consume your probiotics in foods and drinks like yoghurt, tempeh and kombucha, or opt for a convenient capsule form that only has to be taken once a day. Then there’s everything in between; sachets of probiotics that you can mix in with your favourite drinks, probiotic water, and they’re even being added to skincare products!
What we’re going to explore today is the humble probiotic tea, a fairly new product to be manufactured due to the growing popularity of a particular probiotic strain that has a protective shell to help it withstand boiling water. Let’s take a look at that now.
How does probiotic tea work?
Probiotics are just like humans, they come in all different shapes and sizes. Each different strain of probiotic has unique characteristics and is better at supporting different aspects of your health than other strains may be.
However, almost all strains are severely impacted by high temperatures and stomach acid, making them susceptible to dying off on their way through your body.
One strain that has been found to be resistant to both boiling temperatures and stomach acid is Bacillus coagulans – which makes it the perfect strain to add to products where they will be exposed to both.
It was first discovered in 1915 and was found to be a spore-forming strain that has the capability to lay dormant in less than ideal conditions. Once it’s in an environment with an optimal growth temperature of around 35 to 50 °C, it will release spores to populate the area.
Most probiotic products include a wide range of strains to give the consumer a spectrum of health benefits, however, with only one strain being resistant enough to be included in tea, you do miss out on the variety.
Regardless, B.coagulans is thought to be a highly beneficial strain that should give the drinker quite a few health improvements. Let’s take a look at what benefits the research on this strain suggests you may feel.
Inflammation is an essential function that allows your body to direct healing cells towards areas of your body that need attention. However, prolonged or excessive inflammation can cause deterioration of those areas over time. B.coagulans was shown in this research study on rats to significantly inhibit the pro-inflammatory molecules, called cytokines, that your body produces during inflammatory reactions.
Another research study on human blood samples showed that B.coagulans was able to activate immune cells and reduce the inflammatory response whilst not having a negative impact on the post-injury repair and regeneration processes, in fact, B.coagulans actually improved these processes! Additionally, in a study on patients with rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory degenerative joint disease, B.coagulans helped sufferers see a significant reduction in pain and increase in their mobility.
Optimises digestion and absorption of nutrients
Due to the immune stimulating and inflammation combatting properties of B.coagulans mentioned above, the body is able to focus on improving other crucial functions. Specifically, this strain is able to aid in the digestion of carbs and proteins, maximising the benefits of consuming both in your diet.
It does this by producing certain enzymes that are able to break down the proteins and carbs into smaller molecules and acids that are easier for your body to absorb. It’s also able to do this with lactose in milk, improving its digestibility and reducing the risk of lactose intolerance symptoms and reactions.
The optimal absorption of proteins is crucial for everyday human health, however, it’s even more important in athletes. Through its abilities to break down proteins, B.coagulans is able to not only aid in muscle recovery after exercise but also prevent damage from happening in the first place and increase athletic performance, as seen in this research study on athletes over 8 weeks.
Whilst assisting the body with nutrient digestion, B.coagulans, is known to promote the production of short-chain fatty acids that promote the health of the cells lining your gut. This strengthens the gut barrier wall and assists with decreasing irritation that would otherwise cause digestive discomfort. As a result, B.coagulans can assist with symptoms like gas, bloating and abdominal pain.
Probiotics have long been known for their immune boosting and regulating effects, and B.coagulans is no exception! In a research study on patients with viral respiratory tract infections, taking one capsule of B.coagulans daily for a month resulted in a significant increase of T-cell production. T-cells are an essential part of the immune system that seek out and destroy harmful bacteria, keeping sickness away.
In another study on school aged children with upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) and gastrointestinal tract infections, consuming a sachet of B.coagulans each day for three months significantly decreased symptoms like fatigue, headaches, gas and more. This effect was a result of the probiotic strain modulating immune-related proteins to fight off the infections.
Top 3 Probiotic Teas in 2020
Now that you know the science behind probiotic teas and how they work, we’re going to analyse 3 of the highest rated probiotic teas on the market right now that contain B.coagulans and let you know exactly what we think about them.
#1 – Editor’s Choice – Traditional Medicinals Organic Peppermint Delight Probiotic Tea
When it comes to digestion, simple is best and that’s why this probiotic tea has taken out our top spot on this list. The only 4 ingredients in this tea are organic lemon balm leaf, organic peppermint leaf, organic spearmint leaf and B.coagulans.
Peppermint has been used in tea for thousands of years and is well known for its digestive calming effects. Along with relaxing the muscles in your gut and having an anaesthetic effect, peppermint also has strong antimicrobial, antiviral and antioxidant properties that not only help your digestion, but can also have a stimulating effect on your immune system as well.
Lemon balm and spearmint leaf were added to this tea for their milder yet still beneficial effects on the digestive system and all 3 ingredients serve to enhance the effects of the probiotics included in the product.
It’s a classic peppermint tea with an extra boost of goodness to support your digestion and immune health, it’s also caffeine-free so you’ll be able to avoid digestive irritation if you’re someone who’s sensitive to caffeine. With a flavour described as minty, earthy and slightly sweet, we think anyone would be able to enjoy this probiotic tea, and the reviews speak for themselves!
With over 9,000+ reviews on Amazon, customers rate Traditional Medicinals products an average 4.7 out of 5 stars! In particular, customers reviewing this probiotic tea say it’s delicious and an excellent price. We would recommend ordering directly from the company’s website or physical shop, however, as many reviewers mention having issues with Amazon’s delivery of the product.
- Simple ingredients
- Peppermint leaf for extra digestive benefits
- Classic taste
- Brand with high customer satisfaction
- Organic, ethically-sourced ingredients
- No caffeine
- Doesn’t come in other flavours
#2 Bigelow Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea with Probiotics
This is another herbal tea that’s sure to hit the mark, however, this one has a few more ingredients for you to enjoy. Apart from lemon and ginger, there’s also cinnamon, rose hips and licorice root in the mix. Most of these ingredients are great for detoxing the body, however, the most interesting choice here when it comes to probiotics is the licorice root.
Licorice root can actually work as a prebiotic for the B.coagulans in the tea, which means it feeds the probiotics so they can function optimally in your gut – it’s a clever choice to include licorice root to ensure you’re getting the most out of your probiotics.
The lemon and ginger in this tea will have some great effects on your immune health. Lemon is a rich source of vitamin C which is a natural antioxidant that boosts the immune system, whilst ginger and cinnamon both have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. All the ingredients included in this tea will compliment the effects of the probiotics, working with them to provide immune and digestive boosting goodness.
The flavour of this tea is quite mild and smooth, some reviewers have mentioned that they use 2 teabags in one cup if they’re looking for a bit of a stronger taste. Like the product above, this probiotic tea from Bigelow is caffeine-free as well. We’d recommend this to anyone who’s after some extra immune and digestive support.
- Prebiotic licorice root to fuel your probiotics
- Lemon and ginger are both immune-stimulating and good for detoxing the digestive system
- Brand with high customer satisfaction
- No caffeine
- Taste can be a bit weak
#3 Yogi Cinnamon Berry Probiotic Balance Tea
If you’re after something a little more comforting, but just as beneficial, this might be the right probiotic tea for you. With a cinnamon and berry flavour, this product from Yogi Tea includes a range of luxurious ingredients like organic hibiscus flower, clove buds, hawthorn berry, cardamom and orange peel to create a tart and sweet yet mildly spiced tea.
Like the product above, this tea contains a prebiotic to fuel your probiotics, however, this prebiotic is inulin which is generally extracted from chicory root and is one of the most effective prebiotics on the market today. Here’s a few benefits of some of the other included ingredients:
- Cinnamon – Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties for supporting immune system
- Cranberry – High in nutrients and antioxidants, know to lower risk of urinary tract infections (UTI)
- Raspberry – High in vitamin C and antioxidants to support healthy immune system
- Coriander seed – Good source of vitamins A, C and K, improves digestion and promotes health hair and skin
- Cumin – Great for digestion, can improve cholesterol levels and help with weight loss
As you can see, there are some excellent ingredients in this probiotic tea all included to assist with digestion and immune support. This is a great option for anyone looking for a delicious, different flavour and plenty of great ingredients with their probiotics.
- Packed with ingredients to support immune and digestive health
- Contains prebiotic fibre inulin
- Contains caffeine
Probiotics teas are an excellent option to explore if you’re looking for a yummy and comforting way to get some extra beneficial bacteria into your system. As long as your chosen tea contains B.coagulans, you know your probiotics are going to be strong enough to resist both the boiling water and your harsh stomach acid to provide you with immune and digestive support. As an added bonus, try to find a tea with prebiotic fibre included to boost your probiotics’ performance. Be sure to check out our top 3 options above for some inspiration!
Writer, Product Tester.
Adele is a budding content writer with a passion for all things health and fitness related. In her time off Adele enjoys reading, travelling and exploring Sydney’s culinary delights.