Drinking Tea Probably Won’t Save Your Life

Why you don’t need to chug down boiled plant leaves to stave off mortality

Gideon M-K; Health Nerd
6 min readSep 14, 2022
Pictured: Delicious, but probably not lifesaving. Photo by CHI CHEN on Unsplash

There’s something wonderful about drinking a cup of tea. Whether it’s the first cup of the day, a short but pleasant break in between other tasks, or hours shared between friends with pot after pot, tea has something almost magical about it that humanity has enjoyed for millennia.

And, according to recent headlines, it might also be a lifesaving panacea. Quite impressive for a drink made of hot water poured over dried leaves.

Pictured: Very soothing. Photo by Rumman Amin on Unsplash

Media stories from across the world have recently been crying that tea drinking reduces your risk of death, with those who have a few cups a day 13% less likely to die than those who abstain. The theory is that various phytochemicals — compounds found in plants — in tea might be causing people to be healthier than they would otherwise be.

This theory has been bouncing around for a long time. If true, it would be fairly amazing — tea is essentially a zero-risk intervention, so if we can reduce our risk of death substantially with a few cups a day it would be one of the best things you…