Does Unsweet Tea Have Caffeine?

 by Dr. Steve Hruby
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby

I am a chiropractor, father, husband, coach, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. Feeling good about yourself is a choice: My mission is to transform lives through optimized health and overall well-being.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT
Reviewed by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT

I’ve been called a Data Ninja, The Fact Checker, and a Human Search Engine. I’m an indie content curator who does research daily, and quizzes myself on the important issues of the day.

does unsweet tea have caffeine

For ages, numerous various ethnicities have relished herbal and traditional teas. Today, many people enjoy their tea chilled or sweetened. 

Because sweetened tea has dozens of adverse effects, tea drinkers often opt for unsweetened tea. It’s popular among individuals wanting to minimize sugar without forgoing the benefits of tea’s nutrients. Unsweetened tea borrows its name from unsweetened iced tea since it contains no added sugar.

So, does unsweet tea have caffeine? Tea, whether sweetened or unsweetened, contains caffeine. The distinction is in the threshold. Each cup of unsweetened tea contains roughly half the caffeine in a single cup of black tea. If you’re worried about the caffeine intake of unsweetened black tea, try decaffeinated teas or lower-caffeine alternatives like white and green tea.

Unsweetened tea has beneficial micronutrients and compounds that mitigate sweetened tea’s dietary drawbacks.

Unsweetened Tea: What Is It?

Unsweetened tea refers to black or green iced tea that hasn’t been sweetened with sugar. It’s simply regular tea served over ice.  While it’s common for individuals to dismiss it as a plain “iced” tea, it contains the same ingredients as a cup of black or green tea, including caffeine. 

Numerous factors influence caffeine content in tea, such as tea grade, tea varieties, duration of brewing, and brewing temperature. Similarly, the caffeine content in cream sodas varies according to brand. To simply answer, does Barq’s red creme soda have caffeine? Well, it has no caffeine. 

Nutritional Value of Unsweetened Tea

In regards to nutrition, unsweetened tea has the following nutritional value. 

Unsweetened Iced Tea (1 fl oz) contains:       

  • Fat: 0g   
  • Protein: 0g
  • Net carbs: 0.1g
  • Total carbs: 0.1g      
  • Calories: 1 calorie 

There’s also an abundance of fluoride, various flavonoids, manganese, catechins, and other antioxidants. This blend has a significant impact on your body’s functioning.

Benefits of Unsweetened Tea

woman sitting in a balcony drinking from a small cup

Boost Immune System

Black and green tea are rich in various antioxidants, which play a major role in counteracting a significant amount of pressure on the system triggered by the excessive inflammatory response. 

Tea, especially green tea, is packed with antioxidants that can protect cells and strengthen the immune system. It also contains polyphenols. These compounds are recognized for decreasing cholesterol levels and blood pressure. It may also effectively deter Alzheimer’s disease by inhibiting the development of plaques associated with brain-damaging disease.

Sugar Levels

While the advantages of different tea varieties vary, analysis endorses tea consumption as a blood-glucose stabilizer. Tea restricts the activity of an enzyme called alpha-glucosidase. It’s in charge of controlling the uptake of glucose by the small intestine. 

The frequency of glucose intake accounts for blood-glucose changes, affecting energy and appetite peaks. Unsweetened tea is recommended over-sweetened because the latter contains sugar, which can cause blood-glucose spikes. Unsweetened tea is the healthiest option for people with diabetes.

Cardiovascular Disease

Is sweet tea better than soda? Yes. First, unsweetened tea comprises 99% water; hence is a suitable way for people to fulfill their daily fluid requirements, which is crucial for cardiovascular processes. 

Furthermore, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, reduced consumption of refined sugar is linked to a decreased likelihood of adult-onset cardiovascular disease. One simple strategy for reducing added sugar consumption is substituting sugar-sweetened beverages or other refreshments with little nutrient properties for unsweetened tea.

woman relaxing on a hammock drinking tea

Tea is also a good source of phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids in the eating plan, which have consistently been associated with cardiovascular health advantages. Consuming at least 200-500milligrams of flavonoids per day (found in 2-3 cups of tea) helps support a healthy heart.

Improved Energy Levels

Tea has moderate caffeine content, supplying you with the energy you require when you’re tired. We’ve all experienced a sugar high, followed by a crash in energy levels – and then another glass of sweetened tea for revival. 

Rather than succumbing to this roller coaster outcome, allow tea’s pure fusion of caffeine and L-theanine to nourish you with sustained energy all day long. Tea is a healthy substitute for caffeinated beverages such as energy drinks and coffee. 

Chronic Illness

Antioxidants fight free radicals that have been linked to arousing chronic inflammation and illnesses. Luckily, there are a lot of them in unsweetened tea. 

Furthermore, sugar offers significant extra calories in most of our diet plans. This increases the chances of getting chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. The absence of sugar in iced tea eradicates the undesirable sugar content.

Side Effects of Unsweetened Tea

Only a few known negative consequences have been associated with consuming unsweetened tea in adults. Nevertheless, the following risks and side effects should be considered:

  • Green tea, when combined with stimulant drugs, may lead to a rise in blood pressure and heart rate.
  • On limited occasions, ingesting a greater ratio of green tea extract may adversely influence liver health.
  • Individuals susceptible to caffeine may experience insomnia, irritability, stomach upset, nausea, or anxiety after taking tea.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate tea supplements.  Before beginning any herbal or supplement regimen, consult with your doctor.

How To Prepare Unsweetened Iced Tea

Start by gathering your ingredients, including: 

unsweetened tea with ice on a glass with straw


  • 1-liter water
  • 2-3 teabags  
  • Ice cubes [8] optional


  1.  Heat a large pot of water on the burner.
  2. Add your preferred tea bags, either black or green, to the water based on the strength you desire your tea to be.
  3. Allow the teapot to steep for at least four to six minutes before removing the tea bags and allowing the tea to cool.
  4. Refrigerate the tea before serving over ice.

Is Unsweet Tea Good For You FAQs

How Much Caffeine Is in Unsweet Tea?

Unsweetened tea contains half the caffeine found in one cup of black tea. It drops to one-quarter when you consume a regular glass of tea. Caffeine levels in freshly made iced tea will differ considerably in brewing mode. However, iced teas frequently contain the same level of caffeine as hot teas. Caffeine-free iced tea is made from caffeine-free herbal ingredients such as rooibos and chamomile.

Does Unsweet Tea Have More Caffeine Than Coffee?

The caffeine content in tea or coffee varies greatly based on its origin, type, and preparation mode. So, how much caffeine is in iced tea? Caffeine levels in tea leaves are 3.5%, while those in coffee beans are 1.1-2.2%. On the other hand, the coffee-making procedure uses higher-temperature water that extracts more caffeine from the beans.

opened book beside a glass of tea with ice

In addition, you ordinarily utilize more coffee than tea leaves for a single drink. As a result, 1 cup (237ml) of brewed coffee contains more caffeine than a cup of tea.

Is It Okay To Drink Unsweetened Tea Every day?

Yes, tea is good for your health. Tea has been shown to help regulate blood pressure and lower cancer risk. Simply put on, whether is unsweet tea good for you, it is okay to drink unsweetened tea in moderation. Drinking iced tea excessively may result in kidney malfunction. It causes oxalic acid accumulation in the kidneys, which may result in renal failure.

Is Unsweetened Black Tea Good for You?

Try black tea if you’re searching for a caffeine-free substitute for coffee, sugary, or energy drinks. As one of the detox drinks, it’s not only a non-sweetened or low-calorie beverage but also has numerous medicinal benefits.

Is unsweetened tea healthy? Yes, it contains potent polyphenolic groups such as thearubigins, theaflavins, epigallocatechin gallate, the amino acid L-theanine, and various catechins or flavonoids, which help in preventing chronic illnesses. 


We understand the desire to add a teaspoon or two of sugar to your morning cereal. Not all teas can measure up to the noble flavor values of traditional tea connoisseurs, and contemporary palates are conditioned to expect sweetness. Tea, on the other hand, can be enjoyed without sugar.

Aside from the delicious flavor, unsweetened tea has many other advantages. Almost every tea type provides nutritional and antioxidant perks to your body, but additives such as sugar and milk can negate these natural benefits. Sugar introduces empty calories to any beverage. However, stopping can be difficult once you’ve become accustomed to sweetening teas. 

Try a new sort; ideally, a high-quality alternative that is simple to brew and free of bitterness. Despite the absence of additives, each cup will feel indulgent. 

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