Boba tea (also known as pearl tea or bubble tea) is a sweet drink made of milk, flavored tea, and tapioca pearls that are sucked up and eaten via an extra-large straw. The pearls have a soft, chewy texture akin to gummy candy. Boba tea was launched in Taiwan in the 1980s, swiftly spread across Southeast Asia, and has grown in popularity among young people in the United States and Europe. Tapioca pearls are typically black and produced with cassava starch, sweet potato, and brown sugar. White tapioca pearls are sometimes utilized; they have a distinct flavor and are produced from cassava starch, caramel, and chamomile root.
While you can make your boba tea, a typical milk tea with tapioca pearls can have more sugar than a can of Coca-Cola. And that’s just the lovely side of things. To better understand the nutrition of boba tea, we may divide it into three categories: tea, milk or creamer, and toppings. When you consider the expanded range of beverage alternatives, such as slushes and cheese foam topping, you open the door to a more dessert-like thing.
Is Boba Tea Unhealthy?
It depends. Most boba recipes have the option to add on sugar, so if you choose not to do so, it surely helps. Though the pearls themselves are gluten-free, tapioca, like flavored. Tea bases do not provide much nutritional benefit on their own. However, if you choose a green tea combination rather than a milky one, you’ll likely avoid even more sugar.
When discussing the health advantages of boba, many people cite 2012 German research that discovered levels of the carcinogen chemical polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in boba from a German tea chain. Many people disagree with the findings since no other studies have discovered anything similar, and the researchers behind this study were not transparent about how they arrived at their conclusions.
Why Could Boba Tea Be Unhealthy?
Boba tea addiction
Many people’s lifestyles have gotten accustomed to the consumption of bubble tea. This famous Bubble or Boba milk tea in hand is the most fashionable item ever. Aside from being trendy, the essential aspect of bubble tea is that it is addictive. Pearls, milk, and tea are not hazardous substances; they are just foods. However, if one enjoys drinking bubble tea, one may be addicted to its sweetness.
Sugar has some addictive properties! Because of this it is extensively used as a ‘legal drug’ worldwide. The sugar surge that occurs after eating sugary foods might make you feel fabulous and cheerful. According to studies, when you eat sugar, your brain releases endorphins such as dopamine (the feel-good hormone), which makes you feel pleased and signals you to gulp this cup of bubble tea down! The digestive system then instantly breaks down the sugar, raising your blood sugar and making you happy! To keep the beautiful sensations going, you desire bubble tea or other sweetened beverages!
Bubble Tea Girl
There was a case of Boba addiction that got worldwide media attention. After consuming two cups of bubble tea each day for a month and failing to regulate her sugar consumption, a teenage girl fell into a coma for five days. The 18-year-old was dubbed “Bubble Tea Girl” after her doctor discovered that her blood sugar levels were about 25 times higher than usual.
The teenager from Shanghai in East China weighed 125kg when she fell into a coma and was taken to Ruijin Hospital. Emergency department medic Lu Yiming said the girl fell into a diabetic coma caused by hyperglycemia or dangerously high blood sugar levels. A week before she was found unconscious by family members, the bubble tea fan had also experienced symptoms including thirst, nausea, and frequent urination. These are all signs of related complications known as diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA. The girl was put on a ventilator and hemodialysis before finally waking from her coma five days later.
Tapioca pearls, famous for their chewy, candy-like feel and are also known by their Chinese name, boba, are just as hazardous for your health as genuine candy. When boiled and then sugared, those delightful tiny balls may add five to fourteen calories to your drink, which means that only 1/4 cup of them can add more than 100 calories to an already calorically packed drink. Boba not only has additional calories, but it also contains little nutritional value. Boba pearls are just carbohydrates, with no nutrients or vitamins and no fiber.
The calorie counts for boba teas vary depending on how much is poured, but these are generally high-calorie high-fat beverages. A 16-ounce portion may contain up to 440 calories, with more than 200 of them coming from fat. Worse, a 2017 study found that a 32-ounce cup of boba milk tea with jelly and egg pudding has between 250 and 384 percent of the recommended maximum daily sugar consumption for males and women, respectively. Dietary recommendations in the United States recommend limiting added sugar intake to less than 10% of total daily calories. This equates to no more than 200 calories of sugar per day on a 2,000-calorie diet.
According to the study’s authors, you may reduce boba calories by ordering tea without milk, asking for reduced sugar alternatives (half sugar or one-third sugar), and eliminating additional items like pudding, jelly, and tapioca.
Consequences of Unhealthy Boba Tea
Because boba tapioca balls are produced from cassava, one could get an allergic reaction from this root vegetable. Some persons who are allergic to latex may also be allergic to cassava products.
The “tapioca pearls” in bubble tea are starch extracts from cassava plant roots. These tiny black balls at the bottom of your bubble tea are just as hazardous for your health as sweets. These bouncy tapioca balls are heavy in carbohydrates but lack elements that promote health, such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fibers. When they are cooked in sugar, they get much worse. Sugar causes insulin levels to rise, resulting in blocked pores and many other irritating skin concerns.
Pimples can occur because of unhealthy bubble tea drinking. Bubble tea causes an imbalance and excessive heat in the body, which causes zits to appear.