Milky or strong? Cup or mug? One lump or two? How you take your tea might seem like a personal choice, but turns out there is a science behind making the perfect cup of Rosie, and it doesn’t involve sugar.
Researchers, from University College London and the University of Leeds, found that cutting the sweet stuff from tea does not affect people’s fondness for the hot beverage.
Instead, the team of health experts discovered that ditching sugar in one drastic step, or gradually reducing it over time, were both effective methods for cutting sugar consumption.
The study revealed that once people switched to sugar-less or free tea, they still enjoyed their daily cuppa, which suggests a long-term change in behaviour was possible.
The research team analysed data over one month for 64 men who usually drank tea sweetened with sugar.
Participants were split equally into those who quit in one drastic step, those who gradually reduced sugar in their tea over four weeks and a control group who continued to drink sweetened tea.
The results suggested that the groups who reduced or completely ditched the sugar in their tea were still able to enjoy a cuppa without a spoonful of the sweet stuff.
At the end of the study, 42% of those in the gradual reduction group quit sugar in tea completely, as did 36% of those who lost sugar from their cups in one go.
Interestingly, six per cent of men in the control group also gave up putting a spoonful in their cuppa.
Though researchers suggest a bigger trial is needed to confirm their findings, they believe that similar methods could be used to reduce sugar intake in other drinks, such as squash.
“Excess sugar intake is a public health problem and sugar in beverages contributes substantially to total intake,” the study’s authors concluded:
“Reducing sugar intake from beverages may therefore help to reduce overall consumption.”
The findings were peer-reviewed by conference officials at the European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow.
So there you have it sweet tea fans, your daily cup of Rosie really doesn’t need sugar in it. Still not convinced? Here’s our expert tips on brewing the perfect cuppa.