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Bottled or tap water: Which makes green tea healthier?

A clear tea cup that contains brewed green tea. The cup is sitting on a clear plate.

Feb. 8, 2019—If you drink green tea for its health benefits, here's a tip: Brew your next cup with bottled or deionized water—not tap.

Green tea steeped in bottled or deionized water has more antioxidants, a new study shows. Antioxidants occur naturally in foods and may help prevent cell damage that can trigger diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

But if you sip green tea strictly for its taste, turn on the faucet, the study researchers advised. Tea from tap water delivers a less bitter taste.

Antioxidants doubled

Researchers measured the amount of an antioxidant—called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)—in tea brewed with different types of water. They also recruited more than 100 tea drinkers for a taste test.

The result: Green tea made with bottled or deionized water contained double the amount of EGCG compared to tea made from tap water. According to the researchers, the minerals typically found in tap water—such as calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium and copper—are what cause the lower levels of EGCG.

But what the tea made with bottled or deionized water delivered in health benefits, it lost in taste. Study participants preferred green tea from tap versus bottled or deionized water, giving the former a thumbs-up for a sweeter, less bitter taste.

The study appeared in the journal Nutrients. Get more details by reading the abstract.

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