There are many people who add lemon to tea to brighten up the flavor and enhance the tea experience. Well this habit is also helping to increase the healthy properties of your tea. According to a 2007 Purdue University study
adding citrus to your tea increases the acidity in your intestines and allows the healthy anti-oxidants in tea to survive longer in the alkaline atmosphere of the intestine. This allows more of the catechins found in green tea to be absorbed by the body. Catechins are epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG), and epicatechin-gallate (ECG). The catechins found in tea are also referred to as polyfenals or flavonoids. They give tea the astringent quality that many people associate with the flavor or taste of tea. Lemon juice was found to be the best at increasing the catechin absorption, but orange, grapefruit and lime were also found to help increase the anti-oxidants. The ratio of juice to tea needs to be quite high for maximum absorption. The Arnold Palmer or half lemonade/half iced tea seems like it might be good for you as well as delicious. This may also explain why my mother’s remedy for a cold of hot tea with lemon and honey seems to work for fighting off a common cold. Try adding citrus juice to your hot or iced tea, it is a healthy and delicious alternative to other beverages.