Flat Tummy Tea: Reviews, Side Effects, and Results

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Flat Tummy Tea is a popular detox drink marketed to young women who want to decrease bloating and get a leaner-looking midsection. It is widely promoted by celebrity influencers on Instagram and other social media channels where before and after photos are shared.

So, does Flat Tummy Tea really work? The answer depends, in part, on your expectations. Before you invest in this program, it is helpful to carefully evaluate Flat Tummy Tea reviews, ingredients, and possible side effects.

Background

Flat Tummy Tea is a combination of teas made from herbal ingredients. The beverages are intended to be consumed once or twice a day to help relieve bloating. The company, based in Canada, is known for its sassy marketing campaign that targets "babes" who want to get a flat tummy. Several reality stars including the Kardashians and others are reportedly fans of the product.

Flat Tummy Tea is sold online at outlets including Amazon and the Vitamin Shoppe as well as on the company's website. The company also sells Flat Tummy Shakes, Lollipops, and other supplements.

Flat Tummy Tea is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

The tea sells for $36 to $89 depending on the length of time you choose to be on the program. You can also buy bundles and subscriptions. It's helpful to note that the tea comes loose, so you will need a tea bag or strainer to make your Flat Tummy Tea.

Nutrition

Like most other types of tea, Flat Tummy Tea is not a significant source of calories, carbs, protein, fat, or micronutrients. However, the company suggests that you add honey or lemon to the tea if you don't like the taste. Adding ingredients to the tea will change the nutrition facts—specifically, adding honey will boost your sugar intake and carb count.

Calorie counts for Flat Tummy Shakes range from 125 to 140 calories, depending on the flavor that you choose. There are 35 calories in each Flat Tummy Lollipop.

The company provides nutritional information for some but not all of their products on the FAQs page.

Reviews

It is easy to get excited by some of the jaw-droppingly impressive Flat Tummy Tea reviews and online pictures. But it is important to consider the source of each review. You'll see many reviews posted by reality TV personalities and other influencers. These celebrities often get compensated (in some form) for their endorsements.

Some social media channels require that influencers clearly mark content that they are being paid to post (look for #ad in the post), but not all social media channels make the requirement known and not all influencers follow the rules. So it is important to view these photos and reviews somewhat skeptically.

If you read comments under Flat Tummy Tea reviews on Amazon or other sites, you might get a better sense of customer satisfaction and concerns. Some comments mention difficulty tolerating the tea—for example, some mention gassiness or diarrhea. Many customers report little to no results, but others claim that the tea was effective. There are also YouTube videos that both support and criticize the product.

How do you know which reviews to believe? As with any product, results will vary from person to person. Reading the actual product claims—which are regulated to some extent—may be more helpful than reading product reviews on the company's website or on social media.

Product Claims

So what does the company claim that the product can do? According to the website, Flat Tummy Tea helps to reduce bloating, support your metabolism, maintain a healthy immune system, boost energy, detoxify your system, and decrease water retention.

Note that the company does not claim that the product will give you a flat tummy.

As a basis of reference, water also helps to provide the same benefits as Flat Tummy Tea. (Unlike Flat Tummy Tea, water is free.) In small print, the company discloses that none of the claims have been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Program

If you choose to invest in a Flat Tummy Tea program, you can choose from the two-week or four-week protocol. Both programs follow the same schedule.

In the morning, you drink Activate Tea before or during your breakfast. Then in the evening, you drink Cleanse Tea every other night during week one, and then every third night during weeks two through four.

No other changes to your routine are required, but the company does provide a list of tips that will help you get better results. Some of the tips follow the general recommended guidelines for nutritious eating and weight loss. For example, it is recommended that you cut back on your alcohol intake, practice slow and mindful eating, and consume smaller portions.

However, exercise caution; the company also recommends that you cut back on your intake of vegetables—a tip that goes against the most highly regarded general nutrition practices.

If you follow the two or four-week program and want to continue with the plan, you can subscribe and get the Maintain Tea, which is made from similar ingredients and is designed for use between four week cleanses.

Ingredients

According to the company, Flat Tummy Tea ingredients are "traditionally known to help you cleanse your system, support metabolism, and reduce your bloating." While it is true that some of the herbal ingredients have been used in certain settings to provide these benefits, the company does not provide any scientific evidence to support the claims.

However, highly respected organizations including the National Institutes of Health, The Natural Medicines Database, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and university medical centers including the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan provide evidence-based information to consumers about each of these ingredients.

Using this kind of information from reputable medical sources, you can decide if the ingredients are safe or are likely to be effective for you.

Activate Ingredients

  • Peppermint leaf may relieve bloating, but there is not enough research to know for sure. You should not take peppermint or drink peppermint tea if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or a hiatal hernia. It may also make gallstones worse.
  • Lemon balm leaf may provide relief from anxiety, although most studies have examined the use of lemon balm with other herbal ingredients—it is not clear if lemon balm alone provides any benefit. People taking HIV medications or those that take sedatives are advised to avoid lemon balm.
  • Licorice root alone is not likely to provide any benefits promoted by the brand, and one source notes that the ingredient may cause water retention. People with several medical conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, hormone-sensitive conditions, or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are advised to avoid licorice root.
  • Dandelion leaf and root may stimulate your appetite, have a laxative effect, or increase urination—there are not enough scientific studies to know for sure if this herb provides any benefit.
  • Cleavers leaf may have a laxative effect, but there is not enough scientific evidence to support this use or determine if it is safe to use.
  • Fennel seed has not been shown to provide benefits related to bloating or metabolism in clinical studies. Fennel may be unsafe for women who are breastfeeding.
  • Green tea leaf is widely promoted to help with weight loss. However, studies have provided mixed results, so it is hard to say whether or not it is effective. Due to its caffeine content, green tea may make you feel energized, allowing you to boost your metabolism by increasing movement. Green tea may interact with medications. Speak to your healthcare provider before consuming it if you are on prescription medication.
  • Caraway seed has been studied for weight loss, but researchers were unable to establish a benefit. Additionally, caraway may interact with certain medications.
  • Cardamom pods are not likely to provide any benefit related to bloating or weight loss, according to the evidence.

Cleanse Ingredients

Some of the Activate tea ingredients are also included the evening Cleanse tea, including peppermint, licorice root, caraway seed, and dandelion root. In addition, there are more ingredients that are in the Cleanse tea.

  • Senna leaf has been shown to be effective for constipation, and in fact, it is an FDA-approved drug for the short-term relief of the condition. Senna may be unsafe when taken by mouth long-term or in high doses. Long-term use can cause the bowels to stop functioning normally and might cause dependence on laxatives or even liver toxicity.
  • Cassia Chamaecrista pods (partridge pea) is sometimes included in detox teas that promote a laxative effect; however, there isn't much published about its safety or effectiveness.
  • Rhubarb root may be helpful for women who are menopausal to relieve some symptoms, according to medical sources. However, there is not enough evidence to support the use of rhubarb root for benefits promoted by the tea.

Results

What most curious consumers want to know is: does Flat Tummy Tea work? In the small print, the company says that they don't make weight-loss claims. However, they say that some customers see results when they combine the tea with diet and exercise.

Keep in mind, though, that anyone is likely to see results when they diet and exercise—with or without the tea.

If you are looking for lasting body benefits, the tea alone is not likely to make a difference. You can change your metabolism without this (or any) product simply by making small changes to your lifestyle.

You may experience some temporary weight loss due to water loss or from the laxative effects of the senna and other ingredients. If you follow the guidance of the tips provided by the company, you may look and feel better simply because you are living a more healthy life (aside from avoiding vegetables, which isn't advice suggested by the healthcare community).

Side Effects

Based on evidence compiled by the medical organizations listed above, the Flat Tummy Tea ingredients that are most likely to have an effect on your body are those that provide a laxative effect. However, if you are not experiencing constipation, these ingredients may not be warranted or even safe. In short, the side effects that they have may leave you feeling uncomfortable.

In fact, the National Eating Disorders Association cautions against the use of laxatives for weight loss.

They claim that "Laxative abuse occurs when a person attempts to eliminate unwanted calories, lose weight, 'feel thin,' or 'feel empty' through the repeated, frequent use of laxatives. Often, laxatives are misused following eating binges, because the individual mistakenly believes that the laxatives will work to rush out food and calories before they can be absorbed—but that doesn’t really happen."

The Flat Tummy company says that the tea has a "cleansing effect," but should not have you running to the bathroom. They also note that changing the amount of time that the tea steeps can make the effects stronger or weaker.

Lastly, if you are sensitive to caffeine, you may experience jitteriness, headaches, or other symptoms when you increase your intake of the Activate Tea. According to the company, there is just a small amount of caffeine in the tea (about 2 milligrams per cup), but if you experience symptoms, you may want to cut back to see if it helps.

A Word From Verywell

It can be tempting to seek out quick fixes when you want to slim down quickly. However, you don't have to buy any product to make healthy, lasting changes to your body. Remember that any herbal supplement—even a product that claims to be natural—is not necessarily safe or effective.

Seek guidance from a healthcare professional to make sure that any herbal supplement you take is safe. If you are looking to lose weight, consider investing in an appointment with a registered dietitian who can put together a personalized eating program that you are likely to stick to long enough to see real results.

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Article Sources

Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Boschmann M, Steiniger J, Hille U, et al. Water-induced thermogenesis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003;88(12):6015-9. doi:10.1210/jc.2003-030780

  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition.

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