Snapple Lemon Tea first hit the market in 1987, and the brand now has more than 50 different varieties of drinks on the shelves. Snapple Green Tea is one of those drinks, falling in line with the green tea craze that offers everything from green tea lip balm to green tea hand soap. While the craze touts green tea as having numerous benefits, the Mayo Clinic has a different take.
The ingredients listed on Snapple Green Tea are straightforward. Filtered water is the top ingredient, followed by green tea concentrate. Next comes citric acid, then green tea, asorbic acid and natural green tea extract followed by natural flavors. The two natural ingredients are at the bottom of the list, which means they are found in amounts smaller than the other ingredients. The label also notes that epigallocetechin gallate (ECGC) comes from the natural green tea extract.
ECGC is what green tea's healthy hubbub is all about. This substance, which comes from the tea's polyphenols, may boost metabolism. The Mayo Clinic, however, says it may not. In fact, the Mayo Clinic reports that other benefits from green tea, ranging from weight loss to high cholesterol, need further study to gather conclusive evidence. Even if ECGC were beneficial, the Mayo Clinic also notes no studies show how much is needed for the benefits. The average cup of green tea contains 80 to 100 mg of polyphenols, whereas Snapple Green Tea's polyphenols are at 51 mg, 25 mg of which is ECGC.
Even if you are not getting a large enough dose of ECGC, or if ECGC is not beneficial at all, you are getting other substances from the tea. Snapple's label notes an 8-oz. serving of its green tea contains 15 g of carbohydrates, 15 g of sugars, 5 mg of sodium and, from the asorbic acid, 20 percent of the daily value of vitamin C recommended for a 2,000 calorie diet. An 8-oz. serving of the tea also gives you 60 calories and 14 mg of caffeine.
The calorie count and caffeine intake can add up, especially since the nutritional information is for an 8-oz. serving of the tea and many Snapple bottles hold 16 oz. or more. Those who should avoid high levels of caffeine include pregnant and nursing women, people with liver disease and diabetes. The Mayo Clinic also notes children under age 18 should not consume any caffeine.
Snapple has several varieties of green tea products, some that include flavoring and others that are also diet or caffeine free. Mango and Asian pear come with calories and caffeine, while caffeine-free green teas include diet lime, peach and diet peach. The diet teas do not have sugar but rather sugar substitutes. They also lack the carbohydrates found in the regular green tea, and some contain less vitamin C.