Chai Tea Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 12/12/21 •  11 min read
chai tea benefits and side effects

HEALTH

Energy: milk increases the risk of gastro-intestinal distress, hormone imbalance, infertility

Longevity: milk increases the risk of antibiotic resistance, high cholesterol, inflammation, osteoporosis, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer

Appearance: milk increases the risk of of acne, skin aging, weight gain

Chai is…

ENVIRONMENT

Water footprint: low-high, it takes 8,856 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of black tea / 1,061 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of black tea, 1,020 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of milk / 122 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of milk

Carbon footprint: low, 1.9 CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of 2% milk, a car driving equivalent of 4.5 miles or 7.25 kilometers, 1.9 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of tea, a car driving equivalent of 4.5 miles or 7.25 kilometers

Destruction: high, milk production is relatively destructive, land usage for pasture, grain and forage, solid waste (excrement/manure) runoff into soil and freshwater, deforestation for feed crops, animal agriculture leading cause of: species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction, responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction

Chai is…

You Will Love This!
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
08/15/2022 11:08 am GMT

ANIMALS

Killed: none

Harmed: cows, calves mother cow and calf distressed due to separation within 24 hours after birth, male calves slaughtered for veal, female calves fed artificially, locked in tiny cages, cows genetically modified to grow so obese that many become lame (unable to walk) shocked with electric prods, shackled with chains and dragged, beaten, prods poked up rectums, live last few months in crowded feedlots with hundreds or thousands of others, without pasture, often without shelter, must stand in mud, ice and their own waste, dairy cows eventually slaughtered for beef once milk production has ended

Animals indirectly killed or harmed: Killed: male calves, in most cases the dairy industry sells “unwanted” male calves to be slaughtered for veal, as pregnancy must occur for female cows to lactate and produce milk, wildlife and ecosystems, habitat contamination (water and soil pollution), wildlife habitat destruction (deforestation/land clearing), wolves and coyotes killed to prevent predation on livestock

Chai is…

LABORERS

Health and safety: hazardous, limited access to clean water, lack of sanitation, which create health risks, may lead to disease, many workers and their children are malnourished, low immunity to diseases, dangerous exposure to pesticides leads to loss of appetite, numbness in hands, breathing difficulties, reports of starvation deaths

Living conditions: poor, in India, Kenya, Rwanda, Bangladesh, most workers live on tea plantations in decrepit homes, no working toilets, minimal electricity, child trafficking occurs as a result of low wages, children then become slaves, child labor to help meet worker quotas, oppressive conditions intensified by caste system

Wages: low, men work non-leaf-plucking tasks and earn a nearly double hourly wage compared to women, tea pluckers must look for additional work elsewhere to supplement their incomes

Additionally, chai is…

Chai tea ingredients typically include masala chai, black tea, spices and milk.

chai is acidic.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Is chai alkaline or acidic? Chai is acidic. Fresh spices are alkaline but milk and black tea are both acidic.

When you eat food, it is broken down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

chai is gluten free.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Is chai gluten free? Yes, chai is gluten free. Chai does not contain gluten.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include: recurring abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, constipation, tingling, numbness in hands and feet, chronic fatigue, joint pain, unexplained infertility and low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis).

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

chai contains a common food allergen: milk.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is chai a common food allergen? Yes, chai contains a common food allergen: milk. Many people experience allergic reactions to chai drinks.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods is often referred to as the Big-8 and includes milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. 

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

You Will Love This Book!
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/05/2022 12:04 am GMT

chai has a low-high water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does chai have a high or low water footprint? Chai has a low-high water footprint.

What is the water footprint of chai? It takes 8,856 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of black tea / 1,061 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of black tea, 1,020 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of milk / 122 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of milk.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake….quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

chai has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does chai have a high or low carbon footprint? Chai has a low carbon footprint.

What is the carbon footprint of chai? It takes around 1.9 CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of 2% milk, a car driving equivalent of 4.5 miles or 7.25 kilometers, general market data, milk has a relatively low carbon footprint, 1.9 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of tea, a car driving equivalent of 4.5 miles or 7.25 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating product emissions, some factors that may be included are… farm equipment, animal feed production, hothouses (greenhouses), food processing, packaging, transport, refrigeration, freezing, package waste, and more.

There are a number of steps that can be taken to reduce energy output. According to Oxford Martin School researchers, if the world went vegan, eliminating animal-derived products, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

chai is unsustainable if cow’s milk is used, moderately sustainable if plant-based milk is used.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is chai eco friendly? Is chai sustainable?

Chai production is unsustainable if cow’s milk is used, moderately sustainable if plant-based milk is used. Be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

chai is not vegan (if cow’s milk is used).

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Is chai vegan? Typically, chai is not vegan. Chai is a drink made from dairy, the byproduct of a cow, therefore making it an animal-derived food. A mother cow’s milk is often used in order to produce chai but if milk is plant based chai is vegan.

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List

chai is a product that may or may not have labor issues.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is chai a product that has known labor issues? At this time, there are no known specific reports of worker mistreatment regarding chai production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Chai may or may not have labor issues.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even be experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.

Sources:

organic chai tea latte, spiced – FoodData

Tea and Health: Studies in Humans – NCBI

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.