If you’re one of health coach Massy Arias‘s 2.3 million Instagram followers, you know that her feed has no shortage of jaw-dropping workouts, healthy food photos, motivational quotes (delivered in both English and Spanish), and, of course, the occasional pic of her outrageously adorable baby girl, Indira.
We also love that the fitness star isn’t afraid to share her unfiltered thoughts on the social media platform. In her Instagram story Monday night, Arias shared a screenshot of a post from a detox tea company called Flat Tummy Tea. The company had posted a photo of Arias and a workout buddy with the caption “Spotted: two babes coming in hot. Oh, we are SO ready for this week…you in? #inyourfacemonday #flattummytea”.
The ‘gram has since been removed, but Arias didn’t hesitate to call out the brand. “Really? @flattummytea? Can someone tell these scam artists to not use my image to promote their ‘magic product’?” she typed over the screenshot.
So-called “detox” teas aren’t new, but they’ve become increasingly popular in recent years — especially on Instagram, where they’re often billed as a quick-and-easy weight loss strategy. Many detox tea brands claim their products help reduce bloat, increase energy, improve digestion, and make you look (and feel) slimmer and lighter. Sponsored social media endorsements from celebrities like Amber Rose, Nicki Minaj, and Kylie Jenner have only helped boost their appeal.
But these teas have also come under fire as more people question their effectiveness, not to mention safety. What isn’t always clear in sponsored social media posts is that you need to eat a nutritious diet and exercise regularly in order to really shrink your waist.
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Another concern? Detox teas often contain caffeine and diuretics that trigger the loss of water weight — and while we don’t have to tell you that shedding water can make you feel a little lighter, those effects aren’t the same as losing body fat. And they don’t last: “If you go back to your former less-than-stellar eating or exercise habits, or stop drinking the tea, you can gain the weight right back just as quick as you dropped it,” Health‘s contributing nutrition editor Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, previously explained.
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In her Instagram story, Arias shared some choice words about those “detox” claims, calling out the teas for containing ingredients that act as diuretics and laxatives (yum, right?). The fitness star quotes a description of Flat Tummy Tea’s main ingredients, including senna, a plant that can have laxative effects (and appears in the brand’s Cleanse Tea).
Arias also points out that some detox teas may come with unpleasant side effects. Senna can cause abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, cramps, and bloating (the very thing these teas promise to do away with in the first place). Excessive use may lead to even scarier side effects, such as potassium depletion and electrolyte abnormalities.
We’ve said it before, but even the word “detox” can be problematic: Your body is perfectly capable of removing toxins all on its own, without a special diet, juice fast, cleanse, or tea to do it for you.
Thanks, Massy Arias, for telling it like it is.