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Flat Tummy Tea Review: Effectiveness, Side Effects, and More

Written by Melissa Mitri, MS, RD

Reviewed by Anthony Dugarte, MD 

Last Updated on May 12, 2021

Our Expert Rating:

2.0

About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Support for Claims:2.0
  • Ingredient Safety:2.0
  • Value for the Price:2.0
  • Brand Transparency:2.0

Flat Tummy Tea is a popular detox tea. The ingredients in this product are not supported by research to back up the claims that it will flatten your stomach or improve digestion.

Flat Tummy Tea Review: Effectiveness, Side Effects, and More

Pros

  • Some ingredients may have health benefits
  • Cost is reasonable
  • Taste

Cons

  • Safety risk of some ingredients
  • Questionable effectiveness
  • Product is not eligible for returns
  • Comes loose in a packet, so you need a strainer or tea bag to make

What Is Flat Tummy Tea?

Flat Tummy Tea is a 2-step detox tea that claims to boost energy, speed up metabolism, and reduce bloating.

According to the manufacturer, Flat Tummy Tea contains natural ingredients that both cleanse and debloat.

This tea is marketed primarily to young women, often referring to their potential customers as “babe” and “girl.” Many celebrity influencers also endorse it, including the Kardashian family.

There are 2 separate teas as part of the 2-step protocol – an Activate Tea and a Cleanse Tea.

I always am leery when any product includes the words “cleanse” or “detox,” as your liver is designed to naturally do this regularly. Most of the time, any cleansing product is based on unproven claims.

The program is designed to be from 2–4 weeks in length, depending on the protocol you choose. Both the Active Tea and Cleanse Teas should be consumed.

Week 1: One serving of Activate Tea daily in the morning and 1 serving of Cleanse Tea daily every other day in the evening.

Weeks 2–4: One serving of Activate Tea daily in the morning and 1 serving of Cleanse Tea daily every 3 days in the evening.

Evaluation of Ingredients

Both the Activate and Cleanse Tea products contain multiple ingredients. The ingredients fall into two categories – metabolism boosters and digestive aids.

The doses of individual ingredients are not on the label. Here are the total milligrams of all the ingredients combined in both the Activate and Cleanse tea blends:

  • Activate Tea Blend – 1497 mg
    Contains peppermint leaf, lemon balm, licorice root, dandelion, fennel, green tea leaf, caraway seed, and cardamom pods.
  • Cleanse Tea Blend – 1597 mg
    Contains senna leaf, peppermint leaf, cassia chamaecrista pods, liquorice root, caraway seed, dandelion root, and rhubarb root.

Energy/Metabolism Boosters

Green Tea Leaf Extract (GTE):
There have been many claims about green tea’s power to boost metabolism and result in weight loss, particularly by celebrities like Dr. Oz.

One small randomized controlled trial was conducted, which is the gold standard for research trials. The study showed increased leptin and reduced LDL-cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) levels in women taking a GTE supplement.

Leptin is a hormone that increases hunger. Therefore reducing leptin levels may increase feelings of fullness and reduce the likelihood of overeating.

However, a research review reports that more human trials are still needed to confirm adequate dose and effectiveness for a large population.

Fennel Seed:
Fennel is a plant that may boost metabolism and aid in digestion. However, studies have shown mixed results.

Caraway Seed:
Caraway seed is a seed said to play a role in supporting weight loss and reducing appetite. One small study showed those taking caraway extract had greater weight loss and body fat loss.

Digestive Aids

Peppermint Leaf:
Peppermint may reduce bloat but may be more effective in those who suffer from gastrointestinal conditions such as IBS.

Lemon Balm:
This extract has most commonly been used to manage anxiety. There was only one small study that showed it might play a role in improving indigestion.

Licorice Root:
One small study showed it might reduce symptoms of indigestion and heartburn. However, too much may actually cause water retention. If you have certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease, it’s recommended to avoid it.

Dandelion Leaf:
It contains a prebiotic fiber called inulin, which may help support healthy digestion. However, it’s unclear if the dose present in this tea is enough to produce any effect.

Cardamom Pods:
Cardamom is a spice that may ease digestion, but specifically with ulcers. There is no proof cardamom helps manage other daily digestive woes.

Senna Leaf:
Senna is found in FDA-approved over-the-counter medications and acts as a laxative. However, if you don’t normally suffer from constipation, taking it could cause gas, diarrhea, and nutrient deficiencies.

Cassia Chamaecrista Pods:
This is an herbal laxative that comes from a similar plant as Senna and may work in the same way.

Rhubarb Root:
Rhubarb is a plant that may have a laxative effect. But, some research shows rhubarb supplements can actually cause dangerous side effects such as liver toxicity and increased risk of cancer.

Verdict on Claimed Benefits

Below is our summary of the available evidence for the claimed benefits of Flat Tummy Tea based on the available research:

  • Boosts energyLimited Evidence
  • Speeds metabolismLimited Evidence
  • Reduces bloatLimited Evidence

Side Effects and Safety

Potential side effects from taking Flat Tummy Tea range from mild to severe.

These side effects can include nausea, abdominal pain, gas, and diarrhea due to the senna.

Additionally, preclinical studies have shown rhubarb may have toxic effects on the liver and kidneys as well as a potential increased risk of cancer.

However, many of these studies have been done in animals in doses higher than may be present in supplements.

Researchers state that more research is still needed to determine at what dose, if any, rhubarb may be safe to take in supplement form.

There have also been some reports that in those 40 or older, taking more than 2 ounces of black liquorice per day can increase the risk of a heart arrhythmia.

There is even an article on the FDA website advising not to take more than this amount.

However, there are no specific research studies to back up this claim at this time. I would still avoid this ingredient as clear guidelines are not available.

This product also contains caffeine in unknown quantities. There are risks associated with consuming too much caffeine, especially in certain populations.

According to the research, the upper limit for safe caffeine consumption for the average adult is 400 milligrams (mg).

Common side effects from excess caffeine consumption in the general population include:

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Frequent urination
  • Muscle tremors
  • Fast heartbeat

However, in those who are more vulnerable to caffeine’s effects, consuming too much caffeine can be more harmful.

These populations include those with high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease and those who struggle with alcohol abuse or mental illness.

Caffeine may result in an increase in blood pressure, and therefore can exacerbate blood pressure that is already high in an individual.

Due to this, those who already have high or uncontrolled blood pressure should limit their caffeine intake and speak to their doctor for a recommended dosage.

Additionally, caffeine with alcohol, especially in those who binge drink, may increase the pace of drinking as well as increase risk-taking behavior.

Increased alcohol intake can also exacerbate mental health issues as it alters neurotransmitters in the brain.

Lastly, there are other caffeine sources in the diet. It’s important to take note of other sources that can be consumed in addition to this product, such as coffee, tea, or soda.

When combining multiple caffeine sources, it can be easy to exceed the upper limit of 400 mg of caffeine per day.

Due to the above-mentioned potential safety risks, I would not recommend this supplement, especially in those who have liver, kidney, or heart disease.

For anyone thinking about taking this supplement, regardless of medical history, I would highly recommend speaking to your doctor first.

Cost and Where to Buy

The cost for Flat Tummy Tea ranges from $25–$39 depending on if you purchase the 2 or 4-week program.

This is less than some other detox teas on the market, but the ingredients are not backed by evidence to justify any cost.

You can purchase it directly from the manufacturer’s website or Amazon.

The company has a no-refund policy for consumable product items once they are shipped unless the product is deemed “faulty.”

How Flat Tummy Tea Compares to Alternatives

Flat Tummy Tea has similar ingredients to other detox teas on the market. It is labeled as all-natural, like many other teas.

The tea is sold loose in bags, where you have to create your own tea bag or strain it yourself. This is more work, but many say it tastes better when it is made from loose leaves.

Another detox tea brand with some similar ingredients is the Teami Colon Cleanse Tea Blend, which claims to reset and cleanse your system.

The Teami tea blend is half the price of Flat Tummy Tea, at $19.99 per month through subscribe-and-save.

However, the Teami blend does not specify doses of ingredients or the ingredients complex, so it is difficult to compare the specific ingredient amounts side by side.

Another similar product with fairly comparable ingredient amounts is SkinnyMint detox tea, which also claims to reduce bloat and boost energy.

However, it costs higher than the other two products at $44.95 per month for a 2-month supply.

The only plus is that SkinnyMint offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for any reason, while the others do not.

I still would not recommend any of these products, as the majority of their ingredients have not shown to be effective.

The Bottom Line

Some of Flat Tummy Tea’s ingredients may provide health benefits, such as green tea and dandelion leaf. But, there is not enough research on the ingredients as a whole.

I am especially concerned with some of the potential side effects of the laxatives that I found in my research, specifically an increased risk of liver toxicity and cancer.

These safety concerns are the biggest reason why I don’t recommend it.

Before starting this product or any new supplement, I highly recommend speaking to your medical provider first.

A Word from Our RD

Instead of taking this supplement, I would suggest eating plenty of prebiotic and probiotic-containing foods to reduce bloat, getting regular physical activity, and tracking your habits and diet to see what may be causing bloat first place.

These are all more effective, long-term methods of reducing bloat and speeding up your metabolism.

Always seek guidance from your healthcare provider if you are thinking about taking a detox tea or any other supplement to outweigh the pros and cons.

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