The delicious chewy goodness of Boba tea, also known as bubble tea, is a popular and refreshing drink. But at what cost? According to Livestrong.com, there is a lot that people do not know about boba, and the biggest unknowns are the health risks and calorie content. After looking at the nutritional information, you may want to trade it in for a healthier drink option or start hitting the gym instead.
What Is Boba?
Boba are tapioca balls made from starch that come from the cassava root. You can find boba in smoothies, juice and teas that add a chewy goodness and sweetness to your drink.
Boba Linked to Cancer?
According to Knightnews.com, a German study linked boba tea to cancer due to the toxins within them. The toxins that cause cancer come from PCB, polychlorinated biphenyls, a toxic chemical found in motor oil as well.
The study was conducted by the University Hospital Aachen in Germany who got their tapioca from Taiwan, with all of them containing the toxic man-made chemical. However, store owners of boba tea in the United States claim that they have proof that all of their boba tea is tested and does not contain these toxic chemicals. That said, Boba tea isn’t necessarily the healthiest drink choice.
How Is It Fattening?
The tapioca itself does not contain fat, but the empty calories and starch in boba is linked to gaining weight if you do not burn off the calories. Only one ounce of boba has 100 calories. If you add the calories of the boba and the calories of the drink mix with it, it becomes one big fatty drink. Based on eDiets studies, by indulging in just one drink with an ounce of boba you would have to jog for 12 minutes or cycle for 40 minutes.
Nutritional Value of the Tea Itself
Boba tea usually contains tapioca, milk and green or black tea. The amount of calories varies depending on the the kind of milk used and can be as high as 24 grams of fat. Boba tea is also very high in carbohydrates. One popular Boba company, The Lollicup USA Inc. admits their tea contains 78 grams of carbs.
Although scrumptious, boba’s nutritional facts are quite shocking. It is perfectly alright to enjoy this delicious drink from time to time, but it is nice to know the health risks and potential weight gain before getting too hooked.