The pain was so bad
that once it felt
like I was delivering a child
made out of razor blades.
~ Mark Mulac, former iced tea drinker
I have said elsewhere how much I enjoy iced tea. If all the liquids I've consumed over my life were tallied, iced tea would dominate the list. More than beer, more than whiskey, more than soda (which I hardly drink anyway), and certainly more than plain water, I guzzle the stuff. Oh, I drink hot teas, too, but I can go a day without hot tea. Not iced.
Imagine my dismay when I read that plain ol' iced tea contains high concentrations of oxalate, a key chemical in the formation of kidney stones. In fact, John Milner, a urology instructor at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, says "For many people, iced tea is potentially one of the worst things they can drink."
Kidney stones are crystals that form in urinary tracts. Word is they're exquisitely painful. I've never been afflicted with any, but I do recall with horror a scene in the HBO series Deadwood in which the bestial Al Swearengen (played by Ian McShane) is laid low by gleets — another name for the things — and passes them. Warning: the clip t'aint for the squeamish.
Adding lemon juice to tea supposedly helps since its citrates inhibit the formation of stones in the first place. But damn. At more than a gallon per diem on hot days, I'm going to have to re-think my drinking habits.
Who knew it'd be iced tea I'd be reconsidering?
Goes well with: