by Merry Popa
I was recently asked if adding honey to hot tea would destroy the nutritional value of honey. I decided to do a little research. We all know about the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-oxidant properties of honey. Putting honey in your tea is a great way to bring these healing properties into your body. The natural sugars in honey take longer to digest than refined sugar so your pancreas does not have to secrete as much insulin to store the extra sugar. However, honey is still packed with simple carbohydrates.
The temperature that honey would lose its beneficial effects is 118 degrees F. Tea and coffee is generally made with water that is either boiling or close to 212F. Pasteurization occurs at 140F, also destroying most of the nutrients.
If the temperature is high enough to burn your mouth, its also high enough to destroy the raw nutrients in the honey. Letting your tea of coffee cool to a drinkable temperature may help keep the nutritional value. So if you are using honey as a natural sweetener in your tea or hot lemon drink, just wait until the water/tea has cooled somewhat before you add honey. 118F seems to be the agreed upon temperature to preserve all the benefits of honey.