Tea compared to water for hydration

The Question:

Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world and it can be enjoyed warm or cold, however, the million dollar question is... can tea contribute to your daily fluid needs?

The Affects:

Tea contains caffeine — a compound that can be dehydrating. Once ingested, caffeine passes from your gut into your bloodstream and makes its way to your liver. There, it’s broken down into various compounds that can affect how your organs function. For instance, caffeine has a stimulating effect on your brain, boosting alertness and reducing feelings of tiredness. On the other hand, it can have a diuretic effect on your kidneys.

A diuretic is a substance that can cause your body to produce more urine. Caffeine does this by increasing the blood flow to your kidneys, encouraging them to flush out more water. This diuretic effect can cause you to urinate more frequently, which may affect your hydration more than non-caffeinated beverages. This may leave you wondering whether drinking tea can truly help you stay hydrated.

 

Despite the diuretic effect of caffeine, both herbal and caffeine-containing teas are unlikely to dehydrate you. To have a significant diuretic effect, caffeine needs to be consumed in amounts greater than 500 mg — or the equivalent of 6–13 cups (1,440–3,120 ml) of tea. 

 

The Bottom Line:

 

Researchers report that when consumed in moderate amounts, caffeinated drinks — including TEA — are as hydrating as water.

ice tea

 

All-in-all, tea can provide an interesting alternative to plain water in helping you reach your daily fluid intake.

 Drink Up !


Kelly Scherger
Kelly Scherger

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