Tea has many proven health benefits, but is meeting your hydration needs one of them? Read on to find out.
One of the challenges in getting enough hydration each day is that many people are unsure how much fluid they should be consuming. The point is not decided exactly, but the opinions converge to recommend to the women to consume approximately 2.7 liters (L) of liquid per day and the men approximately 3.7 L per day.
Of these numbers, about 20% come from the foods we eat. The rest should be drunk. This means that women should aim to drink around 2.2 L and men 3 L. Using a hydration calculator can help you determine if you are getting enough fluid.
What counts in your total?
Calorie-free and all-natural, water remains the world’s best moisturizer and most consumed beverage. But just behind, there is tea.
Hot or cold, tea has been enjoyed around the world for thousands of years, and for good reason. The purported health benefits of regular tea consumption include a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Adding tea to your day could be a simple way to improve your health and longevity.
Although tea is mostly water, many varieties also contain caffeine. Since caffeine is a mild diuretic (meaning it makes you urinate more), it is commonly believed that caffeinated tea is dehydrating and cannot be counted towards drinking goals. liquid. Is this really the case? Here’s what to know about tea and hydration.
Looking for an easy way to improve your health?
There’s nothing simpler than staying well hydrated. Getting enough fluids can help your body maintain proper temperature and cushion your joints, among other benefits cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although it sounds simple enough, past research indicates that many of us are chronically mildly dehydrated.
Water and Tea: How Do They Compare?
Caffeinated tea may have a mild diuretic effect, but the effect of that small amount of caffeine on the hydration you get from tea is minimal at best. In fact, research indicates that caffeine may not act as a diuretic until 500 milligrams (mg) or more are consumed in a day. As this equates to around 11-18 cups of caffeinated tea per day, you are unlikely to reach this level of consumption. Therefore, you can count your cup of tea in your total fluid intake for the day.
Nutritional value of tea
Whichever type of brewed tea is right for you, you’ll find that they’re all incredibly low in calories. For example, green tea, black tea, and decaffeinated black tea contain only 2 calories per cup. Additionally, tea contains trace amounts of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants, according to research published in June 2017 in the British Journal of Pharmacology. Remember, what you add to your cup matters too. So if you enjoy your tea with honey, sugar, or cream, watch how much you use, as the calories, fat, and sugar from these additions add up quickly. It’s also important to note that while brewed tea is very low in calories, tea products, like sweetened or bottled iced tea, often aren’t.
And if you think you’ll get the same health benefits from drinking a chai latte with extra whipped cream, think again. These drinks are made from a sweet, tea-flavored syrup that is incredibly high in sugar and calories. For example, a large chai latte with whipped cream from Starbucks will give you over 240 calories and 42 grams (g) of sugar. Which is not a good way to start the day. If you’re looking for the same spicy flavor without the calories and guilt, opt for a steeped chai tea instead. The same drink at Starbucks is exactly zero calories and zero sugar, which will warm you up without compromising your health goals.
What makes tea hydrating?
Tea is infused with water, the ultimate moisturizer! Although caffeine has a mild diuretic effect, the relatively low concentrations of tea don’t have much of an impact on hydration levels. In fact, decaffeinated tea can be counted cup by cup towards your hydration goal because it’s considered as hydrating as plain water.
Tea or coffee: Which is more hydrating?
Tea trumps caffeinated coffee! Tea is naturally lower in caffeine than regular coffee, making it more hydrating cup by cup. Decaffeinated coffee and tea are both almost completely free of caffeine and are considered equally hydrating.
Types of tea: How hydrated are they?
There are many types of tea you can choose from to fill your cup. Each variety contains a different amount of caffeine, and the higher the amount of caffeine, the less hydrating the tea. It’s also important to note that brewing time affects the amount of caffeine in your cup. So the longer you let your tea steep, the more caffeine will be in your cup.
Here are the main types of tea you’re likely to find in your local coffee shop and how much hydration they contain.
Black tea contains approximately 47 mg of caffeine per 240 ml cup. It is therefore more hydrating than a cup of caffeinated coffee (96 mg) but less than a cup of green tea, herbal tea or decaffeinated tea (see below).
Green tea naturally contains about half the caffeine per cup as black tea, or 28mg per 240ml cup. Therefore, it would be slightly more hydrating than black tea and slightly less than herbal tea, decaffeinated tea, or water.
According to previous research, white tea contains around 32–37 mg of caffeine per 240 ml cup. It is therefore between black tea and green tea in terms of its hydration capacities.
Herbal teas aren’t technically made from tea leaves, but rather from the dried flowers, leaves, seeds, or roots of other plants. Therefore, they are naturally caffeine-free and can be considered equivalent to water, cup for cup, when it comes to hydration.
Decaffeinated teas are made from tea leaves, but the caffeine has been removed. The resulting product is almost completely caffeine-free, with just 2mg per 240ml cup. Therefore, decaffeinated tea can be considered water.
The benefits of tea beyond hydration
The list of supposed benefits of tea is long. For example, green tea is a rich source of flavonoids and regular consumption has been linked to health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides. In fact, the results of a study published in October 2020 in BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care suggest that drinking green tea, especially in combination with coffee, may reduce the risk of death from all causes in people with diabetes. type 2 diabetes. (Further research is needed to determine if this is also true for people without diabetes).
Likewise, previous research suggests that drinking black tea may help lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure (the top and bottom numbers), an important indicator of heart health and overall health. What’s more, the results of a December 2017 study published in the journal Food Quality and Preference suggest that drinking tea may even help improve creativity. While more research is still needed, it can’t hurt to brew a cup before your next creative project!
Tips for savoring tea to maximize its benefits
If you start or end your day with a hot cup of tea, it’s only natural to wonder if there’s anything you can do to make it even healthier. In fact, brewed tea is a naturally healthy, low-calorie drink. It’s what’s typically added to tea that can make it a less than ideal choice. If you’re adding spoonfuls of honey, sugar, or cream to your tea, it might be time to revise your steeping habits.
These ingredients provide a lot of calories, sugar and fat without any nutritional value. It is therefore best to avoid them or limit them as much as possible. Likewise, if you opt for a bottled iced tea, check the nutrition information first to make sure there is no added sugar.
Should you drink tea to stay hydrated?
Although caffeinated tea is not as good a moisturizer as water, it is still an excellent choice. Tea allows you to mix flavors and avoid getting bored by drinking only water day after day. It is also possible to add natural flavors such as lemon or lime juice, fruits or spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, without altering the nutritional benefits of the tea. Additionally, the potential health benefits of tea cannot be ignored. Hot or iced, tea is a great drink to add to your repertoire.