Are you looking for a quick and easy way to boost your health? It doesn't get any easier than this: remain hydrated.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drinking adequate fluids can help your body maintain its appropriate temperature and cushion your joints, among other things.
While it may appear straightforward, a previous study suggests that many of us are somewhat dehydrated on a regular basis.
Many people are unsure how much fluid they should drink each day, which makes it challenging to acquire enough.
Women should drink about 2.7 liters (L) of fluid per day, while males should drink about 3.7 L per day, according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
About 20% of those numbers come from the food we eat, with the balance coming from water.
Women should focus on 2.2 L, or nine 8-ounce (oz) cups of fluids per day, while men should aim for 3 L, or thirteen 8-ounce (oz) cups. But what factors into that total?
Water, which is calorie-free and all-natural, is still the best hydrator available and the most commonly consumed beverage on the planet. According to National Geographic, tea is right behind it.
Tea has been enjoyed for thousands of years, hot or cold, and for good reason.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, the health benefits of regular tea consumption include a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Given that the CDC ranks these as the first, second, and seventh leading causes of death, respectively, incorporating tea into your daily routine could be a simple way to improve your health and longevity.
Although tea is primarily water, it does contain caffeine in some types. Caffeine is a moderate diuretic, which means it makes you urinate more.
Therefore it's a popular misconception that caffeinated tea dehydrates you and can't be counted toward your fluid goals.
Water vs. Tea: How Do They Compare?
Caffeinated tea has a mild diuretic effect, but the effect of the caffeine on the amount of hydration you get from the tea is minimal at most.
Caffeine may not operate as a diuretic until you ingest 500 milligrams (mg) or more per day, according to a study.
According to the Mayo Clinic, that is the equivalent of about 11 to 18 cups of caffeinated tea per day, so you're unlikely to reach that level of consumption.
As a result, you can include your mug of tea in your total fluid intake for the day.
Nutrition Facts of Tea
Whatever type of brewed tea is your cup of tea, you'll find it's all incredibly low in calories.
Tea contains trace amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, according to a study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology in June 2017.
Just keep in mind that what you put in your cup is also important.
If you like your tea with honey, sugar, or cream, keep track of how much you use because the calories, fat, and sugar from these additions can rapidly mount up.
It's also crucial to note that, while brewed tea includes few calories, tea products such as sweetened or bottled iced tea may not always.
And if you believe a chai latte with the additional whip will provide the same health benefits, think again.
Those drinks are created from a sugared tea-flavoured syrup that is extremely heavy in sugar and calories.
For example, a grande chai latte with an extra whip from Starbucks contains around 240 calories and 42 grams (g) of sugar, which is hardly a healthy way to start the day.
If you want the same spicy flavor but without the calories and guilt, try brewed chai tea.
The same-sized drink at Starbucks has zero calories and zero sugar, so you can warm up without jeopardizing your health goals..
What is it about tea that hydrates it?
Tea is brewed with water, which is an excellent hydrator. While caffeine has a mild diuretic effect, the relatively low levels in tea will have little effect on hydration levels.
In fact, because it is just as hydrating as plain water, decaffeinated tea can be counted cup for cup toward your hydration goal.
Which is more hydrating: tea Vs. coffee?
Tea triumphs against caffeinated coffee in this contest! According to the Mayo Clinic, tea is a more hydrating cup for cup since it is inherently lower in caffeine than ordinary coffee.
Both decaf coffee and tea are nearly caffeine-free and are regarded to be similarly hydrating.
Related: Does Coffee Count as Fluid?
How Hydrating Are Different Teas?
When it comes to filling your cup with tea, there are so many options. The amount of caffeine in each kind varies, and the more caffeine in the tea, the less hydrated it is.
It's also worth noting that the amount of caffeine in your cup will vary depending on how long you steep it.
As a result, the longer you leave your tea to brew, the more caffeine will be present in your cup. Here are the most common types of tea found in coffee shops, as well as how hydrating they are.
Black Tea :
According to the Mayo Clinic, an 8-ounce cup of black tea contains about 47 mg of caffeine.
As a result, it hydrates more than a cup of caffeinated coffee (96 mg) but less than a cup of green, herbal, or decaffeinated tea (see below).
Green Tea :
It is a type of tea that is used Green tea has half the caffeine content of black tea, with only 28 mg per 8 oz.
As a result, it is slightly more hydrating than black tea while slightly less hydrating than herbal tea, decaf tea, or water.
is a type of tea that is used White tea has 32 to 37 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup, according to a previous study. In terms of hydration, it falls between black and green tea.
Tea with Herbs (Herbal Tea)
Herbal teas are brewed with dried flowers, leaves, seeds, or roots of other plants, rather than tea leaves.
As a result, according to USDA data, they are inherently caffeine-free and can be counted in the same way like water in terms of hydration.
Decaffeinated teas are made from tea leaves, but the caffeine has been removed.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the resulting product is almost completely caffeine-free, with only 2 mg per 8 oz cup. As a result, decaf tea can be counted in the same way as water.
Tea's Health Benefits Go Beyond Hydration
The list of alleged advantages of drinking tea is lengthy. Green tea, for example, is high in flavonoids and has been linked to health benefits such as lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, according to Penn Medicine.
In fact, according to the findings of an October 2020 study published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care, drinking green tea, particularly in combination with coffee, may reduce the risk factor of death from any type of causes in people with type - 2 diabetes.
(More research is needed to establish if this is also true in those who do not have diabetes.)
Similarly, a previous study suggests that drinking black tea can help lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure (the top and bottom numbers), both of which are key indicators of heart and overall health.
Furthermore, according to findings published in the journal Food Quality and Preference in December 2017, drinking tea may aid enhance creativity.
While additional research is needed, brewing a cup before your next creative project can't hurt!
Tips for Maximizing the Benefits of Tea
It's only reasonable to question if there's anything you can do to make a warm cup of tea even healthier if you start or end your day with it.
In reality, plain brewed tea is a naturally healthy and low-calorie beverage. It's what's commonly added to tea that can make it a poor choice.
If you're adding honey, sugar, or cream to your tea, it's time to rethink your brewing method.
Because these ingredients add a lot of calories, sugar, and fat with no nutritional value, it's best to avoid them or limit them to a minimum.
Similarly, before reaching for a bottled iced tea, check the nutrition facts to ensure there is no added sugar.
Is It Necessary to Drink Tea to Stay Hydrated?
While caffeinated tea isn't as good as plain water as a hydrator, it's still a good option. Tea can help to mix and match the flavours and keep you it from being monotonous with drinking only water on a daily basis.
Natural flavors, such as a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, fruit, or spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, can also be added without affecting the nutritional advantages of tea.
Furthermore, the possible health benefits of tea should not be overlooked. Tea is a terrific beverage to add to your repertoire, whether hot or cooled.