In today’s world, the dietary habits of people are different than those from past times. Generally, it is said that Standard American Diets have degraded and are loaded with unhealthy foods as well as empty calories. Hence, there is a rise in health issues such as obesity and other related problems.
In the midst of this, there are also some habits which are appreciated by health professionals. One of them is switching from a cup of coffee to a cup of tea. Historically, tea is regarded as a beneficial beverage which was also among the favorite drinks of many great thinkers and philosophers.
Today, the tradition of having tea with reading books or engaging in any other thoughtful activities still continues. But do the benefits of tea actually make it worth drinking? Most of the people, especially regular tea drinkers, would agree to that.
However, some people would argue on the caffeine content in the beverage. It is a common belief that drinking tea can, like other caffeinated foods, dehydrate the body. With the lack of hydration in the people today, this can actually be a huge issue.
Can your tea drinking habits actually affect your body’s hydration levels? Continue reading this article to know more about whether you should or should not add tea to your diet.
What Is the Connection Between Caffeine and Hydration?
The most popular argument used against having tea is that it contains caffeine – a compound that is also found in a couple of other beverages including chocolate, coffee, and energy drinks.
When a person consumes food containing caffeine, it is passed on to the bloodstream and then eventually to the liver where it breaks down and starts affecting the bodily functions and the organ systems.
For example, having caffeinated foods can help a person become more alert, improve focus, and help with fatigue and tiredness. At the same time, such foods may also have a diuretic effect on the kidneys. What does this mean?
A diuretic causes the body of the person to produce more urine. Caffeinated drinks or other eatables increase the blood flow to the kidney. This, in turn, makes them take more water out and increase urination. Therefore, having tea more often can lead to an increase in urination and eventually dehydration in the body.
Why Does the Type Matter?
Even though many of the teas contain caffeine, not all of them contain the same amount and have a similar effect on the body. For instance, drinking black tea does not have the same effect as drinking herbal teas. This is because the former has much higher caffeine content than the latter.
In addition, there are also teas which are a combination of both caffeinated and non-caffeinated tea such as the South American Yerba Mate. Overall, all the varieties of coffee have lower levels of caffeine in comparison with coffee but having large quantities of tea can also be harmful to health.
Secondly, it is important to stick to the right and healthy kinds of tea. Having herbal teas is less likely to cause health issues while having black tea may potentially cause issues if consumed in a high amount.
Can Having Tea Cause Dehydration?
As mentioned before, having a lot of tea can be equally harmful as having a lot of coffee. However, the main compound that is blamed for all the disadvantages, caffeine, is in very low amounts in tea. If a person drinks no more than 3 cups of tea a day, he will not have any dehydration due to his tea drinking habits.
On the contrary, drinking tea may actually be useful in maintaining the hydration levels especially in the case of herbal teas. A hot cup of tea can provide you relief from your headache while hydrating your body at the same time.