Tea and Hydration
Who doesn’t love a cup of tea? Well, 158 million Americans certainly do – that’s the amount of people who drink tea in the USA every day. It doesn’t matter if you’re a black tea addict, or if you just love a refreshing peach iced tea on a hot summer’s day. It’s hard to deny the power of a good cup of tea.
We know how delicious and invigorating tea is, but can it help you stay hydrated?
Dehydration and Effects
You need water to keep hydrated and healthy. Your entire body depends on water – from regulating your body temperature, to helping your liver and kidneys function properly. It’s recommended that men drink 13 cups (3 liters) and women drink nine cups (2.2 liters) of water per day.
If you don’t drink enough, you’ll become dehydrated. Signs of dehydration in adults include:
- Extreme thirst
- Dizziness and confusion
- Decreased urination
- Feeling tired and dizzy
Overhydration and Effects
Though water is vital for your health, you can have too much of a good thing. Overhydrating is known as hyponatremia.
This happens when you drink too much water and your salt levels become overly diluted. If this happens to you, you’ll experience the following symptoms:
- A loss of energy and feeling irritable
Sometimes side effects can be dangerous, with the possibility of seizures or even a coma. However, it’s worth noting that hyponatremia is still relatively rare, so aim for the above recommended fluid intake and you’ll likely be fine.
Caffeine and Hydration
Water is the best thing to keep you refreshed and hydrated. But other drinks, like tea, can help you reach your daily fluid intake too.
Tea as a Diuretic
Diuretics can help rid your body of water and salt. Doctors usually recommend them for people suffering from high blood pressure, glaucoma and edema.
Some people worry that tea will dehydrate them. Caffeinated drinks do have a mild diuretic effect, but not enough to risk dehydration. This means you can still enjoy your favorite cup of tea, along with water of course, and you’ll stay hydrated.
How Much Caffeine is in Tea?
Tea contains less caffeine than coffee. A brewed 8oz cup of coffee contains 95–200mg of caffeine, whereas an 8oz cup of black tea contains 14–70mg.
The amount of caffeine also depends on the type of tea.
- 8oz black tea, decaffeinated: 0–12mg caffeine
- 8oz green tea: 24–25mg caffeine
- 8oz instant ice tea with water: 11–47mg caffeine
- 8oz ready-to-drink bottled ice tea: 5–40mg caffeine
Is Drinking Too Much Tea Bad for You?
Drinking too much caffeine can be bad for you. For most healthy adults, it’s best to keep your daily caffeine intake below 400mg. Based on the above quotas, that’s about 4–5 cups of black tea per day. Too much caffeine can cause:
- Sleep problems
- Nervousness and irritability
- Stomach issues
- An increased heart rate
As with most things, if you drink tea in moderation you’re unlikely to have any issues. Instead, tea can help keep you energized and hydrated. Plus it tastes amazing – as if you needed more reasons for a tea break!