Tea is by far one of the beverages that provide the most impressive benefits.
It's prominently known for its calming and soothing effects, as well as being a powerhouse of antioxidants that protect our health from free radical damage. But other than that, tea is recognized for its other notable benefits. It's also used as a natural diuretic because it's believed to have the ability to increase the passing of urine. Increased urine helps us get rid of excess water.
This excess water is also referred to as water retention, which can make us feel puffy and cause our legs, ankles, hands, and feet to be swollen.
However, there's a theory that's challenging this one. Some people believe that tea is hydrating instead of dehydrating. It provides us with lots of fluids and in ways that would make water jealous. So if you're torn between thinking if tea can hydrate or dehydrate you, read this blog post to find your answer.
How is tea a natural diuretic?
Tea is considered a diuretic because of how it affects our kidneys. Since tea contains caffeine, consuming it will allow the caffeine to pass into our system and increase blood flow to our kidneys, causing them to flush out more water. This diuretic effect will make us urine more frequently and possibly reduce water retention.
What are diuretic teas?
Not all teas are diuretics. Most teas that are considered to be one are those with caffeine in them. It's because caffeine is the key to making our kidneys secrete more water from our bodies.
Here are the types of teas that are commonly referred to as diuretic teas:
1. Black tea
2. Green tea
Just like black tea, green tea is also a caffeinated tea. It's known for its many benefits, including being a mild diuretic.
3. Parsley tea
Parsley has long been used in traditional medicine as a diuretic. It's brewed as tea and taken many times a day to help reduce water retention. However, just like in black teas and green teas, more studies on humans are needed to prove parsley tea's ability to reduce water retention.
Myth or fact: Is tea dehydrating?
In spite of the benefits of tea being a natural diuretic, it also poses concerns that tea is dehydrating. By getting rid of excess water, it's also removing the fluids that our body needs. In that case, tea seems to be some sort of a let-down. It also makes you think that you shouldn't drink tea too often so that you won't end up feeling dehydrated.
But don't close your doors just yet! Similar to coffee, you can also develop a tolerance to the caffeine in tea. This means that the diuretic effects are only plausible for those who are not regular tea drinkers. So, don't worry about dehydration any time soon because once you drink tea every once in a while, it will no longer suck the fluids out of you.
How much tea should I drink to feel its diuretic effects? (and why it won't be dehydrating you)
Yes, caffeine is a diuretic. But in spite of that, both herbal teas and caffeine-containing teas are unlikely to dehydrate you. This is because for you to feel diuretic effects, you must consume caffeine in amounts larger than 500 mg, which is the equivalent of 6 to 13 cups of tea. Would you believe that?
So unless you're the type of person who would drink tea as much as that in a day, we think dehydration should be at the very back of your mind.
Is coffee a better diuretic than tea?
This question makes sense, considering that coffee is a stronger source of caffeine. (Well, technically this is the case after they're brewed.) However, just like tea, the likeliness of coffee to dehydrate you is just as low. With the amount of caffeine in it, it's more possible to produce mild diuretic effects like green tea and black tea. It still depends on how much of it you consume.
But remember kids, too much caffeine may lead to health issues. Always drink in moderation!
Is tea hydrating?
If tea cannot dehydrate us, is it the other way around then?
It might surprise you, but caffeinated drinks happen to hydrate us just as well as water does. At least, this is what some scientists believe.
Researchers conducted a study that showed consuming moderate amounts of caffeinated beverages, including tea, is as equally hydrating as H2o. It involved 50 subjects who were heavy coffee drinkers that consumed 800 ml of coffee or water in the same quantity each day for 3 whole straight days. That amount of coffee contains caffeine that is equivalent to 1,100 to 2,400 ml of tea. Results showed no difference in hydration between coffee and water.
Other studies made the same discoveries, finding no line between the capacity of caffeinated beverages and water in providing the number of fluids in our body. This is a significant amount of proof that tea is indeed not dehydrating as others would think.
Some of them also showed that in cases that teas do increase urine production, it doesn't really cause you to lose the same amount of fluids as you originally drank. That's why the diuretic effects of the aforementioned caffeinated teas were only mild!
Is drinking tea a better substitute for water?
Now that we understand that tea contains properties that can keep us hydrated, is it comparable to water? Can it steal the crown from water for the "best source of fluid in the body" title?
Some experts believe that tea is a better and HEALTHIER option than water. All that water does is rehydrate us and give us the fluids our body needs. However, tea does the exact same things along with having plenty of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties! It can protect us from free radical damage that might lead to chronic illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. It's also like coffee, except without the negative side effects of caffeine.
Drinking tea in amounts of two to three cups a day might also protect our teeth and strengthen our bones. Talk about hitting multiple birds with just one stone!
Is tea a diuretic or a laxative?
If you drink tea or coffee, you are actually consuming a good amount of fluid along with a dose of caffeine. Caffeine might be considered as a mild diuretic but, as it turns out, you won’t be losing fluid through urination more than the fluid you take in by consuming a caffeinated drink. Our bodies are made to absorb as much fluid as it needs and it just discards the others. Also, if you ever experience headaches or other symptoms after drinking tea, there’s a very small chance it’s caused by dehydration. It’s more likely a negative reaction to caffeine itself or you’re probably dehydrated because of other reasons.
So basically, tea actually keeps us hydrated. Both tea and coffee can be included in the count of 8 or more cups of water per day rule. Hope that solves the mystery!