Tea is just as hydrating as water

Tea is just as good as water in keeping you hydrated, finds new study.

Drinking tea is just as good as water when it comes to keeping the body hydrated, an important new clinical study commissioned by the Tea Advisory Panel (TAP), has found. For mugs of tea a day were found to be just as hydrating as water – with no negative effects.

About the tea trials

In the new UK study, a total of 21 volunteers drank either four mugs of tea with milk (240ml) over a 12-hour period – equivalent to just under one liter of tea in total – or a similar amount of plain, warm water. For cups of tea was chosen because this is slightly above the average daily tea intake in the UK.

The all-male volunteer group had an average age of 36 years and none had habitually high caffeine intakes. The study was a cross-over trial so each male was exposed to both tea and water, although on separate days. A controlled diet was given during the test days and vigorous exercise, caffeinated products and alcohol were banned the day before each test.

Blood samples were taken before drink consumption and then at 1, 2, 4, 8 and 12 hours during the test days to check levels of electrolytes, total protein, urea, creatinine and osmolality – all recognized markers of body hydration. Urine was collected over 24 hours to gauge total volume and to check levels of creatinine, osmolality and electrolyte concentration – again common markers of hydration.

Following detailed analysis by a qualified statistician, no significant differences were found between the tea and water conditions. Drinking four mugs of tea over one day was found to be equally hydrating to drinking the same level of water. The researchers concluded that tea can make a valid contribution to daily fluid requirements.

DR CARRIE RUXTON, author of the clinical study notes: “It’s a common misconception that drinking tea can increase the risk of dehydration because of the caffeine content. But this new study proves that there is absolutely no truth behind the theory. Drinking moderate amounts of tea – four mugs a day – offered the same excellent hydration qualities as plain water.

“This study shows that tea is an excellent way to keep hydration levels topped up throughout the day. Not only is a mug of tea refreshing and delicious, it can be an important part of maintaining proper hydration.”

The Tea Advisory Panel
The Tea Advisory Panel is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from the UK TEA COUNCIL, the trade association for the UK tea industry. The Panel has been created to provide media with impartial information regarding the health benefits of tea. Panel members include nutritionists; dietitians and doctors.  For further information please call 0207 7052 8989.


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