While this popular brew – black tea – has many proven health benefits, is black tea hydrating? Keep reading to find out.
Many people claim tea can cause dehydration. So, is black tea hydrating? The short answer is yes — black tea hydrates and helps deliver water to your body.
Black tea is simply an infused water that may be served hot or cold and offers many health benefits. Not only does it hydrates the body, but it also stimulates the kidneys, which improves the ability of the organ to drain fluid and reduce fluid retention.
How Do Water And Tea Compare?
Caffeinated teas can have a diuretic effect, but since they only have a small amount of caffeine, the diuretic effect you get from this type of tea is minimal. Studies have shown that caffeine can not act as a diuretic until 500 mg or more is consumed in one day. This is equivalent to about 11 to 18 cups of caffeinated teas in one day.
Black Tea Caffeine Content
All tea blends except for herbal tea or any caffeine-free teas have caffeine. Tea leaves contain a small amount of caffeine. They do not have nearly as much caffeine as coffee; however, it is still significant — a cup of coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine, whereas a cup of tea contains about 30 or 40 mg.
Caffeine is a diuretic, a substance that causes the kidneys to make more urine to help the body get rid of extra fluid and salt. Some people used to believe that the diuretic effect of caffeine in tea counterbalanced the hydration — in other words, drinking tea caused you to urinate more water than you absorbed by your body.
Thankfully, that is not the case. Tea is a drink with a low caffeine content, so the diuretic effect is minimal. Tea provides you with much more water than it causes you to lose. As a result, drinking hot or iced tea helps to hydrate your body as a whole.
What Makes Tea Hydrating?
Tea is brewed with water. Although caffeine has a slight diuretic effect, the caffeine in tea will not have much effect.
You can use decaffeinated tea to meet your hydration goals since it is just as hydrating as plain water.
Is Coffee Or Tea More Hydrating?
Tea is better than coffee when it comes to hydrating the body since it has lower caffeine content. However, decaffeinated coffee and tea are almost caffeine-free, so these two are equally hydrating.
You may also be interested in reading our guide on tea vs. coffee for weight loss.
How Hydrating Are Other Types Of Tea?
It is worth noting that the steeping time will affect the caffeine in your tea — the longer you steep, the more caffeine will be in it.
Here are the main types of tea and how hydrating they are:
Decaffeinated tea is made from tea leaves, but it is almost caffeine-free. It contains only two mg of caffeine per cup.
Green tea contains about half of the caffeine per cup of black tea; 28 mg per cup. This is why it is more hydrating than black tea; however, it is less hydrating than herbal tea, decaffeinated tea, or water.
Herbal tea is not technically made from tea leaves but instead from dried flowers, leaves, roots, or seeds of other plants. This is why it is naturally caffeine-free, so it may also be counted the same as plain water.
White tea contains about 32 to 37 mg of caffeine per cup, which puts it somewhere between black tea and green tea regarding hydration.
You may also be interested in reading our guide on how many calories in unsweet tea?
Tea Nutrition Facts
No matter what type of tea you brew, you will find they are low in calories. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), green tea, black tea, and black decaffeinated tea contain only two calories per cup. In addition, tea contains small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Just remember that what you put in your teacup counts, too. So, if you like your tea with sugar, honey, or cream, keep track of how much you use because the calories, fat, and sugar from these additions may quickly add up.
It is also worth noting that, while brewed tea is extremely low in calories, tea products such as sweetened or bottled iced tea are usually not.
Health Benefits Of Tea
Tea has a long list of purported health benefits. For example, green tea is high in flavonoids, and regular consumption has been associated with health benefits such as lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Studies have shown that drinking green tea and coffee may reduce mortality risk from all causes in people with type 2 diabetes.
Likewise, a study found that drinking black tea can help lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which are important indicators of heart health and overall health.
Furthermore, drinking tea may even help improve one’s creativity. Although more research is still needed, it can’t hurt to brew a cup of tea before your next school or work project!
You might also be interested in reading our guide on tea vs. water for hydration.