Is green tea hydrating or dehydrating you? Here’s everything you need to know about green tea for hydration.
Lots of people believe caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee can dehydrate you. I don’t deny it – but it's not entirely correct. Formerly published articles noted the caffeine content in green tea has a diuretic effect and therefore blamed it as a dehydrating drink.
However, if consumed in a moderate amount, green tea plays its role as a stellar alternative to plain water when it comes to hydration. After all, you need water to make tea. So when you sip a cup of tea, you're taking in a volume of fluid, caffeine, a dose of antioxidants, and many other components that contribute to your overall health.
The diuretic in green tea is mild, which means the amount of water intake outweighs the fluid you lose through urine.
Green Tea Caffeine Content
There is one thing every tea lover should know about green tea: it is a caffeinated tea. Unlike herbal teas that don't contain any caffeine, one gram of green tea has about 11 to 19 mg of caffeine.
However, you shouldn’t take this number strictly. The amount of caffeine in green tea fluctuates depending on how much tea you put in your pot and how much water you use.
Does Caffeine In Green Tea Dehydrate You?
Even though the idea that green tea is dehydrating has been taking the world by storm, a recent report debunked this myth. According to a report by Loughborough University, when individuals abstain from caffeine over a couple of days, they tend to experience a temporary increase in their fluid output after being given about five to eight cups of tea.
A regular cup of tea has no diuretic effect. And if you limit yourself to less than five cups of green tea a day, your hydration won't be affected. The study also found that regular caffeine consumers are mostly resistant to the diuretic effects of green tea and other caffeinated beverages.
When you drink green tea, your body takes in a decent amount of water. Even though the level of caffeine in green tea lets you urinate to expel the extra fluids more often, it doesn't mean your body is dehydrated or losing fluids.
The excess fluid your body flushes outcomes with toxins. Plus, your body absorbs just the right amount of water to stay hydrated and function instead of keeping every drop of fluid you take.
You might also find our guide on tea vs. water for hydration helpful.
How Much Green Tea Should You Drink a Day?
According to a study by the University of Maryland Medical Center, the maximum amount of green tea advised for a healthy adult is three cups a day. This equals 320 milligrams of polyphenols as well as plenty of health benefits. Drinking more than this can lead to nausea and vomiting.
Hot green tea has stimulating effects. Hot water also helps reduce congestion and improves digestion.
This especially rings true during the colder months at the end of the year when the temperature drops and you don't feel thirsty as much. However, your body still needs proper hydration to function despite the weather fully.
You may also be interested in our explainer on what percentage of tea is water?
Who Shouldn’t Drink Green Tea?
Green tea is not water. Expecting and breastfeeding women should advise doctors before consuming any kind of tea. Children under two should also steer clear of green tea.
Other than those, people on certain medications treating kidney disorders, heart conditions, stomach ulcers, or psychological problems should also get rid of green tea in their daily beverage.
Which Tea Is The Most Hydrating?
Using herbal tea is my secret to staying hydrated without sacrificing my tasty cup of tea. If you have an adventurous palate, the sour note of hibiscus tea will have you in awe.
Otherwise, try rose bud tea, peppermint tea, butterfly pea flower tea, or chamomile tea to keep yourself hydrated if you’re looking for something fun to wake up your palate. Herbal teas don't contain caffeine, but they are still packed with calming properties.
Both green tea and herbal tea are wonderful alternatives to water for hydration. If you’re not keen on the idea of caffeine, feel free to switch to herbal teas.