Sip on tea to help warm and hydrate you.
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It's often suggested that beverages such as black tea may dehydrate you due to their caffeine content. While caffeine is a diuretic, a substance that increases urine output, whether it causes dehydration is less straightforward.
Importance of Hydration
Your body is comprised mostly of water, and it depends on it to survive. Every cell and tissue in the body relies on a consistent supply of water to work properly. Water is involved in everything from keeping your joints lubricated to facilitating weight loss.
Most healthy people need to drink about 8 glasses of water each day to stay well. You'll need more if you lose water through sweat from exercise or hot temperatures. Check your urine if you're concerned that beverages you're drinking are causing unwanted fluid loss. Urine that's pale or light yellow is a sign of good hydration.
Black Tea Is Safe to Drink
There's good news if you enjoy black tea and other caffeinated beverages and are worried about fluid loss. While caffeine does cause a mild increase in urination, it does not cause dehydration, according to an analysis of studies published in the Journal of Science and Sports Medicine in 2015. The researchers evaluated clinical data for people drinking beverages that contain an average of 300 milligrams of caffeine throughout the day. The researchers concluded that black tea most likely poses no risk of dehydration, whether you're exercising or not, as long as you drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Moderation is Still Key
Balancing your water intake involves moderation. Black tea contains a relatively low amount of caffeine. A serving of 8 ounces of black tea contains roughly 50 grams of caffeine. It's recommended that you limit your caffeine intake to no more than 300 milligrams on any given day. That's equivalent to six 8-ounce servings of black tea.
There's good reason to limit your caffeine intake. While having up to six cups of black tea may not cause dehydration, higher amounts may, say researchers of a study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition in 2017. Scientists found that drinking high levels of caffeine from beverages like tea and coffee may cause unwanted fluid loss.
Minding Your Fluid Consumption
Some people struggle to get enough water during the day, and if you're in that group, your concern over dehydration is understandable. With today's technology though, you can keep track of your daily fluid intake with a mobile app on your phone. Keep a water bottle with you if you're concerned about slacking on water.
Jazz up your water by adding your favorite fruit to your water pitcher at home to infuse it with light refreshing flavor. Another easy way to get more water is to have a glass before your meals. You may even find that you eat less. With these tips you should be well on your way to maintaining hydration, whether you're drinking black tea or not.