Tea and Hydration
Staying hydrated is important to lubricate our body, keep our organs working, and carry nutrients to our cells, but it might not always be so obvious which drink is the best choice. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study conducted in 2016 that found tea to be more hydrating than water. The study also pointed out that beverages with a bit of fat, sugar, or protein – like milk – hydrate us for longer.
Let's debunk a common myth about caffeine and dehydration: While caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it causes the kidneys to flush extra sodium and water from your body, it is not enough to undo the hydration you get from drinking the tea in the first place. But we are wondering “does herbal tea dehydrate you?”
Herbal teas don’t contain leaves from the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, and generally don’t have any caffeine content. There are some exceptions, of course, like yerba maté, which contains twice as much caffeine as a cup of black tea, but most herbal blends’ lack of caffeine make them an excellent choice for quenching your thirst without the diuretic effect. Herbal tea also has the benefit of providing your body with nutrients, antioxidants, and particular plant benefits, like drinking mint to ease nausea or rosehips as a vitamin C boost.
Herbal Tea and Hydration
There are some herbs that are diuretic by nature. Dandelion, hawthorne, juniper, parsley, and ginger may cause you to have to pee more often, so these herbs may make for a less hydrating blend that is still beneficial. “Cleansing” teas that contain senna can cause cramping and diarrhea, which can result in dehydration.
There are also herbs that aid your body in hydration. Chamomile is great for keeping your body hydrated as well as calming your nerves and settling the stomach. A blend like Calm Chamomile Bloom, which combines rose, lavender, and chamomile for a relaxing cup of tea, would be a great choice when needing to rehydrate. Elderflower helps your body stay hydrated by assisting the body to cool down and not sweat, protecting your water reserves. Slowly Unwind is a lightly sweet and fruity tea containing elderflower that is good both hot and iced. Plum Deluxe has many herbal teas to choose from.
If you find you are thirsty, have a dry mouth, dry skin, are feeling tired, dizzy, and not using the restroom very often, you may be dehydrated and need to increase your fluid intake. While the research shows drinks containing diuretics, such as caffeinated tea, are still more hydrating than not, most herbal teas would be the more beneficial choice when trying to add up those ounces.