Does Tea Make you Pee? Does it Count as Water?

Learn about the effects of tea and the effects of caffeine found in tea and what it does to our bodies. Separate fact from fiction in this guide as to whether, or not, tea really makes you pee! Read the ins and outs (literally) of tea for hydration.

Answered: Does Tea Count as Water?

And does it really make you pee more than other types of drinks?

Does tea really make you pee? And can you drink tea for hydration just as we drink water?

Many people wonder why some drinks make you pee more than others. If you have been on a boozy outing with friends and ‘broken the seal’ after drinking alcohol, you will know the feeling of having to pee all blooming night long! Alcohol is known as a diuretic which makes your body produce lots of urine. I hear lots of people say that tea and coffee is also a diuretic, but is this true? Here are some common questions asked surrounding this topic:

  • Does tea count towards your 8 glasses of fluids a day?

  • Does tea make you urinate more often?

  • What about iced tea?

  • What about herbal teas?

  • Is green necessarily better than other types of tea?

  • Can I drink tea instead of water for hydration? What’s the verdict?

Let’s go over these questions in more detail:

Does Tea Count as Daily Water Intake?

The NHS Eat Well Guide tells us that we should be aiming to drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid each day and that this includes low fat milk, sugar free drinks and tea and coffee too! So yes, tea does count as daily water intake according to the NHS - hooray for tea! Apparently fruit juices and smoothies also count however, this should be limited to no more than 150ml a day.

Obviously, water is the easiest, cheapest and best choice for hitting a target of 6 to 8 glasses. However, if you aren’t a fan there are some healthy alternatives such as sparkling water (or sparkling iced tea!) or sugar free squash.

Also, you should note that tea, coffee and many other sugar free drinks contain caffeine. The Association of UK Dieticians state that up to 300mg of caffeine is considered safe for many adults. Whereas the US Food and Drug Administration state that up to 400mg is considered safe. Some people are more sensitive to the effects than others and pregnant women need to significantly reduce this amount.

Read more: Teas to Avoid During Pregnancy

Does Tea Actually Make you Pee?

The NHS tells us that tea counts towards our daily fluid intake, however, does tea really make you pee? Is tea a diuretic? And what exactly does it all mean.

All fluids will fill your bladder and make you pee, and tea is no exception. Tea will most definitely make you pee. Tea also contains caffeine which is thought to have mild diuretic effects on the body. A diuretic means a drug that can cause the kidneys to make more urine. Medical diuretics, also known as water pills, are commonly used to treat high blood pressure. These water pills flush the body of water and salt which helps to reduce the amount of fluid that flows through the veins and arteries, thus helping to lower blood pressure. These pills can have side effects including dehydration. It is the job of this medicine to flush out the body.

Caffeine, found in tea and coffee, works a little differently. Experts at the School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles suggest that you won’t actually lose more fluid through peeing than you take in through drinking tea or coffee. And this is the reason that tea, coffee and other caffeinated drinks will count towards your daily fluid intake.

What About Iced Tea?

Yes, homemade iced tea, just like hot tea will count towards the recommended 6-8 glasses of fluids per day. But, if you are concerned about caffeine or are trying to reduce the amount of caffeine you drink, cold brewed iced tea is a great option. Slowly brewing tea in cold water will greatly reduce the amount of caffeine present in each cup. The hotter the brewing temperature, the more caffeine will be extracted from the tea leaves.

Try adding a teaspoon (or tea bag) to a glass of cold water and allow to steep in the fridge for at least 4 hours. You will not only reduce the caffeine level but the level of tannins will decrease which will result in a sweeter and more delicate tasting brew. Give it a go!

Read more: How to Safely Make Sun Iced Tea

Read more: How to Make a Pitcher of Iced Tea - with Fresh Berries

Is Green Tea Better Than Black Tea?

Green tea generally contains less caffeine than darker and bolder black tea types, except for matcha green tea. Matcha is a type of concentrated green tea that is taken in powder form and contains higher amounts of caffeine. A regular cup of black tea contains around 40mg of caffeine and a regular cup of green tea will contain around 25mg. As a comparison, a regular cup of coffee will contain around 95mg. The caffeine in tea can vary greatly between each tea type. Calculating the exact amount in each home brewed drink is a little tricky as it will depend on many varying factors such as type of leaves (or beans), amount used, brewing temperature and steeping time.

The caffeine found in tea can boost energy levels without the jitters that can sometimes happen with coffee. This is due to tea containing a wonderful compound known as L-theanine. It is this compound that works together with caffeine to help boost energy but yet promote calmness all at the same time, making tea great for anxiety.

Read more: Is it ok to add Milk to Green Tea?

Herbal Teas

Many herbal teas such as rooibos, chamomile, mint and hibiscus are naturally caffeine free. These are a great choice for night time drinking or for those highly sensitive to caffeine. South African rooibos is the perfect alternative to black tea as it is bold and rich enough to enjoy with a splash of milk. Some herbal teas can interfere with medications and some herbs also may have diuretic effects. Some herbs, contain high amounts of caffeine such as the natural caffeine in yerba mate. It is always best to check with your healthcare provider if you are concerned about taking any herbal remedies.

Is it ok to Drink Tea Everyday?

If you drink tea everyday, you aren’t alone, Brits drink a lot of tea, they really do as 84% of the British population also enjoy a daily brew.

Whilst it is considered safe and many people enjoy tea on a daily basis, it is always best to take everything in moderation. And it is always a good idea to discuss any health or dietary concerns with your healthcare provider.

Read more: Earl Grey Tea Intoxication- What is it?

Can I Drink Tea Instead of Water for Hydration? The Verdict!

Yes! The NHS has confirmed that tea, coffee and other caffeinated drinks do in fact count towards our daily fluid intake to help stay hydrated. PLUS tea and coffee isn’t as dehydrating as you may have originally thought. However, caffeine should be limited to 300mg per day, that’s around 3 cups of coffee.

Now it’s time to pop the kettle on and stay hydrated…

What’s your thoughts? Leave a comment below!

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