Four cups of tea a day 'better than drinking water'

Four cups of tea a day 'better than drinking water'
23rd August 2006

The British love tea - and it's very healthy for you.

Drinking four or more cups of tea every day could be more beneficial than drinking water, scientists have said.

They say that tea not only rehydrates you as well as water does, but it can also offer protection against heart disease and cancer.

It is commonly thought that drinking tea leads to loss of fluid and may lead to dehydration.

But according to researchers, the water in the tea can actually help replenish fluids in the body.

The researchers say their findings could benefit older members of the population, many of whom do not drink much water.

Previous research has shown that drinking three cups of tea a day can cut the risk of having a heart attack by 11 per cent.

It has also been shown to stave off some forms of cancer, including colorectal cancer.

Other health benefits include reducing tooth decay and possibly improving bone strength.

Some studies suggest the caffeine in tea can also help concentration and improve one's mood.

The key component is a group of antioxidants called flavonoids - a major component of tea - which help prevent cell damage.

Tea is a natural source of flavonoids - there is eight times the antioxidant capacity of one apple in just three cups of tea.

New research, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that drinking tea can bring a variety of health benefits.

Researcher Dr Carrie Ruxton, a public health nutritionist, said that most Britons drink just under three cups of tea a day - below the 'good health' threshold.

But her research found that drinking four cups of tea confers the optimum benefits.

Dr Ruxton said: "Many people wrongly think that drinking tea will make you lose fluid and become more thirsty, but this is a myth.

"Tea is in fact rehydrating, not dehydrating.

"Add to this the overwhelming evidence that drinking tea every day can be beneficial to heart health, and you could argue that drinking tea is actually better for you than drinking water.

"Our bodies need antioxidants to help fight off the attack by free radicals and tea provides the most abundant source in the UK diet. You don't find these antioxidants in water alone.

"We should also consider the positive benefits that drinking tea has on hydrating Britons - many of whom are elderly and don't drink water."

Black tea

Like fruit and vegetables, black tea contains powerful antioxidants which can inhibit the growth of 'bad' bacteria in the gut, said Dr Ruxton.

She added: "Young people are often concerned about caffeine in tea, fearing it might affect their mood, trigger anxiety or disrupt sleep patterns.

"However, evidence from six studies shows no adverse effects at normal intakes of around six to nine average cups of tea a day."

Bill Gorman of The Tea Council said yesterday: 'This new paper rubber stamps much of what we already know, that the tea we drink every day is good for our health.

"Our own research has shown that in recent years young women are increasingly drinking tea rather than coffee, although many are shunning tea in favour of water, which they find a chore, rather than something they enjoy.

"For the good of their health, they should turn back to tea - they'd be a mug not to."
So how come the English are so unhealthy?
That's great to hear considering how much I drink a day.
When a cold or flu hits at our house, we brew up a mug of STRONG tea (two bags), 3 sugar, lemon. Take whatever meds turns yer crank. Go to bed and SWEAT. GOOD STUFF!!

Tea must be high in caffeine though. More than two cups and I'm bouncin off the walls............more than usual..........

Because the other thing about Tea, is all of its benefits are lost if you add milk or cream to it.

Most brits add milk to tea.
Well this is good news....I love tea! Now if they can just figure out a way for it to NOT stain the teeth I'll be a happy girl!

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