Before we talk about coffee and tea dehydration, let’s dive into understanding how caffeine, which has become an essential part of our day to day lives, came into existence. Caffeine is the most used psychoactive substance present in nature. It can be extracted from over 60 plants or synthesised in a laboratory to use for medication or other purposes. Caffeine, as opposed to coffee, is a white coloured powdery substance that substantially helps increase concentration. Having said that, humans have been consuming caffeine years before recorded history in the form of berries and leaves that the ancient men and women chewed to feel refreshed. Tea and coffee are two substances that have been around for over centuries with multiple medicinal uses (tea) and as recreational drugs (caffeine).
Friedrich Ferdinand carried out the very first extraction of caffeine from cocoa beans in the early 19th century. Today, the extraction of caffeine takes place on a much larger scale for mass consumption in many food and medicinal products, and we’ve come to a point where we cannot do without it. According to a recent survey conducted by YouGov.in in 2019, 44% of the population prefers tea, 18% coffee, and 38% drink both. However, tea is predominant in India as 56% of the 38% prefer tea over coffee. Having understood how much we love our caffeine, let’s get to other aspects of it.
What is Tea?
Scientifically known as Camellia Sinensis, the leaves of this evergreen forest bush are used to process all kinds of tea. Green tea, black tea and oolong tea are traditionally caffeinated tea varieties that use this plant which has multiple health benefits. The Chinese are said to be cultivating this plant for over 2700 years and use it for medicinal purposes. There are two varieties of this plant that have differences based on the environment they grow in. Camellia Sinensis is the type that grows in China on elevated land and cold temperatures. This environment gives the tea plant a sweeter taste and is used for green and white tea. Camellia Sinensis Assamica, on the other hand, grows in the northeastern part of India and produces bigger leaves due to heavy rainfall and hotter temperatures which helps create a stronger flavour for black tea.
The tea plant contains multiple biocompounds that have numerous health benefits. For example, the polyphenols present in tea have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can prevent the damage caused to cells by the elements produced in our body. L-Theanine is another compound present in tea that reduces stress and anxiety and avoids the growth of cancer and cognitive diseases like Parkinson’s.
How does Tea Affect Our Hydration Levels?
Depending on your consumption, you can experience tea dehydration. The caffeine enters your bloodstream to make its way to the liver, where this substance is broken down, affecting other body parts. The caffeine targets the brain and leaves you feeling refreshed and focused. By keeping track of your consumption, and choosing a tea with negligible amounts of caffeine, the effects of tea on your body can be controlled and used to your benefit.
Does Coffee Dehydrate Us?
As opposed to tea, coffee contains way higher amounts of caffeine. Consumption of coffee helps stay more focused, elevated and is a great way to uplift your mood. This beverage is known as a diuretic as the caffeine encourages more blood flow to the kidneys, which will produce urine more than the usual amount. Frequent urination can drastically affect one’s body and cause severe dehydration. Coffee dehydration can cause real health hazards if not taken care of in time. Make sure you always keep a check to stay healthy while enjoying a good cup of coffee.
To answer whether coffee or tea is good for dehydration is not easy; even though tea causes dehydration too, it is slightly better off than coffee. Excessive consumption of either of these beverages will have ill effects on your body, but if you track and control the number of cups daily, it can work wonders for your productivity.
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