Does Tea Dehydrate You? Demystifying the Myth | Virgin Pure

By Bob Fear

Does Tea Dehydrate You? Demystifying the Myth | Virgin Pure

Tea has traditionally been the nation’s favourite drink. The old cliche that a good cup of tea will solve everything stands true for lots of us. So, what can beat a nice cup of tea first thing in the morning? How about a cup of tea and a slice of cake in the afternoon? Only coffee comes close to this plant-based legend of hot beverages. But does tea dehydrate you? If we’re looking after our hydration levels and want to ensure we’re drinking enough fluid during the day, is it ok to drink tea? In this article we’ll sort the fact from the fiction and find out if drinking tea can be dehydrating.

Does tea dehydrate you?

Tea does contain caffeine but drinking a few cups a day may not necessarily dehydrate you – It’s down to our individual tolerance of caffeine. Some people find that caffeine has a diuretic effect on them - it makes them go to the toilet more which can lead to dehydration.

Some people find that caffeine doesn’t make them pee more and therefore tea or coffee will not dehydrate them. Research from the past 20 years has shown that you might have to drink from six to thirteen cups of tea for it have any vaguely diuretic effect on you. Furthermore, studies showed that those who drank caffeine more often were less likely to experience a diuretic effect

How does drinking tea dehydrate you?

Caffeine is a stimulant that, as well as making you feel less tired, can also increase the blood flow to your kidneys. This encourages your kidneys to flush out more fluid. So, if you’re particularly sensitive to caffeine’s effects, drinking tea and peeing more as a result could technically dehydrate you if you don't keep your fluid intake up. It’s essentially an extra way your body loses water throughout the day.

How much caffeine does a cup of tea have?

The amount of caffeine in most tea is relatively low compared to coffee. The average cup of tea might contain anything around 30–75mg of caffeine, depending on the strength of your brew.

If you let your tea brew for long enough you may find it’ll contain more caffeine than it would with just a quick swish and dip of the tea bag. Also, the hotter your water is, the more quickly the caffeine will be released. An average cup of instant coffee is likely to contain around 100mg or more of caffeine, while filter coffee may contain around 140mg of caffeine.

A high caffeine intake can eventually lead to dehydration. Make sure to find out the 30 things about caffeine you need to know so you can avoid it. 

Which teas dehydrate you?

Whereas a lot of people will find that caffeine doesn’t dehydrate them, some may find that drinking tea and coffee does make them pee more. If caffeine does have a diuretic effect on you, here are the amounts of caffeine you might find in different types of tea:

●An average cup of black tea can contain around 50-75mg of caffeine

●An average cup of green tea can contain around 30mg of caffeine

●An average cup of matcha green tea can contain around 35mg of caffeine

●Herbal teas such as peppermint, camomile, rooibos, tulsi and fruit teas shouldn’t contain any caffeine

●Some herbal teas have green or black tea added, so they will contain caffeine

●An average cup of decaf tea may contain around 2mg of caffeine, as the decaffeination process does not remove all the caffeine

Daily guidelines suggest that a moderate level of caffeine per day is around 400mg.

Which teas do not dehydrate you?

Not all teas dehydrate you. Teas that don’t contain caffeine such as herbal teas are better choices if you’re trying to improve your hydration levels:





●Fruit teas

Be aware that some herbal teas have green or black tea added, so they will contain caffeine. Nonetheless, herbal teas along with a good water intake can help you hit your daily hydration goals. Here are other drinks great for hydration you need to know about.

Does green tea dehydrate you?

Though green tea does contain caffeine, it’s only dehydrating in high amounts. It also depends on how sensitive you are to caffeine and its diuretic effects. Of course, it’s not as good as water at hydrating you, but it does have hydrating and nutritious properties. 

What can I drink instead of tea for good hydration?

We know your morning cuppa feels like a must, but there are other great morning drinks to wake up to. Now you know the answer to ‘does tea dehydrate you?’, if you are sensitive to caffeine there are plenty of caffeine-free alternatives to choose from:

●Herbal teas that are not mixed with black or green tea, such as peppermint, camomile and fruit teas

●Rooibos (or red bush) tea is a popular caffeine-free alternative to black tea

●Tulsi tea is a popular ayurvedic herbal tea

●Hot water with lemon or ginger, or both, with honey (if you have a sweet tooth) is a great warming, healthy drink to replace tea with

These alternative tea options are great way to slowly fall back in love with water, but make sure to check out our article on more ways to do this.

On the whole, drinking tea may not dehydrate you if you are not sensitive to caffeine. However, if caffeine does have a diuretic effect on you, then drinking tea may dehydrate you if you don’t top up your fluid intake accordingly. If you replace all the fluid you lose throughout the day then you can stay healthily hydrated.

If you love your cuppa, then having a hot water dispenser to hand can keep you topped up with tea throughout the day in super convenient and cost-effective fashion. Our home water system will dispense boiling hot water in a flash compared to a standard kettle, and it uses less energy - therefore costing you less to run in the long term. You’ll also be saving water as it only dispenses the exact amount of water you need. Perfect for tea lovers everywhere.

Next, check out the most hydrating foods you can add to your diet. Can you guess which one packs the most water content?

Want to keep up to date with all things Purist?

Sign up to our newsletter to get the lastest from the Purist delivered to your inbox every month.