There has been much written about tea over the years, from its long history to the many benefits that it provides for our health. While a lot of these stories are true, it may surprise you to know that many are entirely fictional. Here are five common myths about tea.
1. Drinking too much tea can leave you dehydrated.
Many people believe that if you drink too much tea it will leave you feeling dangerously dehydrated because tea acts as a diuretic. Experts now insist that drinking a less than excessive intake of tea will not have you rushing to the toilet continuously, because the caffeine levels are simply too low. Tea can therefore be a useful and enjoyable way to keep hydrated.
2. Drinking tea is bad for the teeth and bones.
This is another complete falsehood that has gathered momentum over the years. Tea contains very small elements of fluoride that can help maintain the health of your teeth. Additionally, many people believe that the caffeine and fluoride weakens the bones whereas scientific studies have confirmed that drinking moderate amounts of tea on a regular basis can in fact increase bone density.
3. Caffeine in tea stops you getting to sleep.
The amount of caffeine in tea can be grossly exaggerated in many areas of the media. The fact is that if you compare of cup of tea with the same amount of coffee then the tea will contain around between one third and one half of the caffeine, depending on the type and brand of coffee. This tiny amount of caffeine will have little if any effect on mood or sleep, and there is some scientific research that suggests it may even help you drift off into that perfect night’s rest.
4. Tea doesn’t count towards your daily fluid intake.
Once again, this assumption simply isn’t true: tea is around 99% water, so why wouldn’t it count towards your fluid intake? This myth may again have originated because of the caffeine contained in tea, but once again the level is too low for it to have any effect. Additionally, tea drinkers build up a tolerance to the caffeine over a period of time. The Food Standards Agency are among many organisations who acknowledge that tea can help to meet daily fluid allowances, and for many it’s far more enjoyable than drinking water.
5. Tea doesn’t help in times of stress.
This assertion challenges a commonly held belief that drinking tea can have a calming effect on those who take it regularly. In fact this belief is held for good reason: studies have found that participants who drank four cups of tea every day for six weeks had lower traces of the stress hormone cortisol than those who drank a tea substitute.
As with many things, the key to a lot of these myths is not to drink excessively. Studies show, for example, that you would have to drink six cups of tea in one sitting for any diuretic characteristic to take effect. So tea is both healthy and enjoyable and there is no reason why you can’t continue to experience its benefits.