Last year around this time, I resolved to drink more water. It’s by far the worst aspect of my diet. I just don’t love it. It doesn’t help that my husband consumes water like it’s his job, which makes my meager intake pale in comparison.
As a Dietitian, I’m always asked if diet soda or flavored water is just as good as the real thing, but water loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners isn’t the best way to rehydrate or quench your thirst. Although yes, it does “count.” The question is, can we do better? I think so.
Enter tea. The new water.
A recent survey of existing research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that tea is just as good, if not better, than water for replacing fluid. The tea “replaces fluids and contains antioxidants so it’s got two things going for it” explains the lead author of the study.
The antioxidants in tea can help keep your cells healthy and ward off disease. They found “clear evidence” that drinking 3-4 cups of tea/day can reduce your chances of having a heart attack. Other health benefits include protection against tooth decay and increasing bone strength.
Think tea is “dehydrating?” Not so, say the researchers. Even a strong cup of tea introduces more water to your body than it removes. If you’re a fellow water-phobe like myself, this is fabulous news.
So, the next time you’re at Starbucks, skip the latte and opt for a refreshing (and hydrating) hot or iced tea.
Did I mention that tea is naturally calorie-free? Now, go get your steep on!
Danielle Omar, MS, RD