If you drink three or more cups of tea a day you might be doing your health more good than drinking plain water, say researchers from King’s College, London, UK. This new study found, among other things, that the urban myth that tea dehydrates could not be further from the truth – tea hydrates as well as water does, say the researchers.

You can read about this new study in the The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Not only will tea rehydrate you, it may also protect you from developing heart disease, and even cancer. Apparently, three or more cups a day may also protect your teeth and strengthen your bones. The researchers say they are not sure why, but believe that flavonoids, polyphenol antioxidants, which are found in abundance in tea, may play a major role. Flavonoids help prevent cell damage.

Team leader, Dr Carrie Ruxton, a Public Health Nutritionist, said tea is better for you than water because all water does is rehydrate you. Tea rehydrates you and provides antioxidants. With tea you get two benefits.

Dr. Ruxton, in a BBC interview, said “Studies on caffeine have found very high doses dehydrate and everyone assumes that caffeine-containing beverages dehydrate. But even if you had a really, really strong cup of tea or coffee, which is quite hard to make, you would still have a net gain of fluid. Also, a cup of tea contains fluoride, which is good for the teeth.?

The team found that people are drinking less tea in the UK than they used to – possibly because they are consuming more soft drinks. The biggest tea drinkers in the UK are over 40 years old.

The Research was funded by The Tea Council.

Written by: Christian Nordqvist
Editor: Medical News Today