Water is an essential fluid for a wide variety of bodily processes. Drinking water provides a wide variety of health benefits including fatigue reduction, improved brain function, and better digestion. That’s why many people put great effort into drinking enough water each day.
There are many health benefits of drinking enough water. Limited coffee consumption and tea-drinking also have health benefits of their own. As with everything else, though, consuming too much water or caffeinated beverages can be harmful. It’s difficult to drink so much water that it will lead to serious issues, but it’s possible.
Drinking water helps regulate the body and flush out harmful or unnecessary materials. It can also help undo the harmful effects of other beverages like soda or alcohol to a certain extent. Keep reading to find out how much water you should be drinking and how certain drinks like coffee or tea can fit into a larger fluid intake plan.
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Health Benefits of Drinking Water
Drinking water has a wide variety of positive effects on the human body. Essential tasks like blood production and digestion require water. Water is the primary way that nutrients and oxygen are fed to cells. Hydrating properly can help reduce high blood pressure and stabilize the heartbeat.
Joints are cushioned and tissues and organs are also protected with water. Balancing sodium levels and body temperature are two of the greatest health benefits of drinking water. Many people have had great success breaking out of bad habit patterns with plain water. Rather than succumbing to sugar and fat cravings, drinking a glass of water can put your palate at ease. Consuming enough water is also helpful in reducing the occurrences of such cravings in the first place.
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How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day?
The standard water intake for an adult is between six and eight cups per day. Women need a little over 2 liters and men a little over 3. Of course, this can vary from person to person. Certain conditions might require more water and individuals who live more sedentary lifestyles might not need to drink quite as much.
Remember that you’re losing water every time you sweat, so people who are very physically active need to make sure they are drinking plenty of water throughout the day, not just during and after physical activity. Drinking water little by little throughout the day is the best way to stave off dehydration.
3 Ways to Meet Your Daily Fluid Needs
Drinking water is an effective way to stay healthy and keep your body working the way it’s supposed to. Try out these tips to up your fluid intake and maintain your hydration levels.
Drink Water on a Schedule
It doesn’t have to be an extremely strict timetable, but drinking water at certain times of day religiously can help you remember to hydrate. Many people have one or two glasses of water with each meal and sneak in some plain water in the time between meals. Another good idea is to drink one or two glasses of water as soon as you wake up in the morning.
Eat Foods That Contain Water
Many fruits and vegetables contain lots of water. Eating salads and other raw foods is a great way to maintain your hydration levels if you don’t like the taste of plain water. If you can manage to have one or two glasses of water alongside your meal, you’ll be in a position to meet your daily water intake goals. You can also use fresh fruit juice and vegetables to make smoothies. Watermelon is a favorite ingredient during the hot summer months.
Use Flavor Enhancers
Some people like to use sugar and other sweeteners to make their beverages tastier, but this can lead to some health problems if overdone. Try making fresh fruit juice or using lemons to make plain water more appealing. It might be a myth, but water with a little lemon in it seems to quench thirst better than plain water alone.
Does Tea Count as Water? Fluid Intake with Coffee & Tea
Anything that’s primarily liquid counts as fluid consumption. Tea and coffee are no exception. Whether served hot or cold, tea and coffee can sometimes make you feel dehydrated. This is because they have high caffeine content. Caffeine has a diuretic effect, causing your body to urinate more frequently. Many wrongly assume that this makes tea and coffee dehydrating, but it takes a large quantity of tea or coffee to reach that level.
For most people, coffee consumption is limited to three cups of coffee or fewer. There’s no need to worry about the dehydrating diuretic effect of caffeinated beverages when that’s the upper limit. Similarly, tea that has some caffeine content will add to your body’s overall fluid intake without dehydrating you provided you drink about three cups per day.
Are Caffeinated Drinks Healthy?
A whopping 85% of Americans consume caffeine every day. Some have become concerned about the effects caffeine can have on the body, but it’s actually perfectly safe if you take in less than 400 mg per day. Unsweetened coffee and tea are the best way to consume straight caffeine without harmful additives and sugars that are typical in highly caffeinated beverages like energy drinks and soda.
It would take almost 17 servings of green tea and 9 servings of green tea to reach 400 mg of caffeine. Four cups of regularly brewed coffee will reach that same limit. As you can see, unless you consume tons of caffeinated beverages in a single day, it’s unlikely you’ll consume too much caffeine.
Some people, like those nursing or pregnant, should speak with a doctor or registered dietitian about their fluid intake and consumption of caffeinated beverages. Teenagers and children should limit their consumption as well. Overloading on caffeine may have some negative effects on mood and energy levels, but the majority of people should be able to consume under 400 mg per day without any ill effects.
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Does Coffee Count as Water? Best Tea and Coffee Varieties for Water Intake
The many different varieties of tea and coffee have differing amounts of caffeine content. Decaf coffee is a great option for people who can’t handle caffeine or prefer not to drink it. Black tea is perfect for some caffeine content but less than you would find in most coffee. Coffee beans grown in different parts of the world will have varying levels of caffeine content as well. Here are a few drinks that count as part of your overall water intake and the general amount of caffeine they contain.
Herbal and Red Teas have no caffeine content naturally. Rooibos is one of the most popular red teas and makes a great base for a variety of spices. To meet your fluid needs without worrying about the energy boost or getting jittery, these are the best tea options.
Decaf Tea and Coffee doesn’t lack caffeine content naturally but rather has had it removed by some process or another. They’re still fine for bolstering fluid intake without much caffeine, but they tend to be less flavorful than herbal and red teas.
White Tea is mostly found in China and has a lower flavor profile than black and green teas generally speaking. There is some caffeine content in white tea, but much less than you tend to find in black tea varieties.
Green Tea is mellow and flavorful. Many mistakenly believe it to be caffeine-free, but it does have some naturally occurring caffeine content in fact.
Oolong Tea will have differing levels of caffeine content depending on how it is grown, when it is plucked, and a few other factors.
Black Tea is the most common kind of tea and also has the highest naturally occurring caffeine content. Early Grey tea, for example, is a black tea.
Drip Coffee can have a lower caffeine content than coffee brewed the standard way but it can also have more depending on the way it’s brewed.
Cold Brew Coffee has a higher caffeine content than most other coffees. It might be concentrated more as well, but you can always dilute it with a small amount of water to reduce the amount of caffeine you take in.
Espresso has a high caffeine content and consumption should be limited more than standard coffee and tea.
Nitro Coffee is coffee that has nitrogen added to it. It sweetens the flavor and makes the consistency smoother. In terms of caffeine content, nitro coffee has one of the highest.
Alternatives to Tea & Coffee
While tea and coffee count as part of the fluid needs for hydrating, there are other ways to consume water that will help you get the health benefits of plain water while adding some variety to your daily consumption. For example, making fruit juice out of watermelon or creating smoothies with or without dairy products not only help you get enough water but also have other nutrients that your body needs.
One of the best and most versatile alternatives is coconut water. It has tons of potassium and helps curb sodium in the body. Hydrating with coconut water is easier than plain water because it has more flavor. Its flavor won’t overpower other ingredients so it also works as a liquid base for smoothies and other recipes.
Apple cider vinegar works fantastically for reaching weight loss goals and helps manage blood sugar. The taste may take some getting used to, but adding a splash to a glass of plain water will give more health benefits than drinking plain water alone.
Matcha is a type of green tea that hails from Asia. It’s becoming more and more popular because it combines the health benefits of green tea with about half the caffeine content of a cup of coffee.
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5 Minute Golden Milk Recipe
In addition to smoothies and fruit juice, there are other alternatives to tea, coffee, or plain water. One is called golden milk, and it is essentially coconut milk with some added spice. It’s very refreshing and creamy, especially if you add a little cashew milk to it. There are many health benefits to the turmeric used in golden milk and it pairs well with any fresh vegetable-based meal.
Here are the ingredients you need:
- 1.5 cups of coconut water
- 1.5 cups of cashew milk
- 1.5 tsp ground turmeric
- A pinch of ground ginger
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Cinnamon to taste
- Ground black pepper
- Sweetener as desired
All you need to do is whisk everything together in a pot until it’s all uniform and then cook it on the stove for a few minutes on medium heat while continuing to whisk. Make sure the mixture never comes to a boil and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
Hydrating and Nutrients: What Does My Body Need?
In addition to the various benefits of plain water, your body needs some sodium and electrolytes which you can find in sports drinks and other more natural drinks. If you drink plenty of water and add in a few sports drinks, herbal teas, and alternatives like coconut water, you’ll notice you sleep better and your body functions better overall.
Many people don’t get other nutrients they need from fresh fruits and vegetables. Potassium is one of the main culprits and it’s easy to find naturally occurring in coconut water and drinks derived from coconut water.
Coffee drinkers should be happy to hear that coffee counts towards daily fluid intake goals, but unfortunately coffee doesn’t have very many other enriching nutrients. Soft drinks are even worse because they typically have tons of sugar. These empty calories aren’t going to give additional electrolytes or potassium like coconut water or sports drinks will. Monitor the sugar and caffeine content of whatever drink you choose.
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Coffee Intake and Water Retention
Drinking coffee is known to reduce water retention, but there are some studies that link the overconsumption of caffeine with the opposite effect. It can wreck a weight loss plan and make you feel disheartened if you aren’t seeing much change on the scale because of water weight. Make sure you drink plenty of plain water to make sure this water retention doesn’t mess up your fitness and weight loss goals.
It can be a challenge to drink enough water especially for people who have addictions to sugary drinks and processed foods. Compared to soda and juice, water can taste bland. Tons of people consume a significant amount of empty calories with sugary beverages and to them, water tastes bland. Alternatives like coffee and tea are frequently used to maintain a healthy water intake, but do they have the same effect as plain water?
The short answer is that coffee and tea can be counted as water intake and moderate consumption of either has been shown to have the same effects against dehydration as a comparable amount of water. Granted, tea and coffee shouldn’t make up the majority of your total water intake. Most tea and coffee have a high caffeine content which causes them to have a dehydrating effect if consumed in large quantities.
Understanding your daily fluid needs and measuring how many cups of water you drink each day can be challenging. It’s easy to forget. Many people don’t think of their hydration levels at all until they feel thirsty. Using coffee and tea to bolster your water intake can be very effective especially as a ritual at certain times like breakfast and mid-afternoon.
Humans are 60 percent water and our bodies need plain water to continue functioning properly. Many people don’t measure the amount of water they drink every day which can wreck fitness goals and also lead to problems with “invisible” causes like headaches and poor sleep. To battle the fatigue that comes with dehydration, many people turn to coffee and tea and the caffeine content to get their energy levels up.
The good news is that coffee counts as regular fluid intake. Does tea count as water intake, too? Yes, it does. If you’re worried about caffeine, there are plenty of coffee and tea varieties that have very low caffeine content. There are also alternatives like apple cider vinegar and golden milk that can help make sure you have enough water intake and also help you consume other healthy nutrients like potassium or electrolytes.
If you drink plenty of plain water, you’ll find that your whole body functions a little more smoothly. This is even more important during a fitness program or diet plan. Plain water curbs appetite and drinking enough of it can curb the negative effects of water retention in the body. Now that you know you can use tea and coffee to reach your water intake goals, drinking enough water will be even easier.
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