Did you know that after water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world? Staying well hydrated is so important to good health since losing as little as 1 to 2% of body weight from fluids can impair physical performance and our ability to think. If you are like most people, about 80% of your total fluid intake comes from drinking water and other beverages. Tea is 99.5% water and it counts towards your daily fluid intake. Tea is known for its many health benefits, so drinking tea is also good for you! Read on about how to satisfy your thirst with tea! [#TeaForYourHealth]
Healthy Hydration Benefits
Your body is made up of nearly two-thirds water so it is really important that you get enough fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated. Remember ‘fluid’ includes water and additional drinks that give you water such as tea and other beverages. You also get water from the foods you eat. On average most people get about 80% of their fluid intake form drinking water and other beverages, and the other 20% from foods.2
Be sure to get enough fluids to be at your best in these important areas of health and wellness:3
- “Physical performance – under relatively mild levels of dehydration, individuals engaging in rigorous physical activity will experience decrements in performance related to reduced endurance, increased fatigue
- Cognitive performance – dehydration changes some cognitive functions such as your ability to concentrate, alertness and short-term memory
- Gut health – fluids can aid in digestion
- Skin – the skin contains approximately 30% water, which contributes to plumpness, elasticity, and resiliency
How much fluid do you need a day? 
Your body loses water when you’re breathing, sweating and getting rid of waste. If you lose more fluid than what you drink and eat, your body can get dehydrated and you may feel tired, get headaches and not perform at your best. NOTE: You can become dehydrated even before you feel it. That is why it’s important to drink fluids regularly, even before you feel thirsty. So you may be wondering how much fluid you need. Your fluid needs are influenced by a number of factors including your age, gender activity level and the weather! (Hot and humid weather can increase your fluid needs.) Healthy adults should consume between 9 and 12 cups of fluids every day. Here are general guidelines for fluid intake to keep your body hydrated.4 Remember fluids include water, tea and other beverages:
- Aim for 3 L (12 cups) fluids for men 19 years old and over each day
- Aim for 2.2 L (9 cups) of fluids for women 19 years old and over each day.
Daily Healthy Beverage Guidelines
Beverages make up an important part of nutrition for Canadians. Men and women aged 19 to 30 obtain around 20% of their daily calories from beverages. The Daily Healthy Beverage Guidelines, published in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of American Clinical Nutrition, can help you make smart choices about the types of beverages you consume. The guide looks at the relative health and nutritional benefits and risks of various types of beverages. Under the guidelines, unsweetened tea is second only to water as a beverage choice and people can drink up to eight cups of tea a day as part of a healthy diet.5
Download: Daily Beverage Guideline 2-Page Flyer (PDF)
Cool Drinks for Hot Days
On hot summer days what’s more refreshing than grabbing a cool drink? Enjoy hydrating with iced tea! Canada’s Food Guide suggests you satisfy your thirst with water as a great-tasting calorie-free way to help you stay hydrated. This is especially important in hot weather or when you are active. Since tea is 99.5 % water, it can count towards your fluid intake for the day – plus it tastes great! Next to water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world, which should be no surprise to Canadians – they drink almost 10 billion cups of tea each year!
Refreshing Iced Tea Recipe
Brewed Iced tea tips:
- Brew your favourite tea with hot water concentrated as usual
- Pour it over ice filled glasses and enjoy
- For extra flavour add a slice of your favorite fruit, such as lemon, lime, orange, or even peaches
Here’s to your good health!
 Liebermann HR. Hydration and Cognition: A critical Review and Recommendations for Future Research. J Am Coll Nutr 2007;26:555S-61S.
 The Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes: Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride and Sulfate. Washington DC: National Academy Press, 2004.
 Dietitians of Canada, Guidelines for Drinking fluids to Stay Hydrated, Nof 27, 2014 http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Water/Why-is-water-so-important-for-my-body-Know-when.aspx
 Popkin BM1, Armstrong LE, Bray GM, Caballero B, Frei B, Willett WC., A new proposed guidance system for beverage consumption in the United States., Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Mar;83(3):529-42.
 Garriguet D. Beverage Consumption of Canadian Adults. Statistics Canada Health Reports, November 2008.
 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Health Canada. Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide, 2007.