What exactly is a diuretic? Is tea a diuretic? This article will answer all such questions.
Diuretics are also known as water pills. They are designed medications that increase the amount of water and salt dismissed from the body in the form of urine, which in turn lowers the level of blood pressure.
There are three forms of prescription diuretics. They also help in treating blood pressure and are used for other types of conditions.
High blood pressure is the most common condition which is treated with diuretics. The drugs decrease the level of fluid in the blood vessels which ultimately helps lower blood pressure.
Other conditions which are treated with diuretics are congestive heart failure, where your heart keeps pumping blood continuously throughout the body. This results in a form of fluid buildup in the body known as edema. Diuretics can help in decreasing fluid buildup.
Drinking tea can beseech the relieving of fluids, as the more the consumption of water, the more the outgoing of liquids from the body.
1. Drawbacks of Caffeine
Apart from coffee caffeine is also present in green and black tea. Caffeine will have no effect if there is a consumption of one or two cups. But consuming more than 5 cups will lead to serious caffeine concentration, which will eventually result in a diuresis.
Due to the occurrence of diuresis, caused by drinking tea, the only way to be on the safer side is to break the habit of consuming 7 cups in a single stretch. This won’t be easy at first but this will not let you get dehydrated.
The major culprit in tea is caffeine which has the effect of a diuretic on our bodies. In a single cup of tea, an amount of around 150 milligrams of caffeine is present.
For the effectiveness of diuretics, one needs to consume more than 550 milligrams each day which will be delivered in a single stretch. For this, one needs to consume tea in huge amounts in a short period for the diuretic effect to work.
Caffeine should be consumed in a limited amount as this might hamper your body organs and even parts of the brain.
Low blood pressure can be maintained by controlling dehydration. Urinating because of consuming tea frequently will result in hydration. One should always go for a prescribed diuretic medicine at a medical facility.
Dehydration is a situation where a body has less water compared to what it needs and this can happen in different forms, like when a person sweats, urinates, or even has diarrhea caused by dehydration. One should always drink water to not let the body go into a state of dehydration.
Suppose when a person drinks tea, he or she adds water to the body which as a result adds more water to the blood. The kidney eliminates the water when the fluid gets filled inside the kidney. It comes out of the body in the form of urine.
This continues until the body gets to a normal stage. Therefore, consuming tea will usually lead the body to a dehydration state but in a few cases, hydrates the body.
2. Which One is an Effective Diuretic: Alcohol or Tea?
Neither tea is an effective diuretic nor cigarettes. A person only loses a spoonful of water while consuming per cup of tea and that’s the reason it is advisable to stick to 250ml of drinking tea only when the body needs it.
One liquid that will dehydrate your body fast is alcohol. Alcohol is known as a good diuretic. Consuming 60 ml liquor will result in losing about a spoonful of water from the body.
When you consume too much alcohol, you have headaches. This results in ultimate dehydration. This drinking routine needs to have a break, for the body to get stabilized.
Alcohol’s outcome will result in various damaging effects and can cause issues like addiction, bad thinking, cancer, kidney disease, accidents, low self-consciousness, etc.
3. Working Process of Diuretics
Various diuretics affect differently on the smallest unit of the kidney known as the nephron. The nephrons present in the kidney processes blood.
Urine is created by three processes: filtration, reabsorption, and secretion. The urine consists of 95% water and 5% of waste products.
Mannitol present in the urine diffuses more water. A few more hormones like vasopressin, preserve fluid in the body by decreasing urine discharge.
What if both coffee and tea are combined with only water, are they said to be diuretics? What is the reason for water not being a diuretic?
Coffee and tea are not diuretics by themselves the presence of caffeine in them makes them come under the property of diuretics.
The water itself makes urine come more often and it is natural when the volume of fluid increases in the bladder. The amount of urine completely depends on the amount of water a person intakes.
Suppose a person drinks a glass of water so he will urinate only when the bladder becomes full and reaches the extent where it needs to get rid of the waste.
On the other hand, diuretics encourage the body’s natural processes. The bladder gets contracted when the caffeine stimulates the muscles, making the action happen more easily and the urine comes more often keeping aside the situation of the lesser volume of fluid in the bladder.
3. Does Caffeinated Drinks Keep a Person Hydrated?
Most people take the fluids such as tea, coffee, water, and other caffeinated beverages as their hydration liquids, which keeps their body balance hydrated.
Consuming a basic amount of caffeinated fluids will not affect the body nor will increase urine, only when they are consumed in large quantities the diuretic characteristics will be seen.
According to research, it is seen that our body gets in a protection stage from the diuretic effects if a high amount of caffeine is taken for a long time. These studies mostly imply sports-related medicine but cannot deny the fact that it applies to daily life hydration also.
Water does not contain any diuretic element so it is not counted under the category diuretic.
4. Is the Term Diuretic Applicable to Decaffeinated Tea?
If seen in technical terms any liquid that passes through our mouth is a diuretic. Even a normal glass of water will make a person urinate often.
Although decaffeinated tea is more diuretic as compared to just a glass of water the answer is no. The non-caffeinated drinks help in reducing anxiety, lower blood pressure, good sleep quality, etc.
A small amount of caffeine is always preserved in decaffeinated tea. No extra effect of diuretics practically takes place while consuming decaffeinated tea.
But while consuming a fully caffeinated tea more water intake would take place in a person’s body than water output.
In the case of a normal person’s body, the function needs to be carried out when there is proper hydration. Hydration makes sure that the electrolyte balance is good, lubrication of joints, and maintains the energy level in the body by simplifying metabolism.
To maintain proper hydration levels one does not need to intake large doses of water at a stretch.
In climatic conditions where the weather is hot one needs to drink enough water to keep himself or herself hydrated. The same applies when a person is sweating, the water goes out of the body in form of sweat and the hydration of the body needs to be maintained by consuming water.
Around 20% of fluid intake is through the food consumed and the rest is by drinking various liquids like tea, juice, coffee, and normal water which maintains the body’s water balance.
Most of our drinks consumed in daily life are about 85% water. While having tea, a person urinates more because the body is eliminating the excessive fluid to maintain itself in a normal condition.
Coffee and green tea are natural stimulants. Too much caffeine if taken decreases the blood flow, which increases blood pressure.
All types of tea are a diuretic except herbal tea. Nowadays most people consume herbal tea as they do not cause dehydrating effects on your body.
Highly caffeinated teas will cause nervousness, frequent urine production, and a fast heartbeat. Habitual caffeine consumers may have serious issues in the future.
People should have healthy dietary habits and should consume caffeine-free drinks generally. A person should avoid caffeinated teas as tea dehydrates the body. Herbal infusions in the body are a must, this includes natural diuretic food.
6.1. Which Chemical in Tea Comes Under Diuretic Properties?
Theophylline in tea, Caffeine in coffee and tea, and Theobromine in chocolate are responsible for diuretic effects. All these chemicals are methylxanthines.
Xanthine is a purine(water-soluble aromatic compound) just like Adenine and Guanine(present in DNA and RNA). The physiological/ pharmacological effects of Theophylline result in diuresis.
6.2. What Exactly Could be a Diuretic Digestive Herbal Tea?
Green Tea or sometimes black tea is the answer but it is advisable not to consume more than a liter and it should be taken in moderate amounts.
6.3. What Should We Drink When On Diuretics?
Water is an important fluid that should be taken at least 2 liters a day for the body’s hydration, it could be taken plain or boiled. According to a study, people drink excess water thinking it will help in fluid balance, this should be avoided.