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Tea, hydration and fluoride

Posted date:
8th Dec '16
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Tea (Camellia sinensis) is the most widely consumed beverage in the world after water.


  • Black tea is the most popular type representing 78% of the tea consumed worldwide, 20% is green tea and 2% oolong.
  • Up to 83% of UK adults drink tea with older adults (> 65 years) drinking more than those aged 19-64 years.
  • Tea consumption in the UK has decreased during the last 30 years from seven servings  to just over two servings daily.


Media concerns about caffeine and fluoride have led to questions about the suitability of tea as a source of fluid and its role in hydration. However, studies on caffeine commensurate with the amounts found in tea as well as studies on tea itself, suggesting that tea contributes to normal hydration in contrast to lay beliefs that caffeine is dehydrating. Tea contains approximately 99% water. It is an important source of fluid and can count towards the daily intake of 8 cups of fluid. Both the Food Standards Agency and the British Dietetic Association advise that tea can help to meeting daily fluid requirements. Moreover, the idea that tea contains as much caffeine as coffee is erroneous. A cup of tea contains about a third of the caffeine in an average cup of filtered coffee and proportionately much less compared to an espresso.

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