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The Health Benefits of Tea

By Joe Cox

Whilst it is true that alcohol causes dehydration this is far from the case for caffeine. Drinking tea and coffee, as well as other hot and cold drinks, can keep you equally as hydrated as consuming the same volume of water (although if you are pregnant it is recommended that you limit your daily consumption to no more than 200mg of caffeine a day - that’s about two and a half mugs of tea).

In a clinical trial conducted in the UK earlier this year, two groups were assembled and their diets and physical activities controlled and monitored. The first group consumed four 240ml mugs of tea with semi skimmed milk over a 24-hour period. The control group was given the equivalent amount of plain boiled water. Blood results taken later from both groups found no significant difference in hydration levels, suggesting that tea is as effective a means of hydration as water.

Infact the health benefits of that quintessentially English of drinks go even further than hydration.

A recent study from Kobe University in Japan has shown that black tea contains high levels of compounds called thearubigins and theaflavins that combat the absorption of fat into the body. Unfortunately for those who take their English Breakfast with a splash of the white stuff, the effects of these wondrous compounds may well be neutralised. Bad news for the 98 per cent of Britons who are looking to shed a few pounds but take milk in their tea.

But the benefits of regularly drinking tea go even further still. There is growing evidence to suggest that drinking black tea can significantly reduce the chances of cancer. In a study conducted this year, researchers in the US, found Theaflavin-2 induced cancer cell death along with the shrinkage of cancer cells only 3 hours after treatment.

Studies and medical trials are constantly being conducted in an attempt to examine the potential benefits of tea as well as many other commonly consumed beverages. Whilst no medical trial is one hundred percent conclusive, it is now becoming more than apparent that the benefits of a cuppa go far beyond perking you up first thing in the morning.



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