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A welcome cuppa

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HEALTH Dehydrated? Sip on a cup of tea

L istless and fatigued? Don't blame the workload or the household chores; you probably haven't sipped enough fluids. Your body could just be feeling dehydrated. Skip the aerated beverages and head for the kettle for a refreshing cup of steaming tea. Unsweetened tea is recognised as an ideal fluid choice for hydration, next to water. Health experts recommend an average fluid intake of approximately 3L for men and 2.2L for women. Iced to beat the heat or steaming hot to jolt you out of your slumber. Yes, unsweetened black, green, oolong or herbal tea is the best complement to water to meet your fluid needs.

There's proof to back this up. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has published a guidance system for beverage consumption to provide consumers with an easy guide to select healthier beverages. It ranks unsweetened tea as second to water as an ideal beverage choice for hydration! Not only is a cup of tea refreshing and delicious, it can also supplement the fluid requirements of a woman's body.

It's time to wake up to the health benefits that tea offers. At the basic level, it is an excellent hydrant and a zero-cal beverage option, provided you skip the sugar cubes. So, the morning cup of tea is a smart way to start a housewife's day. It refreshes and rejuvenates and , puts the necessary fluids back into your system, recharging your body for the day ahead.

To get to the body basics: the human body comprises 60-70 per cent fluid. Two-thirds of this is held within the cells and the remaining flows around our tissues and blood forming a ‘cushion'. The body meets it fluid requirements through water, other beverages and solid food. This water is lost in every step of our daily lives. Be it a stroll to the park with kids, climbing stairs, or taking care of the house. Even in a resting state, the body loses water through respiration as a natural cooling mechanism. Add to this the pressures of household chores, shopping , darting to office on time or working out a sweat in the gym. Medical studies claim that a normal, healthy person eliminates — on an average 2.6 litres of water every day. Fluid loss increases further when the body temperature is raised, during exercise or any strenuous physical activity. As the water levels drop, the concentration of salt in the blood increases, activating the body's thirst mechanism. It's time to replenish those lost fluids. If water is indeed the best liquid, tea comes a second best.

Critics have, for years, claimed that caffeine-containing drinks result in dehydration. While caffeine, in large doses, has a diuretic effect, in tea, the levels of caffeine is around half as compared to coffee. Independent studies by scientists show that tea works as a hydrant rather than depleting precious fluids from the body.

Source: Hindustan Unilever Research Center

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