For the more delicate of you who dislike discussing any of the body’s magical fluid management techniques read no further (are any of you even reading this blog, lol?) For the rest of you let’s get sweaty ‘n stuff:
With temperatures above 100° F and beyond, breaking records, hydration is yet again a hot topic. Literally. I find myself in a water bottle fill-empty-repeat cycle multiple times a day (mine also has a mister on top that I love. Less exciting than running through a sprinkler but more portable). I also find myself taking trips to the toilet more often.
I know that as a singer I drink more water than the average person and if you factor in my tea intake even more so. Still, sometimes on days where the temperatures are relentless and the running about causes me to slip from my hydration routine I feel my mind slipping away. Apparently this is a sign of possible mild dehydration. Research shows that most people in the Western world are in some state of dehydration and are unaware of it.
There have been conflicting reports over time about whether or not caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea contribute to dehydration. I have never felt that my tea intake hampered my hydration efforts and a 2018 article in Time magazine supports this ‘tea and coffee are helpful’ side of the argument with info from a Doctor/Professor at UCLA Medical School. A Live Science article agrees indicating that increased intake of any fluid will cause increased urination. That doesn’t mean dehydration is occurring. From my scrapes with heat exhaustion while performing outdoors I learned it’s when you stop urinating or sweating that there’s a real problem.
The Live Science article also refers to a 2005 study that indicated a higher dose of caffeine had no more impact on hydration than a lower one. That doesn’t mean you can’t overdose on caffeine, but it’s hard. Like really hard. Like 100 cups of coffee a day hard, which means many more cups of tea (though different types of tea have different amounts of caffeine a cup of tea is usually around half that of a typical coffee or less. Check the Mayo Clinic’s breakdown ). Likely you’d have some heart palpitations giving you a clue to slow down way before that happens.
Now what about sweat? According to Dr. Weil, perspiration doesn’t smell in itself. It is when it mixes with bacteria on the skin. Ick. We are such interesting beasts aren’t we? We have 2 types of sweat glands, eccrine and apocrine, and it is the apocrine ones which are in the hairy areas that contribute to stench. Caffeine can increase sweating and Dr. Weil suggests removing caffeinated beverages from your diet if excessive sweating occurs because of them. Interestingly though, he suggests using deodorants which contain green tea extract to help control the smell as it is naturally antibacterial. I found multiple mentions about coffee potentially contributing to body odor but none for tea. Another point for the tea lovers!
So tea can contribute to your hydration when you ingest it (drinking a ton of water alongside it doesn’t hurt) and it can reduce your body stench if you rub it on your pits. Tea might help get me through this summer after all. What is your summer go to tea? Have you ever used a green tea deodorant? Let us know on social here or here. Stay frosty, people.