How Much Water, Tea, Coffee, Juice and Alcohol You Should Drink Every Day

How much water should you drink? What about coffee, tea, juice, or alcohol? In this article I discuss the science behind liquid intake and make some common sense recommendations.

Water

When I researched this article, I quickly realized that there is literally zero science behind water dosage recommendations. It is clear that we cannot quantify the variability of water needs for anyone.

A rule of thumb that I follow to get a rough number is this: Take your weight in pounds, halve it, and then subtract ten percent to arrive at your daily liquid intake in ounces. So if you weigh 200 pounds, then your rough number is 90 ounces of liquid a day. Strive to give yourself the opportunity to drink that much water or more by making sure that you always have water at hand, and sip at it regularly.

If you are exercising in the sun all day, your need could easily be double that number or more. Also, body-fat levels affect your water needs. If you have a high level of body fat, then you will need less water because fat is much less metabolically active and uses less water.

Keep in mind that being dehydrated by even a small amount limits cellular energy production and fat burning capability.

All Liquids Count

You get to count other liquids besides water towards your daily water intake; soup, juice, tea, coffee, etc.

There is meme floating around saying that drinking caffeinated beverages would pull more water out of the body than they were adding; is NOT true! Although not as hydrating as a non-diuretic beverage, caffeinated drinks still hydrated you more than they dehydrate you. You gain more water than you lose, so drink away.

Coffee and Tea

If you are feeling guilty about taking in caffeine, I suggest you read “The Caffeine Advantage: How to Sharpen Your Mind, Improve Your Physical Performance, and Achieve Your Goals-the Healthy Way” by Weinburg and Bealer. One exception: Stay away from coffee and black tea if you have uterine fibroids aka Myomas. Otherwise, enjoy to your personal tolerance, it is safe.

Green Tea

Green tea is more popular than ever in the USA, and has many proven health benefits. It promotes fat-burning, detoxification, and has anti-cancer benefits. However, green tea is also known to pull a lot of fluoride out of the ground, so you don’t want to over do your green tea intake, as even naturally occurring fluoride can make your bones brittle in too high a concentration, and cause hypothyroidism. If your water source already contains fluoride, it may be wise to limit your green tea intake to one serving per day.

Juice

Those of you who know me know that I am not a big fan of juice at all, I say eat the fruit instead and gain the blood sugar stabilizing effects of the fiber. Juice is almost always cooked too. But natural juice in small amounts will do you no harm. However, there is a growing body of evidence that fructose, the main sugar in fruit juice may be a culprit in gout and fatty infiltration of the liver. I recommended limiting your total fructose intake to 15 grams per day.

Alcohol

We have known since the original Framingham study that drinking alcohol is protective against plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis). Now the research evidence is incontrovertible: Alcohol is not only protective against arterial plaqueing, but drinkers also live longer than abstainers, and this effect holds against all forms of alcohol; beer, wine, and hard liquor.

Double Edged Sword

Keep in mind that alcohol is also associated with negative health outcomes like motor vehicle injuries, liver damage, gunshot wounds, and brain damage. Wired.com blogger Jonah Lehrer in his September 2010 article “Why Alcohol is Good for You” attributes the health benefits of alcohol to the socializing associated with it. There is a substantial body of evidence showing that socializing is a big life extender and life quality enhancer.

However, there is also science that indicates that there are physiological benefits to drinking that are separate from the benefits of being social. For instance alcoholics who have a small or no social circle have zero arterial plaque.

Hormesis

Hormesis is the idea that low doses of a toxic substance like alcohol evoke a favorable response from the body’s activation of the metabolic detoxification pathways to eliminate the alcohol. The idea is that, as long as the dose is right, you gain more from the metabolic changes to deal with the toxin than what you lose from the damage induced by the toxin. Hormesis remains a bit controversial in mainstream medicine, but it sounds like common sense to me.

How Much Alcohol Should You Drink

The best science seems to indicate peak benefits at 2-4 drinks per day for men, and 1-2 drinks per day for women. Keep in mind that people are variable; both in bodyweight, genetic capacity are two big factors. Another is nutrient status. Does your diet provide the mineral, vitamin, and phytonutrients you need to properly detoxify alcohol?

Black beans are the richest food source I know of for Molybdenum, the central mineral for the alcohol-processing enzyme “alcohol dehydrogenase”. If you are sensitive to alcohol, try eating black beans on a regular basis to see if that makes a difference for you.

So what to do with this information? Personally, I have decided to take a moderate approach, hoping that I can get the hormetic detox-stimulating benefits and circulatory benefits while minimizing the neuro-toxic and hepato-toxic effects with regular low doses. So, I find myself in the odd circumstance of been trying to develop a drinking habit. I have settled on 1-2 drinks in the evening. I think of it as necessary artery maintenance.

I continue to weigh the evidence indicating that heavier drinkers live even longer than moderate drinkers. Should this trend in the science continue, there might be a good argument for increased alcohol intake. For now, I do enough driving around in cars that it makes sense to stick to low doses.

So there you have it, drink plenty of water, some coffee and tea. Minimize juice intake. Keep good clean water near you and sip throughout the day. Daily alcohol intake will likely make you live longer as long as you stay out of car accidents. Drink and be social for a long and healthy life.

Drinking Coffee and Frequent Urination – What’s the Connection?

Do you find that after your morning cup of coffee you need to made a couple of trips to the bathroom; but then it seems you can go hours in the afternoon before having to make another pit stop?

Frequency of Urination

Caffeinated beverages have long gotten a bad rap when it comes to their perceived dehydrating effects. Past studies on this idea only looked at the two or three hours immediately following coffee consumption and yes, they did find that urine frequency increased during that time; as you can attest to yourself. What they failed to take into consideration is the remainder of the day. More accurate studies took a look an entire day of urine production and they have found that the urination pattern shifted to earlier in the day but the overall amount of urine produced remained the same.

Responsible for Dehydration or Simply a Diuretic?

With the notion of caffeine being a diuretic, somehow the concept of coffee actually being a fluid source was lost. A cup of coffee, or any decaffeinated beverage, still remains a fluid source – especially in some populations where dehydration can be a problem; such as with the elderly where it is often relied upon.

While it is true that caffeine is a mild diuretic, it does not automatically make it a dehydrating agent. If that theory was true, would then not water be considered a dehydrating agent? There is no evidence supporting the fact that coffee and caffeine cause any imbalance of fluids or electrolytes.

All in Moderation

It probably goes without saying, but worth mentioning; drinking large amounts of coffee can indeed cause all sorts of health issues including potential dehydration. But assuming we are talking about one to three 8-oz cups, the overall dehydrating effect is similar to that of water.

Why You Should Drink Tea Instead of Coffee

If you’re a heavy coffee drinker you may not want to hear it (and if you’re a tea-holic you may be thrilled) but there are definitely advantages of drinking tea over coffee. It can help you lose weight, you’re increasing your intake of antioxidants, and a long list of other benefits–and it does it without the harmful side effects of too much coffee.

This isn’t to say that coffee doesn’t have it’s own list of benefits. Coffee is full of antioxidants, and studies show that Americans get more antioxidants from coffee than anywhere else. Tea also has antioxidants though, and it doesn’t have a lot of the harmful side effects of coffee.

Where too much coffee has been known to be bad for your heart, especially if you already have a heart condition, tea actually relaxes your arteries and lowers your blood pressure. Decaf, in particular, is known to cause high cholesterol. Let alone the fact that the weight loss benefits of tea will be great for someone concerned with their heart health.

While both drinks have caffeine, tea has two to three times less. You can drink a lot more tea without having to worry about caffeine side effects than you can coffee.

While stains on your teeth have been a pretty well known downside to the brown drink, adding sugar is the only way that tea is bad for them, in fact, this drink actually has fluoride and tannins in it that help keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy. In fact, as long as you keep out the sugar and milk, it’s calorie free!

Green tea, in particular, has a long list of positive benefits. On the list of positive benefits of green tea, there is the fact that it may prevent kidney stones, may help prevent Alzheimer’s, and may help keep your bones strong–whereas coffee has been linked as a contributing factor to osteoporosis. Another benefit of going green here is that if you drink enough everyday it will increase your metabolism, helping you lose weight.

A lot of people think they don’t like the green flavor because it has a bitter taste, but this only happens if your drink has been prepared too hot. If you keep your water at a lower temperature, or make it with an electric kettle so the temperature is controlled, you are much more likely to enjoy this healthy drink and it’s benefits.

While there are benefits to either drink, tea manages to give you benefits without harmful side effects, and has a longer list of benefits in general. Because of these factors, the advantages of drinking tea over coffee definitely weigh in this drinks favor.

Type 2 Diabetes – Does Drinking Coffee Help Prevent Kidney Disease in Diabetes?

Kidney disease in diabetes, or diabetic nephropathy, is one of the more serious complications of the condition. Recent studies have shown drinking coffee could have some protective effect against Type 2 diabetes and appears to influence kidney function. According to a study reported on in the Korean Journal of Family Medicine in July 2013, coffee-drinking could confer some protection against diabetic nephropathy.

Researchers at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital and Sung Kyun Kwan University in Seoul, South Korea, looked at 2,673 women from 35 to 84 years of age. Both diabetes and kidney impairment were highest among women who drank less than one cup of coffee per day than in those who drank at least 2 cups of coffee per day. Among diabetics the association between coffee drinking and the risk of kidney disease was especially strong.

According to the Mayo Clinic in the United States, drinking caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, can cause short but significant increases in blood pressure in some people. Whether this is because it causes the adrenal glands to release more adrenalin or whether caffeine keeps the blood vessels from opening, or both, is still not clear.

Some people are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than others. A method for discovering how sensitive you might be is to measure your blood pressure, drink a 12 ounce cup of coffee, and then measure your blood pressure again 30 to 60 minutes later. If your blood pressure goes up 5 to 10 millimeters, it could indicate sensitivity to caffeine. Ask your doctor whether you need to limit or eliminate caffeine consumption, especially if you have high blood pressure or heart disease.

If you do drink coffee, try to avoid using cream and sugar. One tablespoon of cream has 52 calories, 49 of which are from fat. It also has 21 mg of cholesterol and very little nutritive value.

Some healthy flavorings to add to coffee include cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Often drinkers like to add powdered herbs to their coffee beans or instant coffee. Cinnamon sticks make flavorful stirring rods. Make syrup by boiling water with vanilla bean, rosemary, orange peels, cloves, star anise, or your favorite dried fruit. Stir your syrup into your coffee for a different flavor along with some nutrients. A little dark chocolate also makes coffee more flavorful, as well as being good for your heart. Some people like a little fresh mint in their coffee, but be careful not to add so much you overpower the coffee flavor. What new herbs and spices can you think of to make your own unique blend?

Tea, Coffee and Broken Bones

Both tea and coffee have had a bad press when it comes to their caffeine content, despite tea having less than half the caffeine levels of coffee. Bone health and caffeine intake has been a particularly contentious issue with opinion split as to whether tea has a beneficial or negative affect – existing studies show a lack of consistency.

A 2009 research established that there is no link between low Bone Mineral Density (BMD) due to Osteoporosis and caffeine intake in women approaching menopause or recently menopausal. This comes as a huge relief to regular tea and coffee drinkers. While the harmful effects of caffeine is still present, there is no cause of worry of fractures due to the consumption of caffeine. (Fact: Tea drinkers are less vulnerable because tea contains just one third of caffeine a cup of coffee contains and much lesser than an espresso).

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones become thin and fragile thereby increasing the risk of fractures. Every year about 2.3 million people in Europe and United States alone suffer fractures and injuries due to osteoporosis. In UK, one in two women and one in five men fracture their bones due to osteoporosis.

The occurrence of osteoporosis in high in women because estrogen level decline dramatically as soon as their reach menopausal stage. If it is true that caffeine intake will lead to loss in bone density, then the effect on older women approaching menopause would be catastrophic and it can be prevented by intervening in the caffeine consumption in younger women.

Research Study On the Effects of Caffeine on Bone Density:

The primary aim of this study is to establish whether caffeine can lead to low bone density in health women aged 40 to 60 years.

Three separate studies evaluated the relationship between current caffeine intake and BMD, and one also examined lifetime intake. Sources of caffeine in these studies were from coffee and tea. An association between caffeine intake and BMD was not detected in any of the three studies.

The researchers concluded by saying while there is good evidence that menopausal status is associated with BMD, out of all the risk factors examined, only low body weight can be considered, with confidence, as an important risk factor for low BMD in healthy 40 to 60 year old women. In terms of caffeine, this review found no evidence of an association between caffeine intake and lower BMD.

Another research paper adds a more positive light to the body of evidence, concentrating on fracture risk in tea and coffee drinking women between the ages of 20-76 years. The drinking habits of more than 31,000 subjects were analysed over a 10-year period during which 3,279 fractures were observed. A high coffee intake was associated with a modest, albeit significant increase in the risk of fractures whereas tea drinking was not associated with risk.

Drinking Coffee – Are There Any Benefits of Coffee?

YES there are!

As funny as that sounds, there are many health benefits of drinking coffee. To the most of you, drinking coffee will come naturally much like brushing your teeth or taking your morning bath.

However you are left with a moral predicament in which you have till now wrestled with the knowledge in your head that in the most part coffee is bad for you. If this is your case then you can stop being paranoid every time you sip in your cappuccino

There are many health benefits that come of drinking coffee. Here are a few of those. Coffee is a natural pain killer and analgesic, it can help relieve headaches. The tannins in coffee can prevent and even reduce dental plaque and caries from forming.

Another benefit of coffee is that it reduce the possibility of diabetes by as much as half in a person. However the most astonishing fact about the benefits that coffee has to offer is that it is one of the most potent sources of antioxidants which are known. In fact the majority of the Americans are known to take in their daily dose of antioxidants from caffeine and not fruits and vegetables.

Drinking coffee can turn into a problem if you If your daily consumption is more than 5 or 6 cups a day. In such extreme cases the lining in the stomach can get damaged and lead to ulcers in the stomach and other gastric problems. Coffee is also not recommended to pregnant women.

How Does Finland Enjoy Coffee?

As you travel the world in your quest for the perfect cup of Joe, you may be so inclined to stop in Finland. In general, Finland has many different sites to see, with a land full of forests, lakes, and small farms. There are also more urban areas, depending upon where you travel, which may have you wondering where you will find a premium of cup of Joe when you do?

As it turns out, Finland is one of the biggest coffee consuming countries in the world, which is actually good for your health. In a study on Finland coffee drinkers, they saw benefits from drinking up to 8 cups on a daily basis. Coffee is full of antioxidants and can balance insulin levels in the body to reduce the risk of type II diabetes. Even more so, smokers in Finland who drank up to 8 cups of coffee a day had a 23% less risk for the common stroke. The regular coffee consumption in Finland averages at 5.7 cups per day, which is a highly impressive number!

We may all be familiar with the fact that the United States has a popular coffee market, as does Canada. However, Finland truly takes the cake by consuming the most coffee per capita on a yearly basis, directly followed by Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. This coffee consumption increased even more so when it surpassed the traditional custom of drinking tea passed on by the United Kingdom. Coffee is often used as a form of socializing and entertainment, especially since it can be served with pastries or cake as an afternoon snack or dessert accompaniment.

Traditional coffee enjoyed in Finland is lightly roasted, and it is normally drip brewed. A lighter roasted coffee has a benefit over a darker roasted coffee in that it is easier to taste many of the different flavors and characteristics from the coffee growing region. Coffee in Finland tastes much different than other coffee types in Europe, which are normally dark roasted. The French roast from France is one of the darkest roasts available, offering a smoky or charcoal taste. Coffee in the United States is normally enjoyed medium roasted, and many times, it is brewed very weakly in comparison.

Within the coffee shops of Finland, you can also find many choices in tea, as well as Yerba Mate from South America for variety. Overall, these coffee houses support the national drink of coffee that is celebrated by Finland for both urban and rural areas. Several centuries ago, coffee was an expensive import only enjoyed by aristocracy, but nowadays, it caters to all walks of life. This is often seen in the “Finnish coffee ceremony”, which is a ritual of coffee service enjoyed with delicate pastries.

If you are hoping to expand your coffee enjoyment and try something different, why not enjoy Java in Finland? Since Finland is the largest coffee drinking country in the world, they must be on to something when it comes to preparing a delicious cup of Joe!

Coffee and Tea: Health Benefits and Health Problems

There is always the choice between coffee and tea. In some countries, such as Italy the choice of offer is not given there is the assumption you want coffee and a range of coffee collations offered from flat white half strength to black and strong. However in most Anglicized countries the choice between coffee and tea is always available and so the individual can get just what they want.

My first experience with coffee was in college days. It was a night session of cramming before a vital exam and the coffee kept coming and we kept working. However by the early hours of the next morning crashing noises startled me and I looked around to locate where the sound was from. To my astonishment it was the sound of the curtains gently moving in the breeze of an open window. Up to this time I had hardly drunk a cup of coffee in my life and I was on a small trip.

My life long love of coffee had begun with a crash but matured into a great friendship. The wake me up first thing in the morning ” the heart starter”. And during the day it’s the energy giver. More than that I have always found it lifts the concentration when you are at a difficult task.

Added to the personal energy gains there have also been so many serious studies on the health benefits of coffee. A study in Finland from 1500 Finns concluded that 4-5 cups a day can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 65%.. And a study with Japanese women over 12 years claimed that the coffee intake halved the risk of colon cancer. Other serious claims from university studies suggest a 60% reduction in the risk of diabetes. Other claims still speak of reduced heart attacks and liver cirrhosis. The list goes on to claim cancer risk reduction and even reduction to risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Well such studies that coffee is the miracle drink may be held in doubt however there is enough evidence to demonstrate that coffee drinking has many benefits.

On the debit side there a connection between heavy coffee drinking with anxiety and irritability and insomnia. Other studies have shown a relationship between bad cholesterol and high blood pressure in the 5 cup a day coffee drinker and coffee is also blamed for gastric upsets, ulcers and irritation in the bowel.

So which do you choose between coffee and tea? Is tea a more modified drink with fewer claimed benefits and fewer suspected health problems?

Green tea drinkers claim that it is so full of antioxidants that it reduces plaque in the arteries that can lead to stroke or heart attack and there is good research to support this. There are even further claims that it reduces arthritic swelling and even acne. However its most important claim is it gives a huge boost to the immune system which prevents many diseases. As for the negatives with tea and specifically green tea it has been found like coffee to cause insomnia and increase hypertension and anxiety. It is also linked with the fairly common heart problem called “tachycardia” which is when the heart races uncontrollably and can cause a heart attack if not treated

There is another interesting health problem claim with tea drinking and that is to do with the absorption of iron. Which may be restricted when the tea is connected with other certain foods. However overall the health claims and health problem claims are milder that compared with coffee. So between tea and coffee it’s really a question of moderate use of either and the benefits to the moderate user will far outweigh any health issues that both coffee and tea might cause.

The Recent Tea Booming in the US – Statistics on the Tea Drinking Population

For centuries, the people who live in places like China, Japan and India have seen the benefits of drinking tea. In recent years, the people of the United States have started to discover these health benefits as well. While the 1980s saw a boom with citizens consuming a lot more higher quality hot teas in the past few years, there has a been an explosion of people consuming a wide variety of teas. Although the greater amount of tea being consumed in the US is made of many different varieties, this new explosion is being led mostly by green tea.

The popularity of green tea has taken off for a number of different reasons. For one thing, there are several beverage companies in the US who have their own bottled green tea. Not only is this version of the tea ready to just open and drink, but it also allows for the drink to be sold in more places, increasing its overall visibility. Another item that has led to this new boom in tea drinking by the US population is chai. Chai is a tea that is popular in India and southern parts of Asia. It gained popularity in the United States by being served at many coffee houses, where it is typically consumed as a cold, slushy beverage, which is similar to a milkshake.

Another reason for the boom in tea consumption in the United States is the sudden health awareness that has swept across the nation. With more and more Americans realizing that the food and drinks they have grown accustomed to over the years are actually bad for them, healthier foods have skyrocketed in popularity. This is likely a big reason for why things like green tea have taken off so well. Back in 1990, the tea industry brought about $1.84 billion in annual sales, but that number has swelled up to $6.85 billion in 2007.

With more health conscious Americans looking for better food and drink options, many companies are popping up to provide for them. Not only can green tea be found pre-packaged in bottles on supermarket shelves, but there are plenty of options to be found online. These sites usually offer more niche options for the specialty tea consumer. The bottled tea industry is likely to grow by 12 to 15% in coming years while the specialty tea market should expand 8 to 10% in the near future.

The Popularity of Coffee As a Drink – History

The history of coffee can be traced to as early as the 9th Century. Early stories of the discovery of coffee have been told when it first came to the town of Mandi in the Ethiopian highlands. As the story goes, there was said to be a lowly goat herder by the name of Khalid who had observed that his flock of goats tended to become lively every time they eat the berries off the coffee plant. Quite intrigued by the effect, the goat herder himself tried boiling the coffee beans and thus became the first discovery of coffee as a drink.

The popularity of coffee as a drink later on spread from Ethiopia to Egypt and Yemen where they were sold by merchants. Early version of coffee had the beans directly boiled and then drank. It was in Arabia that the coffee beans were first being roasted and brewed that has become the practice still today. The popularity of this beverage soon spread to other countries. By the 15th Century, coffee drinking has spread to the rest of the Middle East as well as to Persia, Turkey and Northern Africa.

Coffee was first introduced in Europe by way of Italy. Trading between Venice and the Middle East as well as Egypt and parts of North Africa began thriving. Through this route, coffee found its way to the Venetian ports and was then introduced as a drink to Italians. From there it was introduced to the rest of Europe. Its popularity became so great that it led to the establishment of the coffee houses in Europe, the first one being opened in Italy in 1645.

Coffee then spread to parts of Asia by way of the Dutch explorers who brought with them coffee seeds that they planted in their colonies in Java and Ceylon. The introduction of coffee in North America was not as widely accepted initially as compared to other countries. It was brought along the American shores along with tea by the English colonizers. But it was tea that first became the accepted beverage. Not until the English limited the supply of tea in North America did the Americans grow to prefer coffee as their beverage of choice.

Throughout history, coffee has been a widely accepted beverage and its popularity grew due to its highly stimulating effects. It is also for this reason that coffee drinking during ancient times was widely associated with spiritual practices. Coffee drinking has since become a regular ritual among many people and its popularity seems to grow bigger and bigger everyday.