Do I have to drink water to be healthy?
A question came up asking if someone must drink water instead of tea for general hydration.
While caffeine does have a mild diuretic effect, a review of studies shows:
- The effect is not great enough to overcome the amount of fluid in the beverage.
- A tolerance builds up that further diminishes the effect.
The only real concern comes in from a calorie perspective if you use sugar to sweeten it.
Conclusion: You do not have to solely drink water for hydration. Tea and coffee, as well as flavored waters, occasional sodas, etc. are perfectly acceptable.
Just be aware of your calorie needs and use artificial sweeteners if you don’t like it unsweet/black, or opt for the diet version of sodas.