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ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Why doesn't tea quench my thirst?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (23288 points ) July 19th, 2011

I don’t add sugar or honey, or any other sweeteners, to my tea. Most of the tea that I drink is herbal, although I like green tea as well. So most of the tea that I drink is not caffeinated.

I notice that when I am thirsty and have a cup of tea that I feel just as thirsty, or worse, by the time I’ve finished it. Why is that? Is it just me?

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4 Answers

Plucky's avatar

Much of our tea contains the compound tannin – which can cause dryness in your mouth. The astringency of tannin can make your mouth/throat feel dry – this depends on how strong the brew is. It tricks the tongue – making the tastebuds “think” there is a lot of saliva; therefore, the salivary glands produce less saliva ..making your mouth feel dry.

You can reduce the steep-time of your tea (reducing the strength of it). Strong tea is similar to wine – the more astringent, the drier your mouth will feel (worse case is when your mouth feels puckered). Adding a bit of skim milk to your tea and/or having a snack with it will help (chewing increases saliva production). Generally, the darker the tea…the more tannin it contains (black teas and green teas are generally high in tannin). Madura tea is tannin-free. There are actually some health concerns of ingesting tannin. It prevents iron absorption – which can be good or bad, depending on one’s health needs.

And, no, it’s not just you. I get that as well (also when I drink iced-tea). I hope I explained it sufficiently. :)

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Perfect, I didn’t know that. Thank you.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

You maybe dehydrated and a single cup of tea will not quench your thirst. Try increasing your water intake also some medications can cause your mouth to feel or be dry.

marinelife's avatar

Tea is a diuretic. It removes liquid from the body. (That’s why it makes you pee so much.)

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