I noticed that on some days, my skin becomes exceptionally dry for unknown reasons. I use the same products and I don’t notice a major change in the environment so I can’t tell what’s the cause. Initially, I thought it was due to my hormones but recently, I wonder if it might be due to the amount of tea I drink on those days. I usually just down a cup in the morning but if I work at home, then I might down another two more cups of tea in the afternoon.
Tea is commonly said to dehydrating because it is a caffeinated beverage that depletes our body of fluid. However, this claim has been dismissed as an urban myth (source: BBC News). Personally however, I do find that even drinking a cup of tea in the morning makes me thirsty and I need to visit the toilet almost immediately. So despite the health benefits, I still think it’s best to drink tea in moderation. One or two cups won’t have much effect but if you tend to drink three or more, chances are you may feel you need more water to compensate for the thirst. I find drinking green tea has the same effect even though it is often said to be beneficial for our health and skin.
I do not drink coffee often enough to conclude if it is the same as tea but coffee is also known to be diuretic and is often said to have a dehydrating effect as well. Drinking caffeinated beverages depletes the body of fluids, which will require drinking even more water (source). Again that has been refuted and it is even said that regular users develop a strong tolerance to this effect, and that studies have generally failed to support the common notion that ordinary consumption of caffeinated beverages contributes significantly to dehydration.
There are definitely differences in the ability of different people to metabolize caffeine. In general, however, low to moderate amounts of caffeine consumption do not appear to increase water loss very significantly. By “low to moderate,” we mean a consumption level that keeps caffeine under 250 milligrams. A “standard” 8-ounce cup of coffee would usually contain at least half this amount, and in many cases would contain this entire amount. And a large, specialty coffee (like a 16-ounce “grande”) might contain over twice this level.
But then again, caffeine is also known to be a stimulant that increases heart rate and cardiac output. An increased cardiac output do send more blood to the kidneys, causing an increased amount of urine excretion, leading to the dehydration. Hence, it is still best to drink coffee in moderation.
Soda and bubbly drinks
Both regular or diet soda are also said to cause dehydration because they contain sodium, which cause acidity. Carbonated water has dissolved carbon dioxide in its composition, which is also highly acidic, so avoid other bubbly drinks as well. Anyway, they are a very unhealthy source of beverage and should be consumed only occasionally.
This is definitely a diuretic that draws water from the body and dehydrates the skin. If you had a lot to drink the night before, you’ll most probably notice your skin looking kind of dry with irregular skin tone the morning after.
While our bodies need some amount of salt, too much salt will cause dehydration. I think there’s no doubt that eating a bag of chips or pretzels makes us thirsty and in need of water. So yes, I think salty food, especially those found in tidbits, do dry out skin.
As with most other experiences, the effects of taking such food and beverages may differ with individuals. However, I think the saying that “too much of anything isn’t a good thing” holds truth. Like even drinking water is said to be good, drinking too much of it may pose a health hazard for some people!
What’s your say?
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