New Research by Tea Advisory Panel Reveals That Three Quarters Of Brits Never Drink Tea Before A Workout Despite It Counting Towards Fluid Intake Recommendations

International Tea Day21st May 2024: Brits Need To Get Savvy On The Hydration And Performance Boosting Properties Behind Tea Before A Workout

LONDON, May 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Ahead of International Tea Day21st May 2024  – and with summer inspiring more of us to get off the sofa to be active, a 2024 real-world research study1 reviewed by the tea science experts at the Tea Advisory Panel – – reveals some fascinating insights into Brits’ understanding of the performance-boosting power of a simple cup of tea.

While over four fifths (83%) correctly identified that tea counts towards our daily fluid recommendation of six to eight cups or glasses a day, as many as three quarters (73%) said they never drank tea before a workout.

“Most people have a good understanding that staying hydrated is important for sports and fitness, but fewer seem to be aware that tea has been found to have the same hydrating capabilities as water,” says Elyn Marwick, a personal trainer, CrossFit athlete and an avid tea drinker.

With a growing body of evidence indicating that tea can make up part of daily fluid targets, dietary guidelines spanning the globe suggest tea as a way to meet daily water intake goals.

“Extensive scientific data points to the wellbeing benefits tea brings, including improved sleep, better mood and fat loss – all of which can contribute to improved fitness,” says dietitian and member of the Tea Advisory Panel (TAP), Dr Carrie Ruxton.

However, only two fifths (40%) of over 1,000 British adults surveyed as part of the 2024 real-world research poll claimed to drink tea for its ability to hydrate, while only a quarter (24%) said they drank it for its health benefits.

“Our review study on Tea for Sport and Fitness (Derbyshire and colleagues) pointed to evidence that when healthy males drink up to six mugs of black tea a day, it provides similar levels of hydration to water,”2 says Dr Tim Bond, flavonoids expert and member of  the Tea Advisory Panel, adding, “So it’s concerning to see that four in 10 (40%) of British adults are drinking less than the ideal 3-4 cups of tea a day.”

Busting infusion confusion

“With 50-60% of our body consisting of water, it’s a no-brainer that we need to keep drinking enough fluid to maintain health,” adds Elyn Marwick.

However, the 2024 real-world research study reviewed by TAP suggests some confusion over tea’s hydrating effects.

“Over four fifths (83%) know that tea counts towards the daily fluid recommendation and nearly two thirds (63%) said they’d reach for a cuppa to help quench their thirst, but only 46% agree that tea is officially hydrating. On top of this, too few appreciate that water and tea have the same hydrating properties (54%). Interestingly, more males than females said they were aware that tea stands head-to-head with water when it comes to hydration. Clearly, Brits are receiving mixed messages about the hydrating plant power of tea,” says Dr Carrie Ruxton.

Elyn Marwick continues, “The figures from the 2024 Tea real-world research poll suggests that Brits need some help in getting up to speed with the facts on tea’s hydration and performance-boosting power when it comes to sports and exercise.”

“Tea is more than simply a delicious way to hydrate; it’s a whole package of goodness in a mug,” adds Dr Carrie Ruxton.

The review study by Derbyshire and colleagues noted that tea could contribute to energy levels, nutrient and polyphenol intakes, which could support sports and fitness performance.

“It’s a subtype of polyphenols, called flavan-3-ols, that hold the key to delivering the health benefits,” says flavonoids expert Dr Tim Bond, adding, “In fact, the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics published the first dietary recommendation for flavan-3-ols of 400-600 mg a day.3 Drinking just four cups a day is an easy way to hit this target.”

Yet, despite the importance of these health and performance -boosting plant substances, only a fifth (19%) of respondents in the poll said they had heard of flavonoids, and less than a fifth (22%) knew that tea contains polyphenols.

“We can see from the survey review that we undertook as the Tea Advisory Panel that when people are clearly informed, they understand what needs to be done,” says Dr Tim Bond, adding, “For instance, six in 10 (60%) people wanted to see a dietary guideline for flavonoids here in the UK when they were told that flavonoids have a role in cardiovascular health and maintenance of cognitive function.”

Dr Carrie Ruxton concludes, “The scientific evidence for the benefits of tea when it comes to sports and exercise performance is clear. People know that hydration is important for exercise; they just need some clarity on the connection between tea and achieving their personal best. Tea is an all-rounder for hydration as it’s naturally calorie-free, contains healthy polyphenols and tastes better than water.”


The Tea Advisory Panel: The Tea Advisory Panel is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from the UK TEA & INFUSIONS ASSOCIATION, the trade association for the UK tea industry. The Panel has been created to provide media with impartial information regarding the health benefits of tea. Panel members include nutritionists; dieticians and doctors.

1 Independent poll of 1010 UK-based adults, Perspectus Global; March 2024

2 Derbyshire E, Bond T, Jenkins G (2021) Tea For Sport And Fitness: A Scoping Review 7(1):

3 Crowe-White KM, et al. Flavan-3-ols and Cardiometabolic Health: First Ever Dietary Bioactive Guideline. Adv Nutr. 2022 Dec 22;13(6):2070-2083. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmac105. PMID: 36190328; PMCID: PMC9776652.


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