European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 91, Issue 4, pp 493–498 | Cite as

The effect of drinking tea at high altitude on hydration status and mood

  • David Scott
  • Jane A. Rycroft
  • Jennifer Aspen
  • Clare Chapman
  • Bryce Brown
Original Article

Abstract

The effect of drinking tea on hydration status and mood was studied in nine male and four female members of expeditions based at Mt. Everest base camp at an altitude of 5,345 m. Whilst exposed to altitude-cold diuresis, participants were subjected to a crossover experimental design comprising two 24-h dietary interventions. In the “tea” condition, hot brewed tea formed a major part of fluid intake, whereas in the “no-tea” condition tea was excluded from the diet. Subjects were prohibited in both cases from consuming other caffeinated beverages, caffeinated foods, and alcoholic drinks. Mean fluids ingested [mean (SE); tea=3,193 (259) ml versus no tea=3,108 (269) ml] and urine volume (tea=2,686 (276) ml versus no tea=2,625 (342) ml] were similar under both conditions. Statistical analysis found no difference in urine stimulated as a result of the tea intervention (P=0.81). Several markers of hydration status were also taken immediately pre and post each condition, including measures of urine specific gravity, urine electrolyte balance (K+, Na+), and urine colour. None of these measures indicated a difference in hydration status as a result of the dietary intervention in either the control or tea condition. A difference was, however, found in mood, with subjects reporting reduced fatigue when tea was included in the diet (P=0.005). The study shows therefore that even when drunk at high altitude where fluid balance is stressed, there is no evidence that tea acts as a diuretic when consumed through natural routes of ingestion by regular tea drinkers, but that it does have a positive effect on mood.

Keywords

High altitude Hydration Mood Tea 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Matt Rowson, Alex Faupel, Caroline Booker, Joan Lane, Jacqui Coverly, Karen Lovett and Sian James from Unilever R&D Colworth; Todd Burleson, Gordon Janow, Willie Prittie, Vern Tejas, Jibhan Gimire and Bharat Karki from Alpine Ascents International; and the participants in the study for their efforts beyond the call of duty. The experiment completed for this research complies with the current laws of Nepal, where it was conducted.

References

  1. Armstrong LE (2000) Performing in extreme environments. Human Kinetics, Champaign, Ill.Google Scholar
  2. Armstrong LE (2002) Caffeine, body fluid-electrolyte balance, and exercise performance. Int J Sports Nutr 12:189–206Google Scholar
  3. Armstrong LE, Maresh CM, Castellani JW, Bergeron MF, Kenefick RW, LaGasse KE (1994) Urinary indices of hydration status. Int J Sports Nutr 4:265–279Google Scholar
  4. Askew EW (1989) Nutrition for a cold environment. Phys Sports Med 17:77–89Google Scholar
  5. Cadwell JE, Ahonen E, Nousianen U (1984) Differential effects of sauna-, diuretic-, and exercise-induced hypohydration. J Appl Physiol 21:670–674Google Scholar
  6. Consalazio C, Matoush L, Johnson H, and Daws TA (1968) Protein and water balances of young adults during prolonged exposure to high altitude. Am J Clin Nutr 21:154–161Google Scholar
  7. Craig FN, Cumming EG (1966) Dehydration and muscular work. J Appl Physiol 21:670–674PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Denaro CPG, Brown CR, Jacob P, Berkowitz NL (1991) Effects of caffeine with repeated dosing. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 40:273–278Google Scholar
  9. Eggleton G (1941) The diuretic action of alcohol in man. J Physiol (Lond) 101:172–191Google Scholar
  10. Fagan D, Swift CG, Tiplady B (1988) Effects of caffeine on vigilance and other performance tests in normal subjects. J Psychopharmacol 2:19–25Google Scholar
  11. Grandjean AC, Reimers KJ, Bannick KE, Haven MC (2000) The effect of caffeinated, non-caffeinated, caloric and non-caloric beverages on hydration. J Am Coll Nutr 19:591–600PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Hackett PH, Oelz O (1992) The Lake Louise consensus on the definition and quantification of altitude illness. In: Sutton JR, Coates G, Houston CS (eds) Hypoxia and mountain medicine. Pergamon Press, London, pp 327–330Google Scholar
  13. Hindmarch I, Quinlan PT, Moore KL, Parkin (1998) The effects of black tea and other beverages on aspects of cognition and psychomotor performance. Psychopharmacology 139:230–238Google Scholar
  14. Houston ME, Marrin DA, Green HJ, Thompson JA (1981) The effect of rapid weight loss on physiological functions in wrestlers. Phys Sports Med 9:73–78Google Scholar
  15. Lee DS (1999) The evening tea break ritual—a case study. Contemp Nurse 9:227–231Google Scholar
  16. Lieberman HR, Wurtman RJ, Emde GG, Roberts C, Coviella ILG (1987) The effects of low doses of caffeine on human performance and mood. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 92:308–312Google Scholar
  17. MAFF (1998) Updated food surveillance information sheet: caffeine in energy drinks and other caffeine-containing products. HMSO, LondonGoogle Scholar
  18. Maughan R, Griffin J (2004) Caffeinated beverages and fluid balance: a review. J Hum Nutr Diet (in press)Google Scholar
  19. McNair DM, Lorr N, Droppleman LF (1981) Manual for the profile of mood states. Education and Industrial Testing Service, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  20. Neuhauser-Berthold BS, et al (1997) Coffee consumption and total body water homeostasis as measured by fluid balance and bioelectrical impedance analysis. Ann Nutr Metab 41:29–36PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Passmore AP, Kondowe GB, Johnston GD (1987) Renal and cardiovascular effects of caffeine: a dose-response study. Clin Sci 72:749–756PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Ormerod JK, Elliott TA, Scheett TP, VanHeest JL, Armstrong LE, Maresh CM (2003) Drinking behavior and perception of thirst in untrained women during 6 weeks of heat acclimation and outdoor training. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 13:15–28PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Quinlan P, Lane J, Aspinall L (1997) Effects of hot tea, coffee and water ingestion on physiological responses and mood: the role of caffeine, water and beverage type. Psychopharmacology 134:164–173CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Robertson D, et al (1978) Effects of caffeine on plasma renin activity, catecholamines and blood pressure. N Engl J Med 298:181–186Google Scholar
  25. Saltin B (1964) Aerobic work capacity and circulation at exercise in man with special reference to the effect of prolonged exercise and/or heat exposure. Acta Physiol Scand [Suppl] 230:1–52Google Scholar
  26. Sawka MN, Pandolf KB (1990) Effects of body water loss on physiological function and exercise performance. In: Gisoli CV, Lamb DR (eds) Fluid homeostasis during exercise. Benchmark, Carmel, pp 1–38Google Scholar
  27. Shirreffs SM (2000) Markers of hydration status. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 40:80–84PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Shukitt-Hale B, Rauch TM, Foutch R (1990) Altitude symptomatology and mood states during a climb to 3,630 meters. Aviat Space Environ Med 61:225–228PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Smith AP, Brockman P, Flynn R, Maben A, Thomas M (1993) Investigation of the effects of coffee on alertness and performance during the day and night. Neuropsychobiology 27:217–223PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Steptoe A, Wardle J (1999) Mood and drinking: a naturalistic diary study of alcohol, coffee and tea. Psychopharmacology 141:315–321CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Wiseman SA, Balentine D, Frei B (1997) Antioxidants in tea. Crit Rev Food Sci 37:705–718Google Scholar
  32. Ziegler EE, Filer LJ (1996) Present knowledge in nutrition, 7th edn. ILSI Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Scott
    • 1
  • Jane A. Rycroft
    • 1
  • Jennifer Aspen
    • 1
  • Clare Chapman
    • 1
  • Bryce Brown
    • 2
  1. 1.Colworth House Unilever R&D ColworthBedfordUK
  2. 2.Section of Emergency MedicineUniversity of ManitobaCanada

Personalised recommendations