On a jag

August 27, 2006

A new study shows that if you're thirsty, tea is just as good for you as water - in fact, it's better, because it has chemicals in it that promote long-term health. Same goes, believe it or not, for coffee. Diuretics they may be, but you'd have to drink an impossibly strong cup of either to lose more fluid than you take in.

Researchers have been busy on the hot stimulant front. One group found that eight cups of coffee a day significantly reduces the risk of cirrhosis of the liver. Another, which looked into the effects of coffee on elderly men in Finland, Italy and the Netherlands, found that those who drank three cups a day experienced less than half the cognitive decline seen in men who didn't drink coffee at all. And in research just reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there was "clear evidence" that drinking three or more cups of tea a day reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. Not-quite-as-clear evidence suggests that tea drinkers are also at a lower risk of colon cancer.

Our favorite finding is that tea naturally contains fluoride - so even while it stains your teeth, it makes them stronger. It gives you good, brown teeth.

The question is, can you manage all this tea and coffee? Does the world need more stimulation? Does it need to be bouncing up and down? Do-we-have-to-be-in-a-permanent-headlong -state-to-be-healthy-and-are-we-going-to -be-able-to-concentrate-on-anything-at-a ll-what-with-all-this-caffeine-and-fluid-running-through-us?

Sure. Just go easy on the cream and sugar.

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