It was previously thought that drinking too much tea had a dehydrating affect but this is not the case, according to a study carried out by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The study shows that tea will replenish the body's fluid supplies in the same manner has water and might also have a protective effect against heart disease and some forms of cancer.
The nutritionists who carried out the research credit the flavonoids contained within tea with possessing the beneficial health affects.
The antioxidants found in tea and in other foods such as fruit and vegetables are said to play a part in keeping the body's cells healthy.
Doctor Carrie Ruxton is a public health nutritionist at the Kings College based in London. She worked on the study along with a team. They looked at existing evidence and have concluded that drinking up to four cups of tea a day may reduce the possibility of having an heart attack.
The study also showed that drinking tea could have the potential to guard against tooth decay and strengthen bones
Talking to the BBC
, Dr Ruxton said:
"Drinking tea is actually better for you than drinking water. Water is essentially replacing fluid. Tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants so it's got two things going for it."
"Studies on caffeine have found very high doses dehydrate and everyone assumes that caffeine-containing beverages dehydrate. But even if you had a really, really strong cup of tea or coffee, which is quite hard to make, you would still have a net gain of fluid."