Getting to the Truth: Can Tea Dry Out Your Throat?
Most people will brew a cup of tea when they are feeling thirsty. You, on the other hand, may find that tea actually leaves your throat drier than before! So, is this all in your head or can tea dry out your throat?
No, you aren't imagining this effect at all. And, you aren't the only one who experiences it either! Discover just what it is about tea that dries out your throat…
Why Does Tea Cause Dry Mouth and Throat?
You may have heard that tea contains a substance known as tannins. This compound gives tea its astringent taste. However, what many people don’t know is that tannins bind proteins together. In particular, it binds proteins in human saliva together.
See, saliva works as a lubricant for your mouth and throat, reducing friction. The tannins in the tea, however, reduce this capability. This is why your oral cavity and your throat may feel drier than usual once you have had a cup of tea.
How Do You Get Rid of a Dry Throat Caused By Tea?
Needless to say, a dry throat after a cup of tea can be pretty annoying. So, is there anything that you can do to solve the problem? Yes, there is! In fact, there are a few different solutions that you can consider:
Try a Different Type of Tea
All true teas are derived from the camellia sinensis plant but there are quite a few differences between them. In particular, each kind of tea has a varying tannin content. Black tea has the highest tannin content, followed by oolong tea. Green tea has the lowest content.
Thus, one thing that you can try is to switch out the type of tea that you drink. Try green tea for a while and determine if this brew has less of an impact on your throat.
Reduce Your Tea Intake
You may also want to consider how quickly the dryness in your throat appears. Do you begin to feel the effects after a single cup of tea? Or, does it only appear once you have had two or more?
If you imagine that it is your overall tea consumption that is to blame, consider reducing your intake. Try just one cup of tea and see if that works. You can then gradually increase your intake until you discover just how many cups of tea is one too much.
Drink Tea with Milk
Milk can bind to tannins, reducing their effectiveness. If you really don’t like the idea of drinking green tea, try adding a little bit of milk to your black tea instead. This should help to minimize the effect.
Of course, remember that adding milk into your tea does mean additional calories. Therefore, you should add a little at a time or cut down how much tea you are drinking in general.
Eat a Snack with Healthy Fats
Tea is a pretty versatile drink, which means that it goes with most foods pretty well. Due to this, you should consider eating a snack that is a bit higher in healthy fats. See, the fats can bind with the tannins instead reducing the astringency of the drink.
This could be enough to help reduce the drying effect on your throat. Avoid anything too greasy or pungent, though, as this could potentially take away from the natural flavors of the tea.
In general, though, eating anything at all while drinking tea could be a useful trick. Your mouth tends to produce more saliva when you are chewing and eating. This production should be enough to offset the drying nature of the tannins.
If tea does dry out your throat, this isn't an issue that you have to continue to struggle with. Instead, there are plenty of solutions that you can turn to. Give each of these a try and see which one works for you best. Then, you can get back to enjoying your cup of tea.
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Consultant Nutritionist and Dietician
Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry. However, her love for tea began long before she understood the health benefits of tea. Growing up in Sri Lanka, Dheena had the privilege of being surrounded by the world-famous Ceylon tea. This is what got her started on her exploration of the various types of tea. She has now extensively tasted and examined teas from all over the world.