07/06/2012 10:13 BST

Hydration: Tea, Coffee And Lettuce 'Just As Effective As Water' Study Claims

While experts have often stated caffeine-based drinks dehydrate the body, new research suggests otherwise.

According to a team of scientists, the ‘eight glasses of water a day’ rule is misleading and drinks such as tea and coffee can hydrate the body just as well as water.

Researchers from La Trobe University in Victoria, Australia, claim that although our bodies need around two litres of fluid a day, this intake can come from sources apart from water.

tea hydration

“We should be telling people that beverages like tea and coffee contribute to a person’s fluid needs and, despite their caffeine content, do not lead to dehydration,” explains Dr Spero Tsindos in a statement.

In fact, fluids can also be obtained through foods such as lettuce (which is 97% water) as opposed to a ‘trendy’ bottle of water.

"Thirty years ago, you didn't see a plastic water bottle anywhere – now they appear as fashion accessories,” says Dr Tsindos.

"If you ate 100g of lettuce you've consumed 97g of fluid. If you think about it a cup is 250ml. If you eat two 100g bunches of lettuce you've consumed nearly a cup of water.

Mild Dehydration Causes Anger, Fatigue and Mood Swings - Find Out Why...

Dr Tsindos debunked the notion that water helps you lose weight in a report published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

"Drinking large amounts of water does not alone cause weight loss. A low–calorie diet is also required. Research has also revealed that water in food eaten has a greater benefit in weight reduction than avoiding foods altogether," Dr Tsindos said.

This research follows a separate study by Pennsylvania University, which found no real evidence that drinking eight glasses of water a day improved skin tone, weight-loss or headaches (except those induced by a hangover).

"Water is important for health, but the recommendation of eight glasses of pure water a day appears an overestimation of requirements," adds Dr Tsindos.

Keep your body hydrated with these clever ways to incorporate water into your diet...

Clever Ways To Incorporate Water Into Your Diet