Most medical authorities agree that for good health it is recommended to drink at least 64 ounces of water each day. That is about 2 liters a day. Getting plenty of fluids keeps your system hydrated and flushes waste products from your body efficiently. According to the Atkins diet, sodas and other soft drinks do not count towards these 2 liters a day, while tea does. Not only being a better source of caffeine then coffee, tea also contains a lot of valuable antioxidants and other substances such as vitamin K, which can benefit your health. Numerous studies of large groups of people have clearly showed that those who drink the most tea also have the lowest risk of heart disease and developing type 2 diabetes, a large body of evidence shows. Drinking tea can improve insulin activity up to 15 times, and can lower the risk of developing diabetes. It can be black, green or oolong but herbal teas don't have the same positive effect on diabetes. The active compounds of tea don't last long in the body, so you would have to drink a cup or more of tea every few hours to maintain the benefit. Also important to note is that you should drink it without milk.
A study conducted in Taiwan in 2003 suggested that tea may help in controlling blood sugar levels. Twenty people with diabetes, who were taking an antihyperglycemic drug, were randomly assigned to drink either about 6 cups of oolong tea or an equal amount of plain water every day for 30 days. The researchers found that after 30 days of tea drinking the participants had markedly lower blood sugar levels. Most likely this was due to the catechins and other chemicals called polyphenols in tea.
Another study showed that people who drink more tea, whether it’s regular or decaffeinated, appear to have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes .Tea drinkers who drink more than three to four cups of tea per day have about a one-fifth lower risk of diabetes than those who didn’t drink tea. “Our findings suggest that any protective effects of tea are unlikely to be solely effects of caffeine, but rather, as has been speculated previously, they likely involve a broader range of chemical constituents present in these beverages, such as magnesium, lignans, and chlorogenic acids," the researchers wrote, citing other studies.
Of course, while these findings raise interesting questions for future research, and the large scale, meta-analysis lends additional weight to the results; the potential benefits of tea components need further study before doctors will be prescribing Earl Grey. And, in the meantime, health experts reiterate that maintaining a healthy body weight, eating well and exercising regularly are still the best methods for reducing type 2 diabetes risks.