When is a Diuretic Not a Diuretic

Green Tea-- Diuretic That is a Food

Green tea is a diuretic that is a food.
Green tea is a diuretic that is a food. | Source

Difference of Food Diuretics and Drug Diuretics

There is a problem with people thinking the effects of drugs and foods, that are diuretics, are the same. This is similar to people thinking that minerals that come from foods are the same as minerals that come from non-foods. This was written February 11, 2013.

Here is an article about The Difference Between Minerals from Food and Non-Food. I saw an article about the difference between 2 words and the guy never bothered to look them up. Wikipedia says:

A diuretic is any substance that promotes the production of urine.

It goes on to talk about the different drugs that are diuretics. This website lists many foods that are diuretics like watermelon and green tea. It says:

A diuretic is either a food, herb, beverage or anything else that aides in the process of making your body release more urine. Increasing the amount of times your body releases fluids can do three things for you: excrete toxins from the body, lower your blood pressure and help get rid of extra water weight.

This article, How to Eat Natural Diuretic Foods, says:

Diuretics that have been synthesized by chemists aim to rid the body of sodium and water. They affect the kidneys by putting more sodium into your urine.

The above is different than the above definitions and the dictionary definition of diuretic-- tending to increase the excretion of urine. These others do not include sodium in the definition.

The diuretics that are drugs force the body to get rid of liquid or water. Body builders have used them to look better before a meet and have died because of them. Water weight looks worse that body fat since body fat is more solid looking. So getting rid of fat or water weight allows the muscles to show more clearly.

Say for the sake of discussion that diuretic foods work the same way as diuretic drugs. Then if you drank nothing but green tea or coffee all day then after a couple of days you would be dehydrated. Then a few days later you would die. But that is not what happens, does it?

There are certain foods like orange juice that lower high blood pressure. But that does not mean that if you drink a lot of orange juice, it will lower your blood pressure too much. Nor does it mean that someone with low blood pressure should not drink orange juice since it will lower it more. High blood pressure drugs would do the above.

So foods work through a different mechanism to nourish the body and assist it in maintaining the correct balance. The reason that people have a problem with too much sodium is not from eating any food. All foods have small amounts of sodium in them. But salt is not a food. It is a chemical. On the planet earth all life is based on carbon. There is no carbon in salt.

Salt is 40% sodium so it has huge amounts of sodium. Foods do not contain more that 2% of any vitamin or mineral. What foods have salt in them? Only processed foods that have salt on the ingredient list. Unprocessed foods like celery have sodium in it but does not have an ingredient list. No foods contain salt unless this chemical was added to it.

Salt is short for common table salt and is one of many salts. Another salt is potassium chloride that they are adding to some foods. For more on this and how salt can make you overweight see Can Salt Make You Overweight?

So the reason that food diuretics like watermelon, coffee or tea do not dehydrate you is because they only cause the body to get rid of excess sodium that is causing water retention. Without the excess salt the body needs less water. Once the excess sodium is removed the food diuretics will not cause the body to lose more liquids than it normally needs to.

In the above example I said that drinking only tea will not cause someone to die of dehydration. Well someone could say that if they are eating fruit or vegetables they are getting water from them. So let us make it simple. Just consume coffee or tea and nothing else at all for a week and you will see that you do not get dehydrated and die. You need water during a fast but the tea and coffee are over 98% water.

If your body did not have excess sodium then these foods would not act like a diuretic. Please note that if you fast, it causes your body to dump the excess sodium in the first 5 days of a fast. This is how Beyonce lost 20 pounds in 10 pounds on the lemonade diet. The lemonade has a lot of calories but no salt so she lost mostly water weight. To show how much I know about salt I also have an article about the Lemonade Diet and also an article about The Many Benefits of Fasting.

Nutrition : How to Make a Natural Diuretic

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Comments 3 comments

Bagga 21 months ago

But salt is not a food. It is a chemical?.. really?..I've always been taught that salt is a naturally occurring mineral?


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Chuck Bluestein 21 months ago from Morristown, AZ, USA Author

Bagga, That is a good question. It is not a mineral like sodium or uranium. It is sodium chloride. It exists naturally like rocks and dirt but rocks or dirt are not food. So what is food? Biology teaches that animals consume foods and plants create foods from non-foods like minerals (found in the dirt), air , water and sunshine. The above explains why manure that is naturally occurring is great for plants but not good for humans to consume.


Chuck Bluestein profile image

Chuck Bluestein 21 months ago from Morristown, AZ, USA Author

Bagga, That is a good question. It is not a mineral like sodium or uranium. It is sodium chloride. It exists naturally like rocks and dirt but rocks or dirt are not food. So what is food? Biology teaches that animals consume foods and plants create foods from non-foods like minerals (found in the dirt), air , water and sunshine. The above explains why manure that is naturally occurring is great for plants but not good for humans to consume.

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