Is coffee as dehydrating as people think? The Studies are In

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Can’t live without your morning cup of coffee? We can’t. Although it may not live in our heads, the catchy tune is. “the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup,”There is some truth to this. No matter what brand coffee is, it’s a staple that gets people through their day.

Even with the brew’s huge fanbase, it has been repeatedly maligned and associated with health issues. Should we stop focusing on coffee? We have previously discussed how coffee can reduce stroke risk and dementia, as well as its positive effects on heart health and life expectancy.

Still, there’s a widespread belief that coffee has a negative effect on our health. Particularly because of its caffeine content, many believe it to be a diuretic, which causes dehydration. However, it turns out that’s not necessarily the case.

The Truth About Coffee’s Dehydrating Properties

A nearly 100-year-old study proving coffee dehydrating was the catalyst for this myth. It has been repeatedly challenged over time. More recent studies have shown that drinking coffee and tea (and even low-alcohol beer) isn’t that different from drinking water.

RELATED: Why you shouldn’t drink coffee or tea on a flight 

Caffeinated beverages had been thought to dehydrate, rather than hydrate, the body up until very recently. You’ve probably heard the saying that for every cup of coffee or two cups of black tea, you should drink one cup of water to counteract the diuretic effects. Research shows that moderate intake of caffeinated beverages provides the same level of hydration than non-caffeinated beverages.

Multiple studies from 1966 through a 2014 clinical trial have demonstrated that caffeine results in minimal fluid loss. A study in a 2003 research reviewThe authors concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that caffeinated drinks cause fluid loss or poor nutrition. 

A 2014 study comparing caffeine with water ingestion in 50 men showed that caffeine could cause a minor increase in urination when consumed in large amounts if the drinker isn’t accustomed to it. Tolerance is easy to develop and caffeine, when consumed in moderation was not as harmful as non-caffeinated drinks in terms of hydration. 

So, coffee lovers, you’re off the hook. Your daily water intake of eight glasses is met by your morning cup of Joe and the second. Coffee doesn’t dehydrate you, consider that myth debunked! 

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