Are coffee’s dehydrating effects as people claim? These Studies are In

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,”It holds some truth. 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? In the past we have discussed how coffee may lower dementia and stroke risk. We also discussed its positive effect on cardiovascular health, and increase 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.

Coffee’s Dehydrating Truth

Coffee dehydrating myth originated with a nearly 100-year-old study, which has been widely challenged over the years. 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 were believed to dehydrate rather than hydrate the body until 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.

Numerous studies from 1966 to 2014 have demonstrated that caffeine can cause minimal fluid loss. The following is a 2003 Research ReviewThe authors found no evidence that caffeinated beverages cause fluid loss or poor water intake. 

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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