Coffee and Dehydration

For years, doctors and scientists have warned that drinking coffee can cause dehydration to the body. Recent studies, however, have found this may not be the case. New case studies suggest caffeine has little to no effect on dehydration and that drinking fluids of any kind can count toward the recommended daily fluid intake.

Coffee and caffeine

The main coffee culprit in potential dehydration is thought to be caffeine. Because caffeine is a stimulant and a slight diuretic, it was believed that caffeine would draw fluids out of the body and cause the body to lose much-needed water. For years, doctors recommended drinking excess water to counterbalance the loss of fluids from drinking caffeine, with some doctors suggesting patients drink one glass of water for every glass of coffee drunk throughout the day.

New studies in caffeine In a recent study by Lawrence E. Armstrong, a professor of exercise physiology at the University of Connecticut, Armstrong determined that moderate intake of caffeinated beverages-fewer than five to seven cups of coffee daily-does not affect hydration. When compared with the intake of water, almost the same amount of fluids were retained by and left the body. Nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., from the Mayo Clinic also agrees with those findings. According to Zeratsky, caffeine only has a diuretic effect if large amounts of it are consumed. Other studies concur. A study done by the University of Nebraska tested the hydration of 18 male students on three separate occasions before and after drinking water, sports drinks, soda and coffee. The results of the study proved that hydration was the same after drinking all of the fluids. The hydration level for those who drank water was the same as for those who drank coffee.

Is coffee healthy?

While coffee itself is not bad for health, the stuff coffee drinkers put in the coffee may very well be. The addition of cream, sugar and chocolate add fat and calories. The extra-large cappuccino from the local gas station probably contains very little coffee. It's mostly a processed blend of sugar and unpronouncible ingredients. Adding these extra ingredients to coffee make it less healthy than a standard black cup of brew.

Does coffee count for daily fluid intake?

Even though it contains caffeine, coffee can count towards the daily amount of fluid a body needs. A typical adult should drink about eight glasses of fluid per day. Just because coffee can count towards one's daily fluids, it shouldn't account for all of it. Caffeine can cause nervousness and anxiety, which may be unwanted side effects to the consumption of coffee. Adding or replacing at least some coffee with plain water may be better for your overall health.

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