Caffeine-containing beverages are a part of many people's daily lives, but does drinking coffee lead to dehydration? The idea that caffeine can cause dehydration has been around for a while, but research shows that moderate consumption of coffee is unlikely to cause dehydration. However, drinking large amounts of coffee can increase the risk of dehydration, especially when combined with other activities such as strenuous physical activity. All experts agree that coffee is very unlikely to cause dehydration and can even be counted towards the recommended eight cups of water a day. In a small study conducted in 1928, participants urinated up to 50% more urine when they drank caffeinated water and coffee.
This diuretic effect is what leads to the idea that caffeine can cause dehydration. However, research has shown that normal coffee drinkers may develop a tolerance to the diuretic effects of caffeine. In one study, drinking coffee with the highest caffeine content had a short-term diuretic effect, while coffee with lower caffeine content and water were hydrating. Interestingly, only two studies have specifically investigated the effects of caffeine in the form of coffee on hydration status.
The results showed that drinking coffee did not lead to clinical dehydration, which is defined as a loss of body mass of between 1 and 3%. Drinking coffee before a nap may seem counterintuitive, but it is an effective way to increase energy levels and control mild to moderate dehydration. The best way to control and prevent dehydration is to use an oral rehydration solution such as DripDrop ORS. In conclusion, drinking moderate amounts of coffee is unlikely to cause dehydration.
However, drinking large amounts of coffee can increase the risk of dehydration, especially when combined with other activities such as strenuous physical activity.