Coffee & Dehydration: Fact or Myth

I find when people begin to make changes in their lives, especially concerning their diet, there are a few things they are less than willing to give up.  Needless to say, coffee is at the top of that list.

For many of us a morning just isn’t complete without a cup of coffee.  For years a debate has raged about whether or not it is good for us and one of the biggest concerns surrounding caffeine consumption is the issue of dehydration.

Dehydration is a serious concern and unfortunately most of us are walking around chronically dehydrated.  Think you’re hungry, but have recently eaten?  You’re probably dehydrated.  Craving something sweet?  Likely your dehydration talking.  Feeling thirsty?  Too late…you are already dehydrated.

Water is absolutely essential to your survival and most won’t last 4 days without it.  A minor water shortage (mild dehydration) though not life threatening can cause the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Poor Concentration
  • Headaches

Any sound familiar?  Maybe even a daily occurrence?  Here’s something else you can’t feel that is the result of dehydration…a slower metabolism.  Sure, this means if you are trying to lose weight that it will happen at a slower rate – a real hindrance if you are trying to break down excess body fat.  But, this is a total bummer if you are trying to build muscle, bone or other body tissue, and a possible catastrophe if you are trying  only to maintain your healthy body tissues or repair your body after an injury.

Read more about B < R = W and the two sides of your metabolism here.

So, is coffee – by way of caffeine – the dehydrating agent we’ve believed it to be?  The short answer is no, it isn’t – not even during exercise.  But, more on the caffeine & exercise connection later…

Read a summary of several studies concluding that caffeine has no effect on hydration levels here at Mark’s Daily Apple.

Even if coffee isn’t the dehydrating drink we imagined it was due to its diuretic effects, this is no reason to replace our complete fluid intake with coffee, no matter how much you love it!  Make sure you treat your body with plenty of fresh water (1 oz per 2 lbs. of body weight) every day.  Your body and brain will thank you.

3 thoughts on “Coffee & Dehydration: Fact or Myth

Please leave a reply!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s