Does Coffee Dehydrate You?

Did you know that the human body is made out of 75% water? In cases when you lose more water than needed or when you just don’t drink the necessary amount of water, dehydration occurs. Heat exposure and strenuous exercise may cause dehydration. Some suggest that coffee dehydrates as well. Is it true?

Does Coffee Dehydrate You?

If you drink coffee moderately, there is no possible way that the caffeine you take will lead you to dehydration.

If you drink one or two cups of coffee a day, it is less likely that they will have a diuretic effect. Instead, these cups of coffee will increase the overall daily fluid intake. Usually, when less than four cups of coffee are consumed during a day, no diuretic effect is noticed. However, if you consume more than four cups of coffee during a day, you may notice some diuretic effect.

But, how do diuretics lead to dehydration? Diuretics are known to cause you to urinate more frequently, eliminating this way not just water from the body, but sodium as well. In cases when you lose more water and sodium than you take, you become dehydrated. Dehydration has an effect on the entire human body, from food absorption to body temperature control. 

Another important thing when it comes to the diuretic effect of caffeine in a person is whether this person is a regular coffee drinker or not. If a person drinks coffee regularly, that diuretic effects of caffeine are less likely to get noticed, when compared to a person who is not used to drink coffee on a regular basis, rather from time to time.

How to Drink Coffee in a Healthier Way

Does coffee dehydrate you? Even though one or two cups of coffee will not dehydrate you, the caffeine you consumed can lead to other effects on your body, such as insomnia, restlessness, nervousness, nausea and vomiting, rapid heart rate, faster breathing, etc. When a larger amount of caffeine are consumed during a day, the following side effects are possible: a headache, agitation, anxiety, aggressiveness, irregular heartbeats, a ringing sensation in the ears, etc.

There is no need to abstain from coffee, but how to drink coffee in a healthier way? Here are some tips:

  • Coffee should not be your breakfast. Even though it looks like you just can’t start a day without coffee, you need to eat breakfast as well. Your body needs fuel to get going throughout the day, not just coffee.
  • Don’t add too much sugar, milk or cream to your coffee. This way you will lower the number of calories you take.
  • Keep yourself good hydrated. This way you will be less tired and stressed out, meaning that you will need no coffee during the day or at least not as often as before.
  • How about decaffeinated coffee or herbal tea instead of coffee? These options are healthier than strong black coffee.
  • Get enough rest during the day. Try to relax as much as possible and avoid stress. This way you will also decrease the needs for coffee. If you experience insomnia and other negative effects after drinking a cup of coffee, especially in the afternoon or in the evening, then probably coffee is not the right drink for you.
  • Don’t combine coffee with cigarettes or antidepressants. If combined together, they can lead to headaches, migraine, high blood pressure and other negative effects on your body.
  • Avoid coffee or reduce its consumption in cases when you are obese, pregnant, or have renal problems, heart problems, anemia, etc.
  • If you just can’t avoid coffee, look for organic coffee. Yes, organic coffee is more expensive, but it is healthier too. Organic coffee is no treated with pesticides and herbicides, meaning that this organic coffee is way healthier than its industrial version.
  • Get a coffee maker and use distilled water when making yourself a cup of coffee. If you prefer to grind the beans yourself, you can get a coffee grinder as well.

Foods and Drinks That May Dehydrate You

Does coffee dehydrate you? Usually no, but it is possible with excess intake. The following foods or drinks can also lead to dehydration in certain circumstances.

1. Alcohol

Everybody knows that alcohol is a diuretic. It causes cells to shrink, squeezing this way the water out. Because of all those trips to the toilet the previous night, you will have the well-known headache the next morning. Drink plenty of water the next day to get yourself well hydrated again.

2. Herbal Supplements

Many herbal supplements have been used for years against bloating due to their diuretic effects. Watercress, dandelion, celery seed or even parsley has great diuretic properties. But dehydration is rare, only in cases when you really overdo it.

3. Salty Foods

Does coffee dehydrate you? You already know the answer.

Do you love eating salty foods? Well, salty foods will increase the amount of water you eliminate from the body as more water is needed to eliminate the extra sodium you consumed.

Foods like fried foods, popcorn, soy sauce, etc., are foods rich in salt. You should avoid taking salty foods in cases when you have vomiting or diarrhea, high fever, etc., as these conditions will lead to excessive fluid loss as well. If you do eat salty foods in such cases, you will just make your situation get worse.

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