Is Caffeine Dehydrating?

NOPE!  Lots of hype surrounded the caffeine conundrum for years — the myth came about when researchers thought caffeine was a diuretic, which is a substance that induces urination.  The more one urinates without re-hydrating, the more at risk he or she is for becoming dehydrated.

The gist of a double-blind placebo-controlled trial stated that there was no effect on hydration status with regards to caffeine/coffee/tea intakes upwards of 400mg per day (that’s about three cups of coffee).  When caffeine has a diuretic effect, it is only when consumed in excessive amounts, which would be anywhere from seven to 10 cups of coffee per day.

Here’s a table to help determine where your caffeine intake is coming from:

Beverage Caffeine (mg)
Coffee, generic brewed (8 oz.) 133
Starbucks Brewed Coffee (Grande – 16 oz.) 320
Tea, brewed (8 oz.) 53
Diet Coke (12 oz.) 47
Dr. Pepper (12 oz.) 42
Pepsi (12 oz.) 38
Coca-Cola Classic 35
Monster Energy (16 oz) 160
Red Bull (12 oz) 114

Source of above graph: Center for Science in the Public Interest (Sept. 2007)


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