Coffee: how to avoid the risk of dehydration?

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. One of the main reasons people drink coffee is because of its caffeine, a psychoactive substance that helps you stay alert and improve your performance. However, caffeine is also dehydrating, which can make you wonder if drinking coffee hydrates or dehydrates you.

One of the main reasons people drink coffee is to get their daily caffeine fix. Caffeine is the most consumed psychoactive substance in the world. It can help improve your mood and increase your mental and physical performance. Inside your body, caffeine travels through the gut and into the bloodstream. It eventually reaches the liver, where it is broken down into several compounds that affect the functioning of organs like the brain.

Although caffeine is primarily known for its effects on the brain, research has shown that it can have a diuretic effect on the kidneys, especially in high doses. Diuretics are substances that cause the body to produce more urine than usual. Caffeine can do this by increasing blood flow to your kidneys, which prompts them to release more water in your urine. By encouraging urination, compounds with diuretic properties like caffeine can affect your hydration status.

Caffeine content of different types of coffee

Different types of coffee contain different amounts of caffeine. Therefore, they may affect your hydration status differently.

Brewed coffee

Brewed or drip coffee is the most popular type of coffee. It is prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over ground coffee beans and is usually prepared using a filter or percolator. A 240 ml cup of coffee contains between 70 and 140 mg of caffeine, or about 95 mg on average.

instant coffee

Instant coffee is made from brewed coffee beans that are freeze-dried or spray-dried. It is simple to prepare, since it is enough to mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of instant coffee with hot water. This allows the coffee pieces to dissolve. Instant coffee contains less caffeine than regular coffee, at 30-90mg per 240ml cup.

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Espresso coffee is made by passing a small amount of very hot water, or steam, through finely ground coffee beans. Although it is smaller in volume than regular coffee, it is high in caffeine. One shot (30-50ml) of espresso contains around 63mg of caffeine.

Decaffeinated coffee

Decaf is short for “decaffeinated coffee”. It is made from coffee beans from which at least 97% of the caffeine has been removed. However, the name is misleading, as it is not completely caffeine free. A 240ml cup of decaffeinated coffee contains 0-7mg of caffeine, or about 3mg on average.

Coffee won’t dehydrate you

Although the caffeine in coffee may have a diuretic effect, it is unlikely to dehydrate you. For caffeine to have a significant diuretic effect, studies show that you need to consume more than 500 mg per day, the equivalent of 5 cups (or 1.2 liters) of brewed coffee.

A study in 10 occasional coffee drinkers looked at the impact of drinking 200ml of water, low caffeine coffee (269mg caffeine) and high caffeine coffee (537mg caffeine). caffeine) on signs of dehydration. The researchers observed that drinking the high-caffeine coffee had a short-term diuretic effect, while the low-caffeine coffee and water were both hydrating. Additionally, other studies show that moderate coffee consumption is as hydrating as water.

For example, a study of 50 heavy coffee drinkers found that drinking 800ml of coffee a day for three days was as hydrating as drinking the same amount of water. What’s more, an analysis of 16 studies found that taking 300mg of caffeine all at once, the equivalent of 3 cups (710ml) of brewed coffee, only increased urine output by 109ml. , compared to consuming the same amount of non-caffeinated beverages.

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So, even though coffee makes you urinate more, it shouldn’t dehydrate you, because you won’t lose as much fluid as you initially drank.


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