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Will Coffee Dehydrate You?

A latte in a large white coffee mug sits on a counter.

Everyone knows water is the best way to stay hydrated, and you might have heard that it’s important to drink it with your coffee in the morning to prevent dehydration. But is that actually true?

Does coffee dehydrate you? The answer isn’t straightforward, but if you’re drinking coffee within recommended amounts, you’re not likely to become dehydrated.

The whole coffee consumption leads to dehydration idea likely gets blown out of proportion because the beverage is a diuretic. Essentially, it can cause your body to make more urine than usual because it increases blood flow to the kidneys. If you’re peeing more, you’ll get dehydrated, right? Well, not necessarily.

In moderate servings, coffee can actually hydrate you, and even if you drink quite a bit of caffeine (up to 300mg), it’s still unlikely to cause an obvious diuretic effect. Essentially, coffee might cause you to pee more because it’s a diuretic, but that additional urine output is likely not enough to dehydrate you.

Does that mean you should forgo a morning glass of water? Probably not. Keeping your body hydrated is still an important part of overall health, but you don’t need to toss back four glasses of it to “keep up” with your coffee intake. As long as you’re drinking caffeine moderately, you should be just fine.

If one of your new year’s resolutions was to drink more water, go ahead, but you don’t need to give up your coffee in the name of hydration.

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