A new study has found that coffee hydrates as well as water, so pick up that cup of Joe and gulp it down with abandon! Previous studies have shown that despite popular belief, caffeinated beverages do not cause dehydration because the amount of liquid in them negates the mild diuretic effect of the caffeine. A study done in 2004 showed that there was no difference in urine output between those who drank caffeinated beverages and those who drank beverages without caffeine. This new study has found that coffee is just as hydrating as non-caffeinated drinks, including water.
The study was published in the peer-reviewed science journal Plos One, and is entitled No Evidence of Dehydration with Moderate Daily Coffee Intake: A Counterbalanced Cross-Over Study in a Free-Living Population. The study followed 50 men and was controlled for numerous factors, including physical activity level. the men drank either four mugs of coffee or four mugs of water with a break period of ten days in between. At the end of the study, researchers concluded:
Our data show that there were no significant differences across a wide range of haematological and urinary markers of hydration status between trials. These data suggest that coffee, when consumed in moderation by caffeine habituated males provides similar hydrating qualities to water.
Study scientists say that there is “a lack of scientific evidence” that supports the rumor that coffee or other naturally caffeinated drinks cause dehydration, yet, the public holds on to the belief that caffeine causes increased urine output and thus leads to the body becoming dehydrated.
As with other scientific findings, the fact that coffee hydrates as well as water may be a hard sell to a skeptical public. Once people have a set belief about something, it is often difficult to change their perceptions.
Scientists point out that while caffeine and caffeinated beverage don’t cause dehydration, they can cause a variety of other side effects such as insomnia, an increase in blood pressure and heart rate; an increase in anxiety, irritability, nausea, a feeling of “shakiness” and addiction. One of the most significant side effects of suddenly decreasing caffeine consumption is intense withdrawal symptoms including headache, exhaustion, depression and even flu-like symptoms.
Addiction to caffeine has been formally classified as a mental disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders which is published by the American Psychiatric Association. Caffeine withdrawal is also classified as a mental disorder within that same manual due to the variety of undesirable side effects experienced when caffeine intake is discontinued.
It seems like every other day, a new study comes out about coffee, and every other time, it’s either great for health or terrible for health. As with everything else in life, moderation is most likely the key when it comes to coffee consumption. A new study has found that coffee hydrates as well as water, but other experts caution about caffeine’s more undesirable side effects. With millions of Americans addicted to their cup of morning Joe, though, these study results come as welcome news.
By: Rebecca Savastio