Does Coffee Count as a Source of Hydration?
There is a long-held belief that caffeine-based drinks, like tea and coffee, do not count towards your daily hydration goal. This is due to the diuretic effect that caffeine is responsible for, actually leading to fluid loss in the body and therefore contributing to dehydration. It may be a relief for you to learn then, that the amount of liquid lost is far outweighed by that consumed, so you can drink your morning coffee in the happy understanding that it is having a hydrating effect on your body.
It’s All Relative
Of course, the amount of caffeine you can drink, in order to hit the optimum hydration amount will depend on your body. Some people are more sensitive to the diuretic effect than others, causing them to pass more urine and therefore require more hydration than someone who is quite immune to the symptom. And the more caffeine you consume, the more your body will attempt to remove, which increases the need to head to the toilet more often. If you are already susceptible to urinary incontinence, it is probably a good idea to limit your caffeine intake, while upping your water consumption. This will help to ensure that all hydration is positive and that your cells are getting what they need while your body is better able to flush out any toxins that maybe enhancing your condition. Caffeine, on the other hand, will just add to your discomfort. However, if you are generally healthy, coffee can be a great part of a varied diet, since it contains up to 98% water.
The Magic Number
Each coffee contains around 300mg of caffeine, which translates to a 15% water loss (but an 85% hydration gain). So, if you were to substitute your recommended eight glasses of eight ounces of water a day for eight cups of the same amount of coffee, and you discounted the build-up of caffeine within the body, you would probably need at least one more cup of that sweet brown nectar to match your hydration levels. If you switch caffeinated coffee for decaf, then your hydration goals will be on par with water. Of course, when it comes to hydration, nothing is as effective as water. In its purest form, it is easily translated into a cell plumper and energizer that does fantastic things around the body. If you really can’t stomach the idea of just drinking water all day, then you could do worse than reaching for a hot drink. When it comes to hydration, decaf options and tea are better hydrators than brewed coffee, but any drink is better than no drink. So, enjoy your coffee and let your body reap the benefits.