When you first think of being dehydrated or needing something to quench your thirst, coffee isn’t usually what immediately springs to mind. Sure, coffee can be thirst-quenching but on a hot summer’s day, an iced coffee sounds more appealing than a piping hot Espresso or Latte.
For a lot of people worldwide, coffee makes up a large part of their daily fluid intake so knowing its effects are important. We all know that coffee gives us a boost in terms of our attention and making us feel more alert, but does it actually hydrate us or in fact make us more dehydrated? In this article, I’ll attempt to dive into this topic and find out the effects of coffee on our hydration.
What Are The Signs Of Dehydration? Is Coffee a Diuretic?
Before jumping and looking at whether coffee does dehydrate people it’s important to have a clear understanding of what the signs of dehydration are, so you know how to spot them if you feel like you are becoming dehydrated.
Dehydration is when the body loses so much fluid that it stops functioning normally and these fluids are not sufficiently replaced When this happens the body will show symptoms in numerous ways and adults should seek medical assistance if they are feeling symptoms of dehydration over a prolonged period of time.
Perhaps the most obvious sign of dehydration is an increased feeling of thirst. If you notice yourself feeling thirsty or have gone without water for any length of time, then be sure to increase your intake to rehydrate sufficiently. Along with a feeling of thirst, you may also have a dry mouth, and this is another symptom to be wary of.
Another sure way to know if you are dehydrated or not is the color of your urine. If your urine is light in color then it means that you’re sufficiently hydrated. If you’re not hydrated then your urine will be darker in color. If your urine is yellow then you need to drink water immediately as it means you are dehydrated. If your urine is orange or a darker color then you need water immediately and you should consult a medical professional.
These are all immediate signs of dehydration and can be easily remedied. If someone continues to be dehydrated they may experience more severe symptoms such as dizziness or a feeling of light-headedness that may affect someone’s ability to walk or stand properly. A fever or an increased heart rate may also be noticed if you are severely dehydrated.
Coffee And Dehydration: What Are The Facts?
Now that we know the signs to look out for when dealing with dehydration, we can tackle the main question of this article: Does Coffee Cause Dehydration?
The short answer is no, at least that’s what research suggests, although caffeine is a mild diuretic which can make you need to urinate more frequently it does not actually make you more dehydrated.
Dr. David Vigil an associate clinical professor of family medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, says that even though caffeine is a mild diuretic, Vigil says, you won’t lose more fluid through urine than you take in by drinking a caffeinated beverage. Your body is able to absorb as much fluid as it needs and expel the rest, he says.
So, for this reason, your morning cup of Coffee helps hydrate you rather than dehydrate you and can contribute to your daily fluid intake in a healthy way. The only worry you should have about consuming coffee is knowing how sensitive you are to caffeine and how it affects you.
Why Do People React To Coffee Differently?
Not everyone has the same reaction to coffee. I’m sure you know someone who chooses not to drink coffee at all, and I’m sure you know some people who can’t get enough of coffee! It really is an individual preference as to whether you enjoy coffee or not. It’s important to remember that caffeine is a stimulant and it may take a bit of getting used to if you are not a regular consumer of coffee.
Research has found that your sensitivity to caffeine can be based on genetics as well as how often you drink coffee. When you drink coffee, caffeine enters your bloodstream through your stomach and your intestines.
As it circulates through your body it interacts with numerous receptors in your brain. Each person’s adenosine receptors are different due to genetics and caffeine might not bind well with them and this could be the reason why caffeine affects different people in different ways.
Caffeine then travels to your liver where it is metabolized. Caffeine is metabolized in your liver where there are many different enzymes designed at tackling the different substances that enter the liver. The enzymes that deal with caffeine are more common in some people than others, hence some people will still be wired from drinking a cup of coffee long after someone else is.
The Final Word – Does Coffee Dehydrate You?
The bottom line when it’s comes to most things coffee-related is the importance of knowing your own body. You should be able to tell if you’re feeling dehydrated and it’s important to make sure you drink enough water to prevent dehydration from happening. If you feel any severe effects then be sure to consult a medical professional.
But it’s a positive thing to know that drinking coffee won’t make you more dehydrated in fact it hydrates you and is healthy if consumed moderately. Everyone reacts differently to coffee; some people can’t stand the taste while some people love it. If you feel like caffeine is producing a negative effect on you or that you are sensitive to it, then you can still enjoy decaffeinated coffee instead.
About the Author:
Hi my name is Larry, a coffee aficionado from the US. I have already visited Colombia, Sumatra, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ethiopia and Jamaica in my pursuit of finding the best-tasting coffee beans. I currently write from Bali and enjoy the relaxed life that you can find only in Indonesia. Welcome to my coffee world!