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Can Coffee Hydrate You?

A woman holds a glass of iced coffee with a straw.
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When it comes to staying hydrated, you will hear most people extol the virtues of water. Of course, water is hydrating. Coffee lovers, however, often hear that their favorite beverage is actually dehydrating, but is that true?

Can coffee hydrate you? As it turns out, the drink has been vilified for little cause.

While it’s not a good idea to completely forgo water and other beverages for a steady intake of coffee, your cup of brew actually can help hydrate you. However, the hydrating properties depend on the caffeine content in your coffee.

As you’re likely already away, coffee contains caffeine which is a diuretic. It causes your body to create more urine and could increase blood flow to the kidneys. The result is that you pee more, and that could affect hydration. That caffeine content paired with how often you drink coffee can determine whether it could be hydrating.

Over time, regular coffee drinkers can grow accustomed to the diuretic effects of moderate amounts of caffeine (think your daily cup). They’ll have little to no effect on hydration.

As for caffeine levels, coffees with higher amounts (over 500 mg) will be more diuretic and would have more impact on urine output and hydration levels. If, however, you drink a lower caffeine beverage (at around 250 mg), your coffee can count as part of your daily hydration needs.

So the idea that coffee dehydrates you? It’s likely not the case at all. In fact, when consumed in moderate amounts, coffee can be part of your daily hydration needs. But you should also probably be drinking water alongside other hydrating beverages.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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