Have you ever wondered if coffee dehydrates you?
With summer fast approaching most of us are concerned about staying hydrated. With about 60% of our bodies made up of water, we know that drinking plenty of water is important. Not just to prevent dehydration, but for better digestion, to help our muscles and brain perform at their best, to regulate our temperature and blood pressure and for healthy skin and nails.
Coffee is a drink that many of us can't do without. We often start our day with a hot cup of coffee as it tastes nice, it gives us a boost of energy, and it can improve our mood. Catching up for coffee with our family and friends is an important part of our lives. However, there is a widely held belief that caffeine-containing drinks are dehydrating.
So, do we need to be concerned that we are causing harm to ourselves when we indulge in that irresistible cup of coffee?
The short answer is no!
Recent scientific studies have shown that there is no difference in hydration levels between people who drink 3 to 4 cups of coffee per day and people who drink the same amount of water each day. Even during the heat of summer, where staying hydrated is particularly important, a moderate of amount of coffee will not cause dehydration. You may ask, what is a moderate amount of coffee? This is a great question, because there is a huge variation in caffeine content in different blends of coffee. Not only that, some people prefer a half strength coffee, whilst others prefer a triple shot! The consensus seems to be that up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is safe for most healthy adults. That's roughly the amount of caffeine in four 'regular' cups of brewed coffee.
So, feel free to enjoy your coffee, and count it alongside your water in boosting your fluid intake.