Moderate amount of coffee doesn’t dehydrate you

Moderate amount of coffee doesn’t dehydrate you

By Annabel Bligh, The Conversation

There is no evidence for a link between moderate coffee consumption and dehydration, according to a study in PLOS ONE.

The global population consumes 1.6 billion cups of coffee a day and it’s a common belief that coffee is dehydrating. But the tiredness, headaches, dizziness or light-headedness that can result from even mild dehydration is unlikely to be caused by the daily cup, researchers said.

Lead researcher Sophie Killer, a sports nutritionist, was particularly interested in the effects of coffee drinking on people’s daily balance of fluids. She wanted to know whether regular intake of coffee resulted in chronic low-level dehydration – something that may inhibit athletic performance and recovery.

Killer and colleagues studied 50 male participants in two phases. They were required to drink four mugs (200ml) of either black coffee or water per day for three days and then vice versa. Using a variety of well-established hydration measures – including body mass and total body water, as well as blood and urine analyses – the results showed no significant differences between those who drank coffee and those who drank water.

The researchers even go as far as to say that coffee has similar hydrating qualities to water when consumed in moderation.

There has been a raft of research into the good, the bad and the ugly sides of coffee consumption. Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant, ingested by most of us on a daily basis through coffee, tea and chocolate consumption.

It has been known since 1928 that caffeine is also a mild diuretic, so you might be forgiven for thinking that drinks such as tea and coffee which make you urinate more could lead to dehydration.

“Caffeine is only a mild diuretic,” Ian Musgrave, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology at the University of Adelaide, said. “And our usual exposure to it is through drinking beverages such as tea and coffee that provide added fluid.”

Killer said “numerous studies have documented the body’s ability to develop a tolerance to caffeine’s acute diuretic effects.” And tolerance can be acquired in as little as four to five days of consuming caffeine regularly, even at low doses.

This means regular caffeine drinkers should not experience a need to visit the loo any more often than non-caffeine drinkers.

The debate over whether or not coffee is good or bad looks set to continue, but perhaps the key word in the findings is moderation. The study adds to a body of evidence that suggests that moderate tea and coffee consumption isn’t associated with significant adverse health effects.

The study comes a day after the advertising watchdog banned a multimillion-pound Lucozade Sport ad campaign for claiming it hydrated better than water.

But when it comes to coffee both Killer and Musgrave hope it will put to bed the old wives’ tale that coffee is dehydrating once and for all.

The Conversation

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Coffee is Valuable in Many Ways

Coffee is Valuable in Many Ways

Coffee has changed the way that people approach life all over the world. Billions of people use coffee for various reasons, but mostly either for a pick me up or because they really do enjoy the taste of the coffee. You will find that the legends about the coffee plant goe clear back to 500 BC where it was discovered in Ethiopia. It was later taken to Arabia, and that is where coffee got its name.

During the Renaissance, not only did the roasting and brewing of coffee come to be considered an art, but it was basically commercially produced. By the end of the Renaissance and the beginning of the 19th century coffee began to be appreciated all over Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and in both South and North America. Coffee was a luxury that nearly all classes could afford.

Coffee is traded on many of the stock exchanges and there are billions of dollars earned from sales of coffee each year. Coffee, especially gourmet coffees and fancy coffee recipes, has become quite a moneymaker. After petroleum, coffee is the world’s second- or third-most valuable commodity (disregarding illegal commodities). The global coffee market is worth at least $70 billion annually, and possibly as much as $100 billion.

Each year, more than 500 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide, and according to industry analysts, the market is far from saturated. In the United States, for example, coffee consumption per person annually is 23 gallons, and that is far less than the amount that was consumed back in the 1040’s, so the market is far from saturated. For coffee producers and sellers, these figures represent growth potential, especially as nutritional science increasingly demonstrates that coffee, when consumed in moderation, does have significant health benefits.

People in the past thought that coffee had miraculous health effects. And, in fact, in modern times it has been theorized that caffeine stimulates male sperm. There have also been some studies that indicate that Diabetes or Prediabetes can be helped by coffee because it will helps to prevent Cirrhosis of the liver, and can improve the way that people are affected by Asthma.

Coffee contains antioxidants much like red wine does and studies show that regular coffee drinkers have a lower incidence of heart disease. However, there are still things about coffee that you should pay heed to, especially when it comes to the amount that you use.

Like nearly everything in life, there are pros and cons. Coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant and can improve alertness in reasonable quantities, but may raise blood pressure and stress levels if too much is consumed. Coffee is also a diuretic and it will encourage the body to take frequent pit stops, and if you have certain health challenges your doctor may advise you to avoid it or to limit your consumption.

There are many ways that you can use coffee and there are many different types of coffee grown all around the world. Exploring the world of gourmet coffee can be a fun and educational experience.

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