Caffeine and hydration

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It is a common held belief that drinking caffeinated coffee can lead to dehydration. Whilst there is some indication of a mild, short-term diuretic effect of caffeine, this effect mostly exists in non habitual caffeine consumers and is not strong enough to counter-balance the benefits of fluid intake from coffee drinking.

The study of the effect of coffee, and caffeine in particular, on fluid balance can be split into two distinct areas: caffeine intake during exercise, and caffeine intake at rest in the general population. The most recent studies and literature reviews on the effects of caffeine during normal life activities conclude that moderate caffeine consumption does not lead to dehydration40. In athletes, there is no evidence to suggest that moderate caffeine intake (up to 450 mg) induces chronic dehydration or negatively affects exercise performance, temperature regulation, and circulatory strain in a hot environment. Caffeinated fluids contribute to the daily human water requirement in a manner that is similar to pure water40, 41. Thus advice to abstain from drinking moderate amounts of caffeinated coffee, in order to maintain adequate fluid balance, is unfounded.

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