New Study Shows That Coffee May Not Dehydrate
Everyone’s heard at least one of the many coffee myths out there at some point or another. Some of the most popular include how the beverage can stunt growth, give you the jitters and act as a diuretic. However, a new study has found that the belief that coffee causes dehydration can be categorized as a myth. If you stay up late to work on your online culinary courses, you might want to grab a cup of joe.
Coffee may actually hydrate
The study was conducted by researchers at University of Birmingham in the U.K. They studied the hydration of 50 men, all of whom drank about three to six cups of coffee a day on a regular basis. Research was conducted in two phases that lasted 3 days each. In the first phase, the men drank coffee as their main source of hydration, then switched to water in the second phase.
At the end of the six days, researchers found no difference in the hydration levels of the men between the two phases. Total body hydration, body mass measurement and urine volume all remained the same.
Building a tolerance
Regular coffee drinkers can even build a tolerance to the effects of caffeine in the same way regular alcohol consumers learn to tolerate the beverage. If you drink coffee all the time, you may have noticed that it doesn’t keep you up at night or ceases to give you jitters.
“It’s well understood that if you drink coffee habitually you can develop a tolerance to the potential diuretic effects of coffee,” Sophie Killer, a doctoral researcher at Birmingham and study author, told National Public Radio.
Those who have several cups a day don’t have to worry about diuretic effects of caffeine or dehydration. However, don’t go replacing water with coffee during physical activity. Doctors still recommend water or sports drinks as the leading hydration options during sports.
So coffee isn’t as bad for you and your hydration as you may once have thought. Not only that, but the dark beverage even comes with some benefits. First of all, coffee contains antioxidants, which fight free radicals in the body.
Coffee also increases metabolism, helping your body burn more calories. However, you will only receive this benefit after your third cup of the day – and if you consume that amount regularly, you may have built a tolerance to the effects.
A study published in Nature Neuroscience concluded that caffeine even improves long-term memory. Participants were given placebo or caffeine pills and asked to look at a series of images. Those with the caffeine pills were able to identify the images better the following day than those who took the placebo.