Q: I drink a lot of coffee, but I've heard that
caffeine is dehydrating. Do I need to give up my beloved java?
I was taught that
caffeine was a powerful diuretic, but that has largely been disproven, thanks
to Lawrence Armstrong, a researcher and professor of exercise physiology. In a
comprehensive review article published in The International
Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
concludes that caffeinated beverages create only a mild diuretic effect, which
is not the same thing as whole-body dehydration. And for all you java junkies
out there, it turns out that regular consumption of caffeinated drinks makes
you even more tolerant of this modest consequence.
before you go out and buy a super-sized mug of joe, remember that
Armstrong's analysis was based on the consumption of moderate amounts of coffee
— that is, one to four cups per day. In amounts greater than four
cups, regular coffee
to have a more significant dehydrating effect. Also, keep in mind that this
study only focused on dehydration — not any of the other negative
side effects some people experience when it comes to caffeine, such as
jitteriness, insomnia, heartburn, or stained teeth.