Nutrition Myths
Is coffee a diuretic? Is tea a diuretic?

SUMMARY

  • If you are not accustomed to drinking caffeinated drinks or had a long period of abstinence, insure that you drink extra water with high caffeinated drinks in order to compensate for the temporary water loss trough your body. 
  • If consumed on regular basis, caffeinated beverages such as coffee or tea do not make you urinate more and so can be counted towards the daily fluid intake.
Advertisement

Is tea or coffee a diuretic?

Coffee and tea contain caffeine which has a diuretic effect. But is tea or coffee a diuretic?

Studies have shown that drinking 2-3 cups of coffee or 5-8 cups of tea or iced tea of standard amount of caffeine per day have no diuretic effect. (1, 2)

A study on habitual male coffee drinkers has shown that drinking 4 cups of coffee per day has a similar hydrating effect as water. (3)

Another study showed that taking 4-6 cups of black tea (equivalent to 168 – 252 mg of caffeine) had the same hydrating results as drinking the same amount of water. (4)

However, people who have not been drinking tea, iced tea, coffee or other caffeinated drinks for some time (days to weeks depending on a person), react temporarily to high amount of caffeine.

It has been found that, in these cases, drinks with large doses of caffeine (250-300mg which is about double of a standard, but strong coffee) can increase urination.

This increase, however, is only a temporary reaction to caffeine after long abstinence. Once the body accustoms itself to regular coffee intake of standard caffeine contents, the water loss from the body is insignificant. (1, 2)

Popular drinks contain various amounts of caffeine. Here is a breakdown of the standard amount of caffeine in most popular drinks and chocolate. (5

Caffeine contents of various foods and drinks

ProductCaffeine (mg)
Coffee (5 oz. or 150 ml)60-150
Tea (5 oz. or 150 ml)40-80
Green tea (8 oz.)15
Decaf coffee2-5
Red Bull (8 oz.)80
Soft drinks such as Coke/Diet Coke/Pepsi (12 oz.)30-55
Dark chocolate 1 oz. (28g)20
Hot chocolate (5 oz. or 150 ml)5-20

Is decaf coffee dehydrating?

The myths of coffee or tea being a diuretic exists because caffeine was believed to cause increased urination.

Decaf coffee contains very small amounts of caffeine so there are no reasons to think that decaf coffee is dehydrating.

NUTRITION FACTS VS NUTRITION MYTHS

You will find a summary of the most common nutrition myths and evidence-based nutrition facts here.

Related Posts

Is caffeine addictive? Caffeine causes physical dependency and not caffeine addiction as drugs such as opioids. It has different effects on the human brain than addictive drugs.
Does caffeine help in weight loss? Caffeine exerts some weight reducing effects in the short term, but is not an effective weight loss remedy in a long term. See why..
Does coffee cause cancer? New coffee related cancer warning in California ignores science. Acrylamide is not associated with cancer in humans and exists only in tiny amounts in brewed coffee. Imposing labeling laws on coffee products based on acrylamide contents seems to overlook the scientific evidence and co...
Caffeine sensitivity depends on your genes Caffeine sensitivity relates to how we react to caffeine, depends on genetics and varies between individuals. See what is fast and slow caffeine metabolizer
Is coffee good or bad for you? Negative and positive effects of coffee. Find out if coffee good for you or harmful. See what are the negative effects and health benefits of coffee. Is decaffeinated coffee good for you?
Advertisement
Advertisement

Get updates

Receive regular updates on nutrition myths, facts and curiosities. All based on the latest scientific evidence.