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Moderate Coffee Intake Doesn't Lead to Dehydration

Jan 10, 2014 07:32 AM EST

A new study has found that moderate coffee consumption doesn't lead to dehydration.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Birmingham School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, UK, argues that coffee doesn't dehydrate and if taken in moderate amounts, it can contribute to the daily requirement of fluid intake.

Previous research has shown that caffeine is a mild diuretic, which has led people into believing that their daily dose of coffee leads to excess urination. The present study shows that coffee intake in moderate amounts won't have any such effects on the body.

"Despite a lack of scientific evidence, it is a common belief that coffee consumption can lead to dehydration and should be avoided, or reduced, in order to maintain a healthy fluid balance. Our research aimed to establish if regular coffee consumption, under normal living conditions, is detrimental to the drinker's hydration status," said  Sophie Killer a Doctoral researcher and lead author of the study.

The study was based on data from coffee-lovers and people who didn't drink coffee. About 50 male participants were asked to complete two phases of the study. In the first phase, the men were given four mugs (200ml) of coffee or water every day for three days. This was followed by a 10-day "wash out period." In the second phase, the participants who had earlier drunk coffee were asked to drink water and vice versa.

Researchers measured hydration levels of participants during the two experiments and found no difference in water levels in the body.

"We found that consumption of a moderate intake of coffee, four cups per day, in regular coffee drinking males, caused no significant differences across a wide range of hydration indicators compared to the consumption of equal amounts of water," said Sophie Killer in a news release. "We conclude that advice provided in the public health domain, regarding coffee and dehydration, should be updated to reflect these findings."

The study is published in the journal Plos One.

 Coffee consumption has earlier been linked with significantly lower incidence of Parkinson's disease (PD). The drink has also been associated with reduced risk of common type of skin cancer and increased odds of living for a long time.

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