Does Drinking Coffee Dehydrate?

Posted on February 22 2022, By: Ana Ocansey

lady with magnifying glass and man reading same big book

How many times have you heard that coffee causes you to be dehydrated?

Has anyone told you that you have to drink 3-4 times the amount of coffee in water to make up for the effects of coffee? 

I have heard this many, many times. So I had to look to the medical professionals for the truth. I wondered if this in fact was accurate and why we are told this? 


According to Oxford's English dictionary, dehydration is the loss or removal of water from something. Think of the dehydrated tomatoes you purchased for your fresh green salad.

Can a beverage made from the seed inside the fruit of a coffee plant do this to the human body?

Now that we know what dehydration is defined as what are the signs?

Symptoms of Dehydration list

Any of the above symptoms can be indicating you need more water.

Truth or myth? 

Caffeine, the main ingredient in coffee, does not dehydrate. According to the Mayo Clinic, drinking caffeine-containing beverages as part of your normal lifestyle does not cause fluid loss in excess of the volume ingested.

While drinking caffeinated drinks may have a diuretic effect, meaning it may cause you to urinate, they don’t appear to increase the risk of dehydration. It does not offset hydration. The mild diuretic effect of caffeine is your body’s response to flush out the extra sodium and water out of your body through urine.

If you're peeing frequently it is logical to think this way, per Dr. Daniel Vigil, an associate clinical professor of family medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles. 

Coffee Hydrates 

a cup of coffee and a tall glass of water

Drinking coffee should be included in the water intake tally. Think of your cup of joe as a cup of water with a dose of caffeine. The body will absorb all the water and minerals it needs, according to Time’s article written by James Ducharme


If you are feeling a headache after your morning coffee, it may be due to a sensitivity to caffeine or you may be dehydrated for other reasons not related to the coffee you are drinking. Keep a track of when you are feeling any signs of dehydration and note what you did, eat, or drink or not, before feeling any symptoms. Brewing with quality coffee can help if you avoid the bad feeling when drinking it. More on that to come.

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