We take hydration seriously in this house. But have you wondered why despite drinking liters of water, you stay hydrated? Is it because of your beloved iced coffee?
Imagine you drink liters of water religiously every day but one day you find out that it is your iced coffee that is causing you constant dehydration. Well, a quick search online will tell you that caffeine is a diuretic that makes you pee more, leading to a significant loss of bodily fluids. But is it actually true? So before you abandon your daily dose of sunshine, your daily dose of joy, let’s look at the scientific research that provided more context into the topic.
Coffee is brewed with water
The coffee that you take is made from the beans soaked in water overnight so drinking the cold brew cannot result in fluid loss. Moreover, a cup of coffee is practically 98% water, which means only an insignificant amount is coffee. If you take a look at how local baristas make the iced Americano, you will notice that they extract the hot espresso through pressurized water and add scoops of ice before pouring the shot. In simpler terms, your iced coffee is mostly water.
It is full of ice
As you already know ice cubes are made from pure water, so in the cup, they increase the amount of liquid you consume. It then gets included in the 98% of water content of the coffee. Moreover, half or more of the iced Americano is filled with ice cubes that work primarily to cool off the hot espresso shot.
Now if you are worried about the caffeine content in the cup, a grande-size iced caramel macchiato at Starbucks only has around 150 mg of caffeine, which is less than half of the 400 mg suggested by the FDA. So unless you are taking your cup with extra double espresso, you stay within a healthy limit.
It is mixed with milk
It is safe to say that it is an absolute myth that an iced latte or cappuccino causes dehydration. When you take it with milk, on the contrary, it becomes nutritious. As milk has vitamins and minerals like calcium. One study even revealed that milk-based beverages are superior to water and other carbohydrate-based electrolyte beverages. This is especially when it comes to sustaining fluid balance in the body, four hours after ingestion. Additionally, dairy-based drinks also show a higher hydration index.
The diuretic effect is short-term
Coffee is indeed a diuretic, a substance that drives the production of urine. This is a substance that is also found in alcoholic beverages like beer. This effect often leads to bathroom breaks, and ultimately, dehydration. However, studies have found that the diuretic effect of 300 mg of caffeine, which is equivalent to three cups of coffee, is only mild. This means enjoying a cold brew every once in a while, even daily, has no considerable adverse impact on the body, especially its fluid balance.
It counts in the daily water intake
According to health experts, women and men should intake 11.5 and 15.5 cups of fluid respectively. This is recommended to refill the liquid that is lost throughout the day by breathing and sweating. Not only the fact that drinking iced coffee would not cost you dehydration but it is also counted toward the daily fluid intake. Caffeine’s diuretic effect is minimal and does not impact hydration, so sipping through your iced Americano or cappuccino and enjoying the cold brew can actually give you benefits.
When can iced coffee cause dehydration?
A cup of iced coffee is not likely to cause you dehydration. But if you do not limit the intake throughout the day, and exceed the 400-mg-daily recommended cap, several impacts will be visible. These include –
- Restlessness and shakiness
So the bottom line is, that drinking iced coffee is not bad for hydration, but checking the moderation and limit is equally important. Just remember to count the glasses and stay in control.