Conceived and designed the experiments: SCK AEJ. Performed the experiments: SCK. Analyzed the data: SCK AEJ AKB. Contributed reagents/materials/analys

No Evidence of Dehydration with Moderate Daily Coffee Intake: A Counterbalanced Cross-Over Study in a Free-Living Population

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2022-09-23 10:30:16

Conceived and designed the experiments: SCK AEJ. Performed the experiments: SCK. Analyzed the data: SCK AEJ AKB. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: SCK AEJ AKB. Wrote the paper: SCK. Statistical analysis: SCK AKB AEJ. Editing of final paper: AKB AEJ.

It is often suggested that coffee causes dehydration and its consumption should be avoided or significantly reduced to maintain fluid balance. The aim of this study was to directly compare the effects of coffee consumption against water ingestion across a range of validated hydration assessment techniques. In a counterbalanced cross-over design, 50 male coffee drinkers (habitually consuming 3–6 cups per day) participated in two trials, each lasting three consecutive days. In addition to controlled physical activity, food and fluid intake, participants consumed either 4×200 mL of coffee containing 4 mg/kg caffeine (C) or water (W). Total body water (TBW) was calculated pre- and post-trial via ingestion of Deuterium Oxide. Urinary and haematological hydration markers were recorded daily in addition to nude body mass measurement (BM). Plasma was analysed for caffeine to confirm compliance. There were no significant changes in TBW from beginning to end of either trial and no differences between trials (51.5±1.4 vs. 51.4±1.3 kg, for C and W, respectively). No differences were observed between trials across any haematological markers or in 24 h urine volume (2409±660 vs. 2428±669 mL, for C and W, respectively), USG, osmolality or creatinine. Mean urinary Na+ excretion was higher in C than W (p = 0.02). No significant differences in BM were found between conditions, although a small progressive daily fall was observed within both trials (0.4±0.5 kg; p<0.05). Our data show that there were no significant differences across a wide range of haematological and urinary markers of hydration status between trials. These data suggest that coffee, when consumed in moderation by caffeine habituated males provides similar hydrating qualities to water.

Maintenance of fluid balance is essential to sustain human life. Water intake balances fluid losses to achieve adequate hydration of bodily tissues. Although there are widespread guidelines in scientific literature and media for achieving optimal hydration status and about the effects that various caffeinated beverages may have on fluid balance, there is no clear consensus about how much fluid an individual should consume [1]. One study found total daily fluid intake observed in healthy adults varied from 0.416–4.316 L/day [2]. The current EFSA dietary references values for water intakes for male adults is 2.5 L/day [3]. However, published guidelines range from 1.5 L/day [4] to 3.7 L/day [5] for adult males. It has been suggested that caffeinated beverages should not be included in daily fluid requirement guidelines [6] and that a glass of water should be consumed with every cup of coffee or tea to ensure hydration is maintained [7].

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