Fact or Myth? Can Coffee Cause Dehydration

By: Chelsea Jarrell

When we think of coffee, one of the first things we associate it with is caffeine. Caffeine is one of the most consumed psychoactive substances in the world. It can be found in many different products such a coffee, tea, soda, or even chocolate. Coffee and caffeine are known to have a lot of negative connotations. One of which is that caffeine can actually dehydrate you. But where did that notion come from, and how much of it is true?


The link between dehydration and caffeine can be traced all the way back to 1928. A study was conducted where the test subjects who were given caffeinated drinks were urinating more frequently. The idea that drinks with caffeine causes dehydration developed from these results and spread like wildfire. This ruined caffeine’s reputation until someone wanted to challenge the perception and conduct another study.


Lawrence Armstrong, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut and Director of the Human Performance Laboratory, saw a major flaw in the study that was done in 1928. The flaw was that any increase in intake of fluid could raise the need to urinate. He saw no correlation between the higher frequency and dehydration. So he tested it once more. This time Armstrong recruited 59 males to become his test subjects for 11 days. Him and his team of researchers controlled their diets and gave them caffeine pills each day with levels based off of their height and weight. Unlike the other study, Armstrong ensured he watched them for longer periods of time. In addition, the male test subjects were divided into two groups. The control group was given the placebos and the other the caffeine pills. The results were similar for both groups. Armstrong proved the notion that caffeine leads to dehydration to be a myth!

So, the next time you are worried about becoming dehydrated after your daily cup of coffee, ease your mind. Caffeine does not cause dehydration whatsoever. Thanks Lawrence Armstrong for crushing that myth. Get your coffee fix by visiting one of our shops or by getting our Nitro Cold Brew on tap right in your office.  

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