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Moderate Coffee Consumption May Hydrate the Body

Update Date: Jan 10, 2014 05:58 PM EST

Coffee is believed to cause dehydration. However, new research reveals that drinking moderate amounts of coffee may not deplete bodily fluids. In fact, drinking moderate amounts of coffee may actually aid hydration in regular coffee drinkers.

The latest study is the first to compare the effects of moderate consumption of coffee to equal volumes of water.

"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," lead researcher Sophie Killer said in a news release.

The latest study involved 50 male participants who were tested in two phases. In the first phase, they were asked to drink four mugs (200ml) of either black coffee or water per day for three days. In the second phase, those who had drunk coffee switched to water and vice versa.

Researchers said that the two phases were separated by a ten-day "wash out" period.

The findings revealed no significant differences in total body water or any of the blood measures of hydration status between those who drank coffee and those who drank water. What's more, the study revealed no differences between 24-hour urine volume or urine concentration between the two groups.

"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 Killer. "We conclude that advice provided in the public health domain, regarding coffee and dehydration, should be updated to reflect these findings."

The findings are published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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