One of the most abiding false charges against caffeine is that using caffeine causes dehydration.  For decades, health “experts,” including many physicians, have been warning athletes and others that they should avoid caffeine if they want to avoid depleting their bodies of water.

The truth?  Many peer-reviewed studies have proven that caffeine does not alter the fluid balance of the organs in the body.  In other words, caffeine does NOT cause dehydration.
In fact, Dr. T.E. Graham, professor in the School of Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph in Ontario and a leading sports physiologist, after conducting an ambitious metastudy of caffeine’s potentially dehydrating effects if used before and during sports activities, demonstrated that, no matter what effect caffeine might have on a resting person, it absolutely, positively did not alter the fluid balance in the bodies of people who were working out or competing in sports.  Graham also proved that caffeine does not alter electrolyte levels, the rate of perspiration, or the body’s core temperature.
Again, according to a recent research review article by Dr. Larry Armstrong, a professor of exercise and environmental physiology at the Neag School of Education, there is absolutely no evidence that consumption of caffeinated beverages causes a fluid-electrolyte imbalance that is detrimental to health or exercise performance.
Drinking coffee can stimulate the desire to urinate.  But, then again, so can drinking any fluid or even just moving about.  And, by the way, if you ever feel dehydrated for any reason, simply have a drink of water.  Your body is designed to normalize its fluid balance and will do so almost immediately.
So, once again, the scarey warnings against caffeine turn out to be nothing more than yet another manifestation of the only mental problem associated with caffeine:  Caffeine paranoia, the irrational fear and dread of caffeine.

Dehydrated Walker



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