Does Drinking Coffee and Tea Count as Drinking Water?

Does Drinking Coffee and Tea Count as Drinking Water?

Jake Bonneman
3 minute read

One day, two people were out jogging on a wooded path at the local park. One had water in her bottle, and the other had some delicious iced coffee in her bottle.

As they jogged along, they mused out loud about their respective beverages.

The water drinker scoffed at the coffee lover.

"Coffee doesn't count as hydration," she said in a smug voice.

"Yes, it does," the coffee lover replied. "So now I'll not only be hydrated—but awake and alert as well."

The water drinker was about to argue back, when she was interrupted by a yawn. She realized that the coffee lover was right—caffeine did help keep you awake and hydrated.

She smiled and took a sip of her coffee—Or so the story goes.

Was the coffee lover right? Let's find out.

Does Drinking Coffee or Tea Truly Hydrate You?

When it comes to staying hydrated, water is always going to be the optimal choice.

But that doesn't mean that coffee doesn't hydrate you—let alone de-hydrates you! Quite the opposite.

So where does this myth come from? Well, coffee and tea have a mild diuretic effect, which basically just means that they make you urinate more.

This might seem like a bad thing, and it's something the anti-coffee and anti-tea people love to throw out immediately in their talking points whenever they spot someone drinking coffee at the gym.

But the diuretic effect of coffee and tea is actually pretty mild. In fact, the fluid loss caused by drinking coffee or tea is much less than the amount of fluid consumed in the drink.

So science says that the coffee lover was, in fact, right.

I mean—look at the primary ingredient of both beverages. It's not the grounds or the leaves. It's water. They're almost entirely water.

So, while water is always going to be the best choice for hydration, coffee and tea are not going to dehydrate you—and they do count towards your fluid intake.

The idea that they don't is a myth, plain and simple.

Coffee and tea are especially great for people who don't really enjoy the taste of plain water.

If you're someone who struggles to drink the recommended eight glasses of water a day (I feel you) adding some coffee or tea to your daily routine can help you hit that elusive target.

Just be mindful of what you're adding to your tea or coffee, if anything.

Filling your beverage with creamers, milks, sugars, and so forth can make that water-based beverage quite a bit different than a glass of water. (Don’t get me wrong, some of those additives can still be quite good for you!) But if you're sticking with black coffee or tea, then rest assured—you’re getting hydrated without any meaningful calorie consumption.

Plus, you’re getting all the energy, mood, and/or health benefits of the coffee or tea in question. Doesn’t sound like a bad deal to me!

So, next time someone confidently tells you that drinking coffee or tea doesn't count as hydration, you can confidently tell them that they're wrong.


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