It may be some sort of ancient culinary legend that coffee and tea are dehydrating. Considering how much many of us need to pee after our morning caffeine session, we can see where the suspicion comes from. But Time reports today that these beloved beverages are not, in fact, sucking the liquid right out of us:
It’s true that caffeine is a mild diuretic, which means that it causes your kidneys to flush extra sodium and water from the body through urine. If you’re peeing frequently, and thus losing lots of liquid, it’s logical to think you could become dehydrated—but it actually doesn’t work that way, explains Dr. Daniel Vigil, an associate clinical professor of family medicine at the David Geffen School Of Medicine at the University Of California Los Angeles.
Vigil says that you will not lose more fluid than you gain by drinking your coffee or tea. So although it’s weird to think that you can count your 16-ounce morning java toward your daily beverage total (which Vigil suggests as “eight cups a day”), that does in fact appear to be the case. Drink up!