What Can Dehydrate You – Alcohol, Coffee, Tea, or Sports Drinks?

You may have heard that caffeine and alcohol, two elements of many peoples’ days, can cause dehydration. But can caffeine and alcohol dehydrate you? It depends on what and how much you are drinking.

Both caffeine and alcohol are what are known as diuretics. Diuretics are substances that increase the amount of urine your body produces. However, when it comes to dehydration, caffeine and alcohol have very different effects on your body. Let’s take a look.

Alcohol Dehydration

can caffeine and alcohol dehydrate youAlcohol is a well-known cause of dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, which causes you to urinate more than usual. On top of that, alcohol causes your body to produce a hormone known as anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) that inhibits your body’s ability to reabsorb water.

That alcohol is a diuretic isn’t the only reason alcohol can dehydrate you. It’s easy to lose track of how much water you are drinking when you’re having fun. Add to that the fact that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to vomiting, which is dehydrating in itself, and you have the perfect recipe for dehydration and a hangover.

The best way to stay hydrated when you’re drinking is to eat (fruits and vegetables in particular contain fluids) and to drink a glass of water between alcoholic beverages. IV hydration therapy is another great way to stay hydrated and prevent a hangover.

Can Tea Dehydrate You?

can caffeine and alcohol dehydrate youIf you are a tea lover, you may be wondering if tea can dehydrate you. After all, many types of tea contain caffeine, which is a diuretic like alcohol. Unlike alcohol, however, a recent study showed that even drinking nothing but tea for twelve hours did not significantly impact dehydration levels. When consumed in moderation, caffeine, unlike alcohol, does not appear to dehydrate you.

On top of that, tea contains a wide range of health benefits. Most notably, tea contains catechins, which are antioxidants that protect against the damage from free radicals that contribute to illness and disease. Tea also has anti-inflammatory properties, which may be beneficial to individuals who have chronic inflammation.

It’s also important to note that not all types of tea contain caffeine. Non-caffeinated herbal teas (also known as tisane) do not contain caffeine and are not diuretics. These types of teas are just as hydrating as water. Plus, they’re comforting additions to cold days or for soothing sore throats. You can drink as much herbal tea as you’d like!

Is Coffee Dehydrating?

can caffeine and alcohol dehydrate youYou have no doubt heard that coffee can cause you to become dehydrated. Much like tea, the truth isn’t quite as simple as that. A recent study has shown that, in moderate amounts (3 – 6 cups per day), coffee is no more dehydrating than water. Another study suggests that coffee can serve as a rehydration solution for athletes, though it’s true that coffee may not feel as refreshing as a cold glass of water after an intense workout.

It’s also possible that coffee may have the added benefits of memory enhancement and cognitive support. So, coffee lovers rejoice and drink up – but in moderation! As coffee is a source of caffeine, it can contribute to jitters, restlessness, or insomnia, all of which are factors that coffee lovers should keep in mind when reaching for a late-night cup.

What about Caffeinated Sodas and Energy Drinks?

Some sodas and energy drinks contain caffeine. The common conception is that soda and energy drinks, like caffeine and coffee or tea, can dehydrate you because the amount of caffeine causes your body to expel more fluid than you are taking in. In fact, much like tea and coffee, caffeinated sodas and energy drinks are not dehydrating when consumed in moderate amounts.

What is the Best Drink for Dehydration?

So, knowing that alcohol can cause dehydration while moderate caffeine consumption does not significantly impact dehydration, what should you drink when you’re dehydrated? Water is without a doubt the best drink for dehydration. It’s readily available and will quickly rehydrate your body.

Other drinks that are great for correcting dehydration include:

  • Sports beverages without added sugar
  • Fruit juices without added sugar
  • An oral rehydration solution such as Pedialyte

While reaching for a glass of water is ideal for mild dehydration, individuals who have moderate to severe dehydration can benefit from IV hydration therapy.

Drip Hydration: Your IV Hydration Therapy Solution in Los Angeles and NYC

Drip Hydration is a mobile IV service that delivers IV hydration therapy to neighborhoods in Manhattan and Los Angeles. We bring the appointment to you wherever you are, whether you’re at work, at an outdoor festival, at home, at a hotel, or elsewhere in town. Our IVs take 30 – 45 minutes to administer, making them convenient to fit into a busy schedule.

We offer advance bookings, which is especially valuable for people who plan their days to the minute. We also offer on-demand delivery to your location within an hour of booking, depending on availability, ensuring fast and effective relief from dehydration on your time and schedule.