Coffee for Hydration?

Coffee for Hydration?

   What is this concoction we call coffee?  Millions of us drink it every morning so we can meet the day.  We know it wakes us up and we love the taste…but what do we really know about it?

The word “coffee” came from the Dutch word “koffie” which came from the Ottoman Turkish word “kahve” which was borrowed from the Arabic qahwah, a type of wine which referred to its reputation as being an appetite suppressant.

We know that coffee comes from beans, but did you know that a coffee bean is actually a seed of the Coffea plant and the source for coffee?   It’s the pit inside the red or purple fruit often referred to as a cherry. Just like ordinary cherries, the coffee fruit is also a so-called stone fruit. Even though the coffee beans are not technically beans, they are referred to as such because of their resemblance to true beans.

   The earliest evidence of coffee drinking or knowledge about the coffee tree dates back to the 15th century in the Sufi monasteries of Yemen.  It soon spread to Mecca and Cairo, the rest of the Middle East, Europe and eventually to America in the 18th century.  Thanks to the American Revolution and the Boston Tea Party Americans switched to coffee from tea which was considered unpatriotic.  So, I guess you can thank our Founding Fathers for their efforts in making your favorite morning brew so popular today.

Bit of Trivia:  The first coffee plant was found in the mountains of Yemen. Then by 1500, it was exported to the rest of the world through the port of Mocha, Yemen.


We know that coffee contains caffeine which is why it’s America’s #1 morning liquid stimulant.  Did you know that coffee is a mild diuretic…meaning that it stimulates the kidneys to produce urine.  So, the question is…Does this lead to dehydration?  Well, it seems that the fluid you consume in your cup of coffee tends to offset the fluid you lose when you urinate.  One balances out the other. 

There is one catch, though.  Our daily intake of caffeine should not exceed 400mg so let’s take a look at some popular brands of coffee and compare their caffeine content:

An 8-oz cup of brewed coffee typically contains around 95 mg of caffeine.  How do these brands stack up?


  • Short (8oz)                     180mg
  • Tall (12oz)                      260mg
  • Grande (16oz)               330mg
  • Venti (20 oz)                  415mg

Dunkin Donuts

  • Small (10 oz)                215mg
  • Medium (16 oz)           302mg
  • Large (20 oz)                431mg
  • Extra large (24 oz)      517mg


  • Small (12 oz)                 109mg
  • Medium (16 oz)            145mg
  • Large (21–24 oz)           180mg


  “Moderate” amounts of coffee enjoyed daily will not cause dehydration.  Common sense and being aware of any physical discomfort you experience like any problems you have sleeping are good guidelines.  You can make any adjustments you deem necessary, like drinking less, or drinking earlier in the day so you don’t have any trouble with sleep.   Drinking more water will help too.

Bottom Line:  Go ahead and enjoy that cup or those cups of your favorite coffee and feel good about adding to your daily fluid intake.  Coffee is hydrating when consumed in moderation


Posted by DSaull in Nutrition