No, Stupid, Caffeine Does Not Dehydrate You

I love when some asshole sees me drinking a caffeinated beverage and says, “You know that dehydrates you.”  This confirms that I’m talking to someone who gets his/her knowledge of the world from old wives’ tales rather that actual findings of actual scientists and helps me greatly in weeding out unhelpful sacks from my social circle. 

But don’t take my word for it.  Ask the Mayo Fucking Clinic.  In case you’re too lazy or stuck in your anti-caffeine belief to click the link, here, I’ll quote the relevant part for you.  It’s not long:

“Drinking caffeine-containing beverages as part of a normal lifestyle doesn’t cause fluid loss in excess of the volume ingested. While caffeinated drinks may have a mild diuretic effect — meaning that they may cause the need to urinate — they don’t appear to increase the risk of dehydration.”

Or, let’s ask Dr. Ann Grandjean for the findings of the Institute of Medicine. Her report contains these gems:

“In other words, the common belief that caffeinated beverages don’t contribute to hydration is a myth.”

“We found no significant differences in the effect of various combinations of beverages on the hydration status of our volunteers. In a second study, we measured the effect of two regimens — one that included drinking water as part of the dietary beverages on the hydration status of our volunteers. Again, we found no significant difference between the regimens on indicators of hydration status. As a result, we concluded that the popular notion that caffeinated beverages cause dehydration is a myth. Subsequently, other studies and reports have confirmed our findings”

That’s the Director of the Center for Human Nutrition and member of the U.S. Olympic Committee talking. Yeah.

Enjoy Coca-Cola? Don't mind if I do!

Enjoy Coca-Cola? Don’t mind if I do!

Upon reading this, some jackasses with an agenda might shake their heads and say that water is still better, to which I would reply, “No fucking shit, scientist.” Even the Mayo Clinic link I posted ends with that. But we’re not talking about what’s the best way to stay hydrated, we got here by your I-learn-everything-from-hearsay attitude claiming that a can of pop is going to dehydrate me. I’m not drinking a Code Red Mt. Dew because I’m training for a marathon, I’m drinking it because it tastes fucking awesome.  When I, you know, play ice hockey or go to the dojo or do other awesome sports guy shit, I don’t bring a six pack of soda, I bring a bottle of water and a bottle of Gatorade because I’m smart enough to realize there’s a time and a place for different types of drinks.

Iagine working at a bar and going “Whoa whoa, slow down buddy.  Don’t you know that Jack and Coke is gonna dehydrate you?  And those Miller Lites aren’t doing you better!”  It sounds ridiculous because it is.

So the lessons here:

1) Caffeine doesn’t dehydrate you.

2) Before you open your mouth to lecture someone about something he’s/she’s doing, consider why they’re doing it.  It might not be what you think.