Did you know that in the United States, more than 85% of adults turn to coffee as their daily source of fluid intake? As a coffee-lover, I’ve heard plenty of opinions and rumors about the diuretic properties of coffee, which is probably why people visit the toilet often after drinking their coffee. In this article, we provide the answer to your question, “Is decaf coffee a diuretic?” while providing definitions for the terms diuretic and decaf coffee.
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What is a Diuretic?
A diuretic refers to any medication that can help to promote diuresis or an increase in urine production. This helps to eliminate excess fluid from our body, which in turn can lower blood pressure. There are different kinds of diuretics and all will work in various ways.
Some diuretics can increase the amount of urine produced in your kidneys. Other kinds of diuretics work by limiting the reabsorption of sodium in the kidneys, which also results in more production of urine. As such, diuretics can be used to treat conditions like kidney disease, heart failure, edema, and high blood pressure.
If you’re experiencing a significant diuretic effect from drinking coffee, be sure that you’re drinking enough fluids to stop getting dehydrated. You might also want to take potassium supplements because diuretics may lead to potassium loss. Common types of diuretics include loop diuretics, thiazide diuretics, and potassium-sparing diuretics.
Is Coffee a Diuretic?
Coffee is a proven diuretic but how exactly does it work? The caffeine found in coffee is known to stimulate the nervous system, so when you drink coffee, your blood pressure and heart rate are increased. This will cause the body to produce more water through the kidneys, leading to more than usual urination.
If you’re looking to stay hydrated, steer clear of coffee; alternatively, it can be helpful if you want to rid your body of excess water. Moreover, caffeine can block the creation of antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which gives you the urge to pee. Essentially, ADH is a hormone that signals the body to hold water in; normally, the pituitary glands will produce ADH which then travels to the kidneys.
It will then tell the kidney to make Aquaporins or water carriers whose main job is to take water in each cell throughout the whole body. Without ADH or aquaporins, all the water that’s supposed to reach your cells will go straight to the bladder.
Is Decaf Coffee a Diuretic?
The short answer is, yes, decaf coffee contains caffeine. However, these are only trace amounts of caffeine, compared to the amount found in regular coffee as a result of the decaffeination process. There are many ways to rid green coffee beans of caffeine; some will use water, carbon dioxide, or even organic solvents.
Even so, decaf coffee can still help encourage urination and may be helpful for people who wish to reduce their body’s fluid retention. It’s also important to remember that while regular caffeinated coffee offers more of a diuretic effect, it will take more than a cup to find a significant difference in the body. In contrast, decaf coffee drinkers can enjoy sipping away without the worry of making multiple bathroom breaks.
Benefits of Decaf Coffee
There are various potential health benefits to drinking decaf coffee, below are just some of them.
Great for a Wake Up Call
If you’re looking for a good alternative to energy drinks that have less caffeine but can give you the wake-up call you’re looking for, decaf coffee is a great option. It offers the same amount of coffee beans as a cup of regular coffee, so you’ll still get the energy boost you need to get started for the day.
Protects You from Diseases
Because caffeine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, it can be a big problem for people suffering from cardiovascular issues. However, decaf coffee won’t have such negative effects which can help to improve heart health and lower your risk for heart disease. Moreover, it has all the benefits of regular coffee, such as reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes as well as your liver enzyme levels.
Helps to Prevent Cancer
Caffeine present in both regular and decaf coffee contains antioxidants that work to protect your cells from free radicals that can cause damage. These antioxidants can also help to shield you from cancer, giving you another great reason to start drinking decaf coffee. According to research, drinking more than 2 cups of decaf coffee each day can reduce your cancer risk by as much as 48%!
Prevents Neurodegenerative Diseases
Both decaf and regular coffee seem to have a protective effect on age-related mental health. Studies on the human cell seem to show that decaf coffee can help to protect the brain’s neurons, which could prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Research suggests that this could be due to chlorogenic acid found in coffee, not because of caffeine.
Even so, caffeine has also been connected to the reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases and dementia. A wide range of studies have shown that people who drink a cup of joe regularly have a lower risk for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s but more specific studies on decaf coffee are needed.
Side Effects Of Decaf Coffee
Even if it has a mild diuretic effect, there are potential risks to drinking too much decaf coffee much like everything else. One of the most common side effects of decaf coffee is insomnia because even a small amount of caffeine can stay in the body for as long as 6 hours after drinking it. If you experience trouble sleeping, it’s best to avoid drinking any kind of coffee later in the day.
Depending on your caffeine intake, the other side effect of decaffeinated coffee is anxiety since caffeine is a strong stimulant that can increase blood pressure and heart rate.
Why Does Caffeine Make Us Pee?
When you consume caffeine, it works to block adenosine, a hormone found in the body. This process will get you tired, so once it’s blocked you will feel more aware and awake. However, adenosine will also encourage the body to make more urine.
As such, when you drink coffee, you’re not just stopping yourself from getting tired, but you’re also helping your body make more urine. So make sure that you go to the bathroom more often whenever you experience the diuretic effects of caffeine.
Is Decaf Better for People with UTI?
Because decaf coffee contains much lower caffeine levels, its diuretic effects are much lower compared to a regular cup of coffee. As such, it can be a better option for people with kidney problems or urinary tract infections since a high urine output can make these conditions worse. Moreover, studies show that decaf coffee doesn’t result in adverse effects for people with kidney dysfunction which supports its suitability for people with such health issues.
As a result, the diuretic effects of decaf coffee are much more kidney-friendly and gentle which allows us to enjoy the taste of coffee without worrying about any side effects.
Now that you know a bit more about what goes on when drinking your cups of coffee, you probably have additional questions to ask. Here are some of the most asked questions about decaffeinated beverages.
When is the Best Time to Drink Coffee?
For coffee enthusiasts, there isn’t a definitive time for them to start drinking coffee; it will depend on individual body chemistry and how it responds to caffeine. Some people will be more sensitive to caffeine than others, so they may need to limit how much they drink. However, if you’re trying to avoid insomnia, be sure to drink coffee at least 6 hours before you go to sleep.
How Much Caffeine does Decaf Coffee have?
The average cup of coffee will have around 70 to 140 milligrams of caffeine, depending on how it’s prepared, the type of coffee used, and the cup size. Meanwhile, one cup of decaf coffee will contain no more than 0 to 7 mg of caffeine content.
Can I Drink Decaf if I’m Allergic to Caffeine?
Yes, it is possible for people allergic to caffeine to drink decaf coffee, but they may still experience symptoms such as jitters, headaches, and anxiety.
Can I Become Dehydrated from Decaf Coffee?
Because decaf coffee has most of its caffeine removed during the processing stage, it has a lot less of a diuretic effect. In fact, a person’s hydration status after drinking decaf coffee is similar to drinking water. As such, having your daily cup of decaf coffee isn’t likely to cause dehydration or electrolyte imbalances.
Even so, it’s essential that you still stick to drinking plain water or decaf tea as your primary sources to maintain the right hydration levels.
Will Decaf Coffee Make Me Sweat?
In healthy adults, drinking decaf coffee won’t likely lead to sweating more than usual. While consuming a lot of caffeine is known to make people sweat a lot, there’s very little caffeine in decaf coffee. Because of this, it’s unlikely to make you sweat excessively.
Does Decaf Coffee Work as a Laxative?
For some, decaffeinated coffee may have a laxative effect on them like regular coffee does. This is probably because coffee can boost gastrin levels but coffee doesn’t. Moreover, coffee can stir our bowel movements, but you need to remember that it shouldn’t be used to relieve constipation like you would a laxative.
Can I Get Addicted To Decaf Coffee?
If you’re worried that you may become addicted to decaf coffee, there’s no need! While it’s a popular belief that coffee can be addictive, there isn’t scientific evidence available to prove that decaf coffee has the same effect. So you can rejoice in the fact that you can enjoy your cup of coffee without the fear of getting addicted.
Decaf coffee isn’t as strong as regular coffee and won’t have the same diuretic effects, so you can enjoy more without making frequent trips to the bathroom. To get started, you can try the Swiss Water Process which can eliminate caffeine to produce decaf coffee beans. When combined with hot water, you’ll be able to enjoy a cup without drinking too much caffeine.
Just keep in mind before you switch over to decaf to start slowly; mix some regular coffee with decaf coffee to see how your body will react to it. When your body is okay with the switch, you can drink decaf completely.
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