Is it true that caffeine-containing beverages act as diuretics and cause a fluid loss?

Many people use caffeine-containing beverages like coffee, tea, or pop to wake up, help fight fatigue, and improve concentration.  It is widely believed that consuming caffeine has a diuretic effect and causes people to urinate more, thereby not allowing these beverages to be counted toward the day’s fluid intake.  However, recent research supports that caffeine only has a diuretic effect when consumed in large volumes, which would be defined as greater than 500-600 mg of caffeine.  To help you determine your typical caffeine consumption, it is helpful to know that the average 8 oz cup of coffee contains 130 mg of caffeine, the average 8 oz cup of tea contains 50 mg of caffeine, and the average can of pop contains roughly 70 mg of caffeine.  

Although caffeine-containing beverages do not generally increase urinary frequency, consuming too much caffeine can cause jitteriness, make you anxious and irritable, and can cause difficulty sleeping.  While it is safe to consume low amounts of caffeine, water is always the preferred hydration source.  It is cheap, contains no calories, and is widely available.

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