Many people love coffee. It has a rich aroma and flavorful taste. It can boost your energy, which is why it is part of many individuals' morning routines.
Most of all, it is cheap, and everyone can afford to drink it every day. However, your favorite cup of joe comes with some side effects that many people don’t enjoy, such as frequent bathroom visits.
If you’re one of those who don’t enjoy the bathroom breaks by coffee, you might be looking at drinking decaffeinated coffee instead.
So, is decaf coffee a diuretic like regular coffee? In this article, we will answer this question along with other reasons why drinking coffee might be good for you.
What Exactly Is A Diuretic?
A diuretic is any substance that can help the body get rid of extra fluid or salt. It causes your kidneys to produce more urine.
Excess fluid in the body can make it difficult for the heart to function properly and can make breathing hard to do. That's why people who have high blood pressure, swollen tissues, kidney disease, and heart failure often use diuretics to address their conditions.
Many people use diuretic medications that are prescribed by a doctor. However, some foods and drinks we consume on a daily basis are also considered natural diuretics.
It is important to note that diuretics aren’t necessarily harmful, especially when consumed naturally and with control. The most common food and drinks we consider diuretics, such as coffee, are only mild diuretics.
What Makes Regular Caffeinated Coffee A Diuretic?
Coffee is a mild natural diuretic. The caffeine found in regular coffee has a mild, short-term diuretic effect. For coffee to have a diuretic effect on the body, you need to consume at least two cups.
Studies show that you need to ingest at least 360 milligrams of caffeine to experience the diuretic effect. An 8-ounce coffee only has 95 to 200 milligrams of caffeine, depending on the brew.
When you drink a cup of coffee, the caffeine in it moves from your stomach to your bloodstream and liver. There, it is used to develop metabolic and biochemical changes that boost energy and cause your kidneys to produce more urine, eliminating excess water and salt in your body.
According to recent studies, caffeine consumption directly affects your kidneys, making coffee and other drinks that have caffeine a mild diuretic. Caffeine in regular coffee causes diuresis, which is also known as increased urination.
Your body produces urine to remove any waste and maintain fluid levels. That’s why when you consume more caffeine, you find yourself going to the bathroom more frequently than usual.
People who regularly have caffeine drinks may develop a tolerance to caffeine and will not experience any diuretic effect. However, some people react to it pretty badly. However, even with frequent bathroom visits, coffee as a diuretic isn’t harmful.
Drinking a cup of regular coffee every day adds more water to your body than to what it will cause you to expel, so there’s no reason for you to be afraid of it.
Is Decaf Coffee A Diuretic Too?
The decaffeination process removes the majority of caffeine in a coffee. So while decaf coffee contains minimal caffeine, it still has approximately 2% of the caffeine. However, the caffeine left on decaf coffees doesn’t cause frequent urination, which is why this type of coffee isn’t a diuretic like regular ones.
Decaf coffee is not diuretic. The amount of caffeine left on this type of coffee doesn’t have any effect on your body. While drinking a decaf cup of coffee can still make you urinate, it will be virtually indistinguishable from the effect of water. So if you pee after drinking decaf coffee, it is mainly related to your water consumption in the drink.
Drinking decaf is also relatively safe for people who are sensitive to the effect of coffee, especially if they go with Swiss Water processed decaf coffee. Some minimally caffeinated drinks like sodas and teas may have diuretic impacts. But this isn’t related to its caffeine content. However, this is not the case with coffee. That's why removing the caffeine from this drink really helps undo one of its side effects---frequent urination.
Why Do People Drink Decaf Coffee?
Decaf coffee is a milder drink with lesser flavor, fragrance, and caffeine compared to regular coffee. It is perfect for people who don’t really enjoy regular coffee’s bitter taste and intense aroma. However, the absence of caffeine negates the whole purpose of coffee since its high-caffeine content provides the energy booster that most people need from the drink.
Even with a lack of energy-boosting caffeine, people still consume decaf coffee. Here are some of the reasons why people drink this coffee:
Less Likely To Cause Acid Reflux
Decaf coffee can help reduce the cause of acid reflux found in regular coffees. While caffeine isn’t the primary cause of acid reflux from coffee, the decaffeination process lowers the acid levels of coffee beans. This makes decaf a better alternative for people who are sensitive to acids.
Less Interference With Sleep
Drinking too many cups of coffee during the day can have a drastic effect on your ability to get a good quality sleep at night. Reduced sleep quality and insomnia can cause your body to become increasingly exhausted, which can hamper your productivity throughout the day.
Unfortunately, no amount of caffeine can reverse these side effects. If you love drinking coffee throughout the day, it is best to drink decaf instead of regular coffee so you can enjoy your favorite drink without experiencing sleep deprivation.
Decaf Is Associated With a Lower Risk Of Premature Mortality
Drinking coffee, whether decaf or regular, has been linked with reduced type 2 diabetes, and each cup is said to reduce the risk by up to 7%.
According to another study, elements other than caffeine may be responsible for these protective effects.
Decaf coffee can also help in reducing liver enzyme levels. It is also linked with a small but significant reduction in the risk of premature mortality, specifically from stroke or heart disease.
Great Alternative For People With Caffeine Intolerance
When you add coffee to your routine, you start to build a caffeine tolerance in your body, increasing depending on your consumption. However, many individuals are naturally sensitive to caffeine and can cause specific issues.
People who experience caffeine intolerance tend to suffer adverse effects such as jitters, restlessness, anxiety, nausea, and increased heart rate. So switching to decaf can help caffeine-sensitive people experience lesser side effects.
Decaf Coffee Is An Excellent Choice For Pregnant Women And Adolescents
Pregnant women are often advised to limit their caffeine intake. The same goes for adolescents. Caffeine can have negative effects on pregnant women and adolescents, so if they can’t give up coffee entirely, decaf can be a great alternative.
*always consult your doctor for expert advice when pregnant.
Common Decaf Coffee and Diuretic Questions
Why should you not drink decaf coffee?
No evidence suggests that coffee is bad for you, and it may even provide health benefits that regular coffee can give.
What are the side effects of decaf coffee?
Side effects of decaf coffee are minimal. However, people with kidney disease are often advised to avoid or limit coffee because of its oxalate content.
Does decaf coffee make you poop?
While decaf coffee can still have a little bit of laxative effect compared to water, it isn’t as strong as caffeinated coffee. In some cases, decaf coffee can still make you poop.
Does decaf coffee count as fluid intake?
Yes, you can. The diuretic effect of decaf isn’t as bad as regular coffee. So, you can add your decaf coffee cup to your overall fluid intake.
If you don’t like the diuretic side effect of regular coffee but still love its aroma and taste, switching to decaf is probably your best bet. However, it may not have the strong flavor and intense aroma as your caffeinated coffee, but it’s worth the switch, especially if you’d like to enjoy its health benefits.