Pop Quiz: Do coffee and tea count as daily water intake?
You've already gotten started on tracking your daily water intake? Great work! Now, you might have some questions. Namely: Should you be including your morning coffee or that tea you had at lunch? Let’s find out how much you know about hydration!
How much fluid am I actually consuming?
Let’s start with what things in your diet actually contribute to your hydration levels. Beyond beverages, you’re also getting water from the food you eat. Soup’s an obvious example, but fruits and vegetables also contain significant amounts of water, as do dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese. If your meals primarily consist of dry, carb-based foods, you may want to make changes to your diet to naturally take in more water.
Does caffeine really make you pee more?
The short answer: Yes. Caffeinated beverages do have a mild diuretic effect, which means they will send you to the bathroom slightly faster than other beverages.
But wait! There’s some good news, too. According to Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “more than 180 mg of caffeine daily (about two cups of brewed coffee) may increase urination in the short-term in some people, but will not necessarily lead to dehydration.” That means that while caffeine does affect your body in some ways, drinks that contain it can still count toward your daily water intake.
So, can other drinks count towards my daily water goal?
Absolutely – with exceptions. First of all, take care to avoid beverages with lots of sugar, such as soda, juices, and some sports drinks, since excess sugar has its own detrimental effects. Likewise, skip the alcoholic drinks. Unlike the caffeine in coffee and tea, alcohol does have strong enough diuretic effects to be dehydrating.
Not a huge fan of water? We also have some tips for making it easier to drink more water, even when you’d rather be having something else!