Coffee. Yum. A morning staple for many of us who crave the sound and smell of it brewing- in our homes or in a local coffee shop (or both!). We coffee drinkers have our order: black, cream, iced, milk and sugar, and so many others. Some of us reserve coffee strictly for the mornings and others indulge all day long. Other than the pure happiness it may bring to an otherwise meh Monday morning, what’s really going on when we sip on that oat milk latte or americano?
Many of us think that coffee is a diuretic, but what does that actually mean besides maybe extra trips to the bathroom? When it comes to coffee, it doesn’t mean much else. A true diuretic is something that helps extract water and salt from the body. According to a 2014 study, with every third cup of coffee we’re losing 15% of our fluids. Coffee is really only a mild diuretic, meaning that just as much as the caffeine in coffee signals us to urinate more frequently, we’re also ingesting a fair amount of liquid.
So, should I just drink coffee all day long? Not so fast. We might be tempted to grab an iced coffee to treat our afternoon slump, but remember that coffee can raise cortisol levels, which can increase anxiety and stress. Also, excess caffeine may interrupt our sleep quality and shift our circadian rhythm, which is vital to longevity and our overall well-being.
Since we do need to hydrate AND we need to sleep AND decrease our stress, there are better ways to get the adequate amount of fluids we need. You don’t need to get rid of that coffee habit, but try supplementing your consumption-o-joe with water. What’s the best way to do that? Try one of these steps:
- Even though we might anticipate the first morning sip, coffee shouldn’t be your first drink in the morning. So, we recommend drinking a glass of water while you wait for that long-awaited first mug-full.
- Have a cut-off time. This isn’t only helpful for your sleep but will also help you track how much coffee you’re actually having. Once you hit that time, switch to water (Don’t like the plain taste of water? Try infusing it with different fruits or herbs)
- Make sure you have water on hand. Bringing a water bottle with you not only gives you easier access to replenish your fluids but also serves as this in-your-face reminder to have some!
Catherine at Revive