advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
A Cuppa Caffeine Instead of Water?
Can you get enough water from just drinking tea and coffee?
A
Answer (Published 4/25/2002)

Updated 4/01/2005

The short answer to your question is "no." Thanks to their caffeine content, both tea and coffee are diuretics - that is, they cause the body to lose water. And you do need the water - when you don't get enough, your cells start to draw water from the bloodstream. Blood gets sludgy, your heart must work harder, and your body starts to redirect blood away from less vital areas.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor for Your Whole Body - Foods, herbs and drugs can all interact, sometimes in unexpected ways. Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor takes known interactions into account when developing nutritional supplement recommendations, to help safeguard against adverse effects. Learn more, and get your free, personalized Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor recommendation today.

You don't necessarily have to follow the standard recommendation to drink eight, 8-ounce glasses of water per day, but you do need to drink as much of that amount as you comfortably can and usually more than you think you need. This is especially important during and after exercise or during hot weather when you've been sweating. Try to drink extra water whenever you think of it - you'll know you're getting enough when you notice that you're urinating more often than usual.

If you really don't like drinking plain water, you can get the fluids you need from highly diluted fruit juice, herbal tea or a well-watered down sports drink. Avoid caffeine-containing colas - they have the same diuretic effect as coffee and tea.

To get two cups of water from coffee or tea, you would have to drink three cups. Considering that you should be getting eight cups of water per day, you would have to drink 12 cups of coffee or tea to get that much. You would be consuming much too much caffeine, more than enough to make you jumpy, anxious, fearful, and interfere with your relaxation, rest, and sleep. If you are drinking anywhere near that much coffee and tea, I strongly suggest that you cut back to no more than 300 mg of caffeine per day. (The amount you get from a single cup of coffee depends on brewing method - drip gives you between 88 and 280 mg while percolated contains between 27 and 64 mg; a cup of black tea gives you 45 to 75 mg of caffeine while green tea gives you 24 to 48 mg).

Caffeine is a strong stimulant and an addictive drug that can negatively impact your health by causing or worsening headaches, anxiety, insomnia, cardiac arrhythmia (palpitations), high blood pressure, gastrointestinal and urinary disorders, prostate trouble and PMS. In addition, studies have revealed unhealthy tendencies among people who consume large amounts of caffeine. For example, researchers have found that those who drink a lot of coffee often smoke cigarettes, get too little exercise and eat meals too high in fat.

If you decide to give up caffeine (which I recommend), set aside three days to go "cold turkey." You'll probably experience headaches and lack energy for the duration so don't make plans for 48 to 72 hours. To cut back, gradually eliminate a cup per day until you are down to no more than 300 mg of caffeine.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here