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The Most Dehydrating Thing Vegans and Non-Vegans Do Every Day

coffee dehydration vegan diet

Yes, coffee is vegan, but for vegans and non-vegans alike this daily habit has a downside. While one of the most common of American habits is drinking coffee, we are all different in how we react to it. Studies don't directly say that coffee is dehydrating, yet you may find yourself chugging bottles of water after having your morning cup. Every wonder why?


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You love your daily cup of Joe, and it’s even reported to have some health benefits, but have you ever noticed what your mouth feels like soon after drinking it? Pasty doesn’t even cover it.

That dry, pasty (nasty smelling) sensation and odor post jolt come from drinking coffee. According to statistics, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. There are many reasons why this is true, since food, drink, and lifestyle choices lay the groundwork for chronic dehydration. While drinking coffee hasn’t necessarily been reported as being dehydrating in studies, it hasn’t been reported as being hydrating either.

Both vegans and non-vegans aren't immune from chronic dehydration, while raw vegans tend to be less dehydrated. This is likely because raw vegans don't function on borrowed energy. They eat more live foods and avoid caffeine.

Symptoms of chronic dehydration include but are not limited to:

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased urine output
  • Dark, concentrated urine
  • Headaches
  • Dry skin
  • Lightheaded/Dizziness
  • Dry eyes
  • Wrinkled fingertips

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Sometimes It’s What Studies Don't Say

A study published in The Journal of the American College Of Nutrition included 18 healthy adult male subjects ranging in age from 24 to 39 years old. The subjects consumed water or water plus varying combinations of beverages on four separate occasions. Clinical guidelines were used to determine the fluid allowance for each subject. The beverages were carbonated, caffeinated caloric and non-caloric colas and coffee. Ten of the 18 subjects consumed water and carbonated, non-caffeinated, citrus soft drink during a fifth trial. Body weight, urine, and blood assays were measured before and after each treatment.

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Slight body weight loss was observed in all treatments. No differences among treatments were found for body weight changes or any of the biochemical evaluations. Biochemical evaluations conducted on first voids and 24-hour urines included electrolytes, creatine, osmolality and specific gravity. Blood samples were analyzed for hemoglobin, hematocrit. electrolytes, osmolality, urea nitrogen, creatinine, and protein.


While the study found no significant differences in the effect of various combinations of beverages on hydration status of the healthy subjects, fluid-disease relationships, suggested that optimal fluid intake may need to be higher than common recommendations. And while the study didn’t advise people to stop drinking caffeinated beverages as part of their daily fluid intake, further research is needed to confirm these results and to explore optimal fluid intake for healthy individuals

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The Truth Is Coffee Is Not Hydrating

It isn’t uncommon in coffee bars around Europe to have your coffee served with a glass of water. Why? Because Europeans know that coffee is dehydrating. Your physiology doesn’t lie. If you are not eating enough hydrating foods and you drink more coffee than you do water – you are likely dehydrated. You wouldn’t drink coffee if you were running a race, would you? That’s because common sense tells us that coffee doesn’t quench thirst, it worsens it.

Know Thy Urine

If you're eating enough hydrating foods, drinking enough water and laying off alcohol then a cup of coffee most likely won't dehydrate you. However, you may experience dry mouth or thirst. That being said, if your diet is largely cooked and processed foods, coffee two or more times a day, and perhaps some wine at night, then coffee isn't going to help to hydrate you either. The easiest thing to do is to use a common sense approach. One way to do this is to examine the color of your urine. Pale to clear urine is your goal. If your urine is dark, you need to eat more hydrating foods like fruit, as well as hydrate with water.

Raw vegans know that fruits, lettuces, and raw leafy greens are incredibly hydrating. These are the best foods to eat more of if you are having a dry mouth reaction to a cup of coffee. Water should be your secondary measure of hydration next to diet since fruits and vegetables contain a high percentage of water with a nutritional benefit. What is more, eating more hydrating foods is especially helpful for people who dislike the taste of water. By eating more hydrating foods you will quench your thirst at a cellular level, where it counts. Also, cut back on the coffee.