Contrary to "conventional wisdom," the latest research indicates that
beverages such as coffee, tea and sodas are not dehydrating after all.
'In a study published in the October issue of the Journal of the
American College of Nutrition, researchers at the Center for Human
Nutrition in Omaha, Neb., measured how different combinations of
water, coffee and caffeinated sodas affected the hydration of 18
healthy adults who drank caffeinated beverages routinely.
"We found no significant differences at all," says nutritionist Ann
Grandjean, the study's lead author. "The purpose of the study was to
find out if caffeine is dehydrating in healthy people who are drinking
normal amounts of it. It is not."
The same goes for tea, juice, milk and caffeinated sodas: One glass
provides about the same amount of hydrating fluid as a glass of water.
The only common drinks that produce a net loss of fluids are those
containing alcohol - and usually it takes more than one of those to
cause noticeable dehydration, doctors say.'
"Really not necessary to gulp all that water"
By Benedict Carey, LOS ANGELES TIMES
Monday, February 26, 2001, hosted by geocities.com
"Most fluids can fulfil hydration requirements
Susan Aldridge, PhD
You don't need to drink plain water to stay well-hydrated as most
other beverages will do the job.
We're often told to make sure to drink about eight 8-ounce glasses of
water every day to keep hydrated and healthy. But the water content of
food, and beverages other than water can hydrate the body equally
well, say researchers at the Center for Human Nutrition at the
University of Nebraska.
A group of 27 healthy male volunteers was put on one of two diets.
Either they got their fluids from plain water, or from other beverages
like orange juice, cola drinks or coffee. Urine analysis and body
weight measurements revealed no significant differences between the
two groups. This suggests that if it's difficult to get access to
plain water every day, you can still fulfill your hydration and health
needs by drinking other beverages.
Source: Journal of the American College of Nutrition 1st April 2003"
"Study Shows Caffeine Does Not Increase Dehydration"
"Water, Water, Everywhere
How Much Water Do You Really Need to Drink?"
"New Hydration Research"
"The Effect of Caffeinated, Non-Caffeinated, Caloric and Non-Caloric
Beverages on Hydration"
Grandjean, A. C., Reimers, K. J., Bannick, K. E., Haven, M. C. (2000)
Journal of the American College of Nutrition
"The Effect on Hydration of Two Diets, One with and One without Plain
Ann C. Grandjean, Kristin J. Reimers, Mary C. Haven, and Gary L.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition; abstract:
"Coffee Lovers: Don't Worry About Dehydration
July 28, 1998"
Thus, to answer your questions based upon the research cited...
Q. "If I drink caffeine-free diet coke, will I be hydrating or
Q. "How much less hydrated will I be, drinking equal amounts of
diet coke versus water? "
A. No significant difference. As mentioned above, "...the same goes
for tea, juice, milk and caffeinated sodas: One glass provides about
the same amount of hydrating fluid as a glass of water."
Q. Are there health concerns regarding hydration and caffeine-free
coke that I haven't thought of?
A. Not about hydration. Some folks have expressed health concerns
about other soft drink ingredients such as aspartame and phosphoric
see: U.S. Food and Drug Administration-Sugar Substitutes
Q. Caffeine is a diuretic. If I drink regular, caffeinated Diet Coke,
will I be hydrating or dehydrating my body?
search terms: soda, hydrating, hydration, cola
dehydrating, dehydration, caffeine, caffeinated
I hope this helps. If anything is unclear, please use the "request
clarification" to let me know. Thanks.