By Katina Jenkins and Tara Miller
VUMC Dietetic Interns, 2003
Caffeine is loosely associated with a variety of conditions and diseases, but never pinpointed as the cause of any of them.
Through 2003 studies show caffeine is relatively harmless when used by healthy adults in moderate doses (i.e., 2-3 average sized cups of coffee per day).
For more myths and misconceptions visit:
Caffeine is a diuretic. It stimulates the kidneys to produce urine. If you satisfy your thirst with caffeinated beverages, you may become dehydrated.
How do I know if I’m dehydrated?
Earliest stages: No obvious signs or symptoms. You may feel dry mouth and thirst.
Mild dehydration symptoms may include:
- flushed face
- extreme thirst
- dry, warm skin
- cannot pass urine or reduced amounts, dark, yellow
- dizziness that is worse if you are standing
- cramping in the arms and legs
- sleepy, restless, or irritable
- slack skin
- dry mucous membranes
- sunken eyes
- dry mouth, dry tongue; with thick saliva
Additional symptoms of dehydration
- Decreased athletic performance
- Increased use of muscle glycogen
- Decreased blood flow to the skin
- Reduction in bodies ability to burn fat
- Strain on kidneys
- Retention of salt in the body
- Increased body temperature
- Decreased blood volume, which increases your heart rate
- Decreased sweat production, making it harder to cool down
- Water retention (when in need, your body hangs on to every drop
- chocolate milk
- soft drinks
- pain relievers
- milk chocolate
- stimulants (NoDoz, etc.)
How much caffeine do these sources contain?
- Fruit Juices
- Sports Drinks
- Crystal Light
- Sprite / Root Beer
- Diet Rite Cola
If you do choose to drink caffeine, be sure to prevent the effects of dehydration by drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day.