Does Coffee Qualify as Water? (Let’s Find Out)

Short Answer: Coffee does qualify as water if taken in moderation. After all, water is its main ingredient.

Most people drink coffee to get their daily dose of caffeine.

While caffeine may help boost mood and elevate mental and physical performance, it may have a mild diuretic effect on the kidneys, especially when taken in large quantities.

Diuretics are substances that make your body produce more urine than usual. By urinating more frequently, your body may lose more water and this can impact your hydration status. I wrote an article on coffee as a diuretic if you’re interested.

That said, it takes drinking large quantities, such as 5 cups of coffee or more at once for it to have a significant dehydrating effect on your body.

Therefore, drinking just a cup of coffee or two in a day is hydrating and may help you reach your daily fluid needs.

Keep reading to know more.

Is coffee a water-based drink?

Pouring water over coffee grounds through a filter
Pouring water over coffee grounds through a filter

Coffee is a water-based drink as water is the main ingredient in making coffee – about 90% of espresso and 98% of a filter coffee is water.

Water also acts as a solvent during the preparation of coffee so it plays a double role.

Coffee consumed moderately can be a good choice to contribute to your daily water intake.

Having said that, no matter how tempting it may seem to grab a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, the health experts urge everyone to start their day with water as it can hydrate the body along with aiding digestion and metabolism.

Does coffee count as water intake?

Coffee does count towards your daily water intake when taken in moderation and you already drink lots of water. After all, this heavenly drink is made almost entirely of water pushed through flavorful coffee grounds.

Teas like black, green, and herbal also count towards your daily water intake.

However, due to the mild diuretic effect of caffeine present in coffee, it does increase urination if not taken in moderation. 

Drinking excessive amounts of coffee and taking part in physical activities that cause sweating may increase dehydration risk.

The best way to keep your body from getting dehydrated is to make sure you get the right amount of fluids and electrolytes. Though many health experts recommend drinking at least eight glasses of water daily, the fluid requirement varies from person to person.

The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have researched and determined that essential daily fluid intake should be about 3.7 liters (15.5 cups) for men and about 2.7 liters (11.5 cups) of fluids in a day for women.

Your activity level, body weight, and medical condition all influence the amount of water your body needs in a day.

Watch this amazing video to know more if you can count coffee towards your daily water intake.

Does coffee count as water intake?

What counts as water intake?

A clear glass of water
A clear glass of water

Many things can count as water intake and help us fulfill the required amount of fluid in our body.

Fruits are known to be an excellent source of water. Watermelon stands first on the list as it is 90% water. Oranges, grapefruits, melons like honeydew and cantaloupe are also strong contenders.

Though vegetables do not contain as much water as fruits, they can still provide a nutrient-rich water source. Try adding cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, green peppers, and Romaine lettuce to your diet.

Apart from fruits and vegetables, there are also plenty of hidden sources of water in your diet. Yogurt, oatmeal, soup, and smoothies are also recommended.

Apart from drinking water, milk is also a great option to refuel. 

Sodas, even diet ones, do not have a very good reputation as they lack nutritional value, but they can still be hydrating.

Sports drinks and juices are also hydrating. Try diluting them with water to lower their sugar content.

Coffee and tea also count towards your fluid intake.

Previously, it was believed that due to the caffeine present in coffee and tea, they were dehydrating but that myth has been debunked. The mild diuretic effect does not offset hydration as long as the consumption is in moderation.

It is also important to know that all coffee isn’t the same- the caffeine content varies in different types of coffee and thus, may affect your hydration status differently.

Keep reading to find out how different types of coffee may impact the hydration level of your body.

Caffeine content in different types of coffee

These are the different types of coffee.
Different types of coffee

Brewed coffee

Brewed coffee is one of the most famous kinds of coffee in the world. It is prepared by pouring boiling water over coffee grounds through a filter.

A 237 ml (8 ounces) cup of brewed coffee has 70–165mg of caffeine, around 95 mg on average.

Instant coffee

Instant coffee is prepared from brewed coffee beans that have been freeze-dried or spray-dried.

Instant coffee is simple to make. You just have to add 1–2 teaspoons of instant coffee in hot water and mix until the coffee pieces dissolve completely.

Instant coffee contains lesser caffeine which is around 30–90 mg per 237 ml (8 ounces) cup.

Espresso

Espresso, which is favored by a lot of people, is made by forcing a small quantity of water with pressure through finely-ground coffee to produce a short but high-in-caffeine drink.

One shot (30–50 ml or 1–1.75 ounces) of espresso contains around 63 mg of caffeine.

Decaf coffee

Don’t let the name deceive you- decaf coffee is not completely caffeine-free. Though around 97% of caffeine is removed from the coffee beans by which decaf coffee is made, a small amount of caffeine still stays with it.

One 237 ml (8 ounces) cup of decaf coffee has 0–7 mg of caffeine or around 3 mg on average.

The following is a table for you to compare the caffeine content of different types of coffee. Remember: the higher the amount of caffeine in your coffee, the more likely your intake will affect your hydration status.

Coffee typeCaffeine content (mg/100 ml)
Brewed27-50
Instant25-35
Espresso100-165
Decaf brewed0.8-1.7
Decaf instant0.4-1.7
Cappuccino and latte100-165
Mochaccino (1 oz. shot)115-185
Caffeine content in different types of coffee

Best and worst drinks for hydration

The Best Hydrating Drinks

  • Water
  • Milk
  • Fruit-infused water
  • Fruits and fruit juices
  • Sports drinks
  • Black coffee
  • Herbal tea
  • Coconut water
  • Milk alternatives

The Worst Hydrating Drinks

  • Soda
  • Beer
  • Wine and hard liquor
  • Hot cocoa
  • Lemonade
  • Sweet tea
  • Energy drinks
  • Flavored milk
  • Smoothies

To sum it all up

Drinking a cup or two of coffee can help in hydrating your body.

Although it was believed that caffeine in coffee could dehydrate the body due to its diuretic effect, researchers have proved that the effect is mild and thus, does not offset hydration when consumed in moderate quantities.

Apart from the hydration benefits, coffee also has healthy compounds, known as antioxidants. This may be the reason why recent research has linked daily coffee consumption with many potential health benefits, including improving arterial function and reducing the risk of diabetes.

It is also important to compare the caffeine content of different types of coffee as caffeine tends to be the main element in determining the diuretic level of coffee.

If you like drinking more coffee, choose one with less caffeine level to avoid the chance of it affecting your body’s hydration status.

While it is proven that water is the best way to hydrate your body, you can always go for other drinks to fulfill your daily fluid requirement if you aren’t a fan of drinking plain water. Luckily, coffee is one of them as water tends to be the main ingredient in its preparation.

It is also important to add fruits and vegetables to your diet as many of them are rich in water. They not only help you meet your daily intake of water but also provide the essential vitamins that your body requires.

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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