Coffee lovers worldwide have a new reason to limit the daily intake of their favorite drink. Experts have suggested that too much consumption of caffeinated drinks, including tea and hot chocolate, can cause dehydration. But, drinking a few cups a day will not lead to dehydration. 

It is because higher amount of caffeine can act as a diuretic, a substance that causes the body to produce urine. Caffeine can do this because it has the ability to increase blood flow through kidneys.

Experts suggested that there is no harm in enjoying moderate amount of coffee on a daily basis. According to nutritionist Lisa Renn, enjoying a few cups of tea or coffee a day will not cause dehydration.

“There is evidence that caffeine in higher amounts acts as a diuretic in some people, but moderate intake is actually not that significant,” Renn, who is also a dietitian, told ABC News.

A 2014 study on the link between caffeine and dehydration also stated that moderate daily intake of caffeinated drinks will not cause dehydration. The UK-based research work focussed on 50 male coffee lovers who consumed three to six cups of coffee a day.

The researchers asked the participants to reduce their daily intake of caffeinateds drink to two to four cups or 800ml a day. Then, they observed the participants for three day and they failed to find any evidence of dehydration. Their findings stated that the hydration levels of those who drank fours cups of coffee and those who had the same amount of water were same.

To check the hydration level of the participants, the researchers measured their urine output of 24-hours along with other hydration markers in the blood. At the end of the study, they concluded that the hydrating qualities of water and moderate coffee intake are same.

Although the study focussed on the association between coffee consumption and dehydration, the result could be somewhat same for those who love to drink tea. It is mainly because both the beverages contain similar amount of caffeine.

Meanwhile, it is worth noting that the participants in the study regularly drank coffee. The result could be different for those who are not a coffee lover mainly because the diuretic effect depends on an individual’s caffeine tolerance.

“Coffee is certainly not the evil we once thought it was, but it's that old adage of 'Everything in moderation’. If you have to have more than four cups of coffee a day you may see a diuretic effect from that, but if your intake is less, then from a dehydration view you're going to be OK,” Renn said.

The nutritionist also shared some tips to reduce the effects of dehydration due to caffeine intake. “Certainly, you can be interspersing coffees and waters throughout the day, so you might have a bottle of water with you and be sipping on that most of the time, and then you might have a coffee in your break times,” she said.

Coffee A cappuccino is seen on display at the opening of a new McCafe coffeehouse in Mountain View, California, Dec. 3, 2003. Photo: Getty Images/ Justin Sullivan