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Is Decaf Coffee A Diuretic? What you need to know

Jason Gass
Last Updated: March 15th, 2023

For many people with health issues like high blood pressure, anxiety, and diabetes, beverages with caffeine can be both helpful and harmful. Balancing the positives and negatives of caffeine can be confusing. The diuretic effects of coffee can help with fluid retention which is problematic with many health conditions, but too much caffeine can also have other unwanted side effects.

Besides the health concerns with consuming too much caffeine, there are also comfort issues. Having to use the bathroom frequently can be an inconvenience. Caffeine is a known diuretic, so cutting back on caffeine can reduce your urge to pee.  But if you don’t want to give up your morning coffee, you might ask the question, is decaf coffee a diuretic?

In this article, we will answer the question “is decaf coffee a diuretic?” by looking at the correlation between coffee and caffeine, and how decaf coffee can be a better option if you want a beverage that has less of a diuretic effect.

Is Decaf Coffee a Diuretic?

decaf coffee is considered a diuretic

This is a challenging question to answer. Technically, decaf coffee is not considered a diuretic. However, it still tends to make you need to go to the bathroom. If you are trying to avoid foods and beverages with diuretic properties it can be frustrating to still have to use the bathroom more frequently after drinking decaf coffee.

Despite the name, decaf coffee is not completely free of caffeine. The process used for decaffeinating coffee is not able to remove all of the caffeine. So, a small amount of the diuretic compounds remain, and you have a mild diuretic effect from decaf coffee.

What Precisely Is Decaf Coffee?

what precisely is decaf coffee

The idea of decaf coffee is a bit alien to many people. For many of us, the reason we drink coffee in the morning is for that boost of energy. That boost is thanks to caffeine. However, many people for medical or practical reasons need to avoid caffeine. Lucky for them, decaf coffee was invented.

Decaf coffee is not something that grows on trees. All coffee beans naturally have caffeine in them, so to get decaf coffee you need a process for removing the caffeine.

To remove the caffeine from coffee beans, they are first roasted like regular coffee beans. Then the roasted beans are put through a process that uses liquid carbon dioxide to remove the caffeine. This process is not 100% effective, so decaf coffee still contains a small amount of caffeine.

What Is a Diuretic?

what is a diuretic

A diuretic is a product that aids your body in the removal of excess fluid or salt. Diuretics work by stimulating the kidneys to produce more urine. So, a diuretic is a product that makes you have to pee.

Frequently, diuretic medications are prescribed to people when their body is not effective at removing fluids from the body. These individuals may suffer from conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, or heart failure. Diuretic medications can reduce the fluid in the body and allow organs to function more normally.

While diuretic medications are prescribed by a physician, there are many foods and beverages that work as natural diuretics.

Does Decaf Coffee Make You Pee?

does decaf coffee make you pee

With so little remaining caffeine in decaf coffee, the need to urinate after having a cup is not related to the diuretic effects of caffeine. Your need to use the bathroom after your cup of decaf is related to your consumption of a liquid.

As when you drink water, decaf coffee will pass quickly through your body, filling your bladder, and giving you the urge to urinate.


Are Diuretics Dangerous?

When used properly or under the care of a doctor, diuretics are not considered to be harmful. Many food and beverages, like coffee, naturally contain diuretics and can help our bodies with producing urine. These mild diuretics are easily managed by your body.

Diuretics become harmful to the body when you consume more than is necessary for your body’s natural functions. High doses of diuretic medications particularly, can cause excessive urination.

When you urinate too frequently, you can begin to lose important minerals like sodium, calcium, and potassium. These minerals are essential for helping the cells of your body maintain the proper water content.  The result of too many diuretics can be dehydration, which can be harmful to your body.

What Makes Regular Caffeinated Coffee A Diuretic?

While decaf coffee is not a diuretic, regular caffeinated coffee is considered a mild diuretic. The one feature of regular coffee that makes it a diuretic is caffeine. Different types of coffee beans and differently roasted coffee can all have varying levels of caffeine.

This will change the effectiveness of regular coffee as a diuretic.  Though, keep in mind that even high-caffeine coffees are still considered only mild diuretics.

Is Decaf Coffee A Diuretic – Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a way to enjoy your morning coffee, but want to skip the diuretic effects that come with fully caffeinated coffee, decaf is a good solution.

While decaf coffee still has a small amount of caffeine, it does not work like a diuretic. Decaf coffee is also a great alternative for individuals that are using diuretic medications, and do not want to over-stress their bodies.

About The Author

Jason Gass

Jason Gass is a Colorado based freelance writer and blogger whose goal is to share a good cup of coffee and great stories around a campfire with close friends. When he’s not working, he spends most of his time traveling, searching for the best breweries, and road-tripping in his teardrop trailer with his wife, daughter, and two dogs.

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