Effects of Caffeinated Beverages on Kidney Health
Caffeine beverages have their limitations to offer benefits to kidney health. These beverages include coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, and energy drinks. Too much consumption of caffeine can also lead to other kidney-related problems. Some of these are the following:
- Hypokalemia. Coffee contains a small amount of potassium, however, too much coffee can result in low blood potassium levels or hypokalemia. Caffeinated beverages act as diuretics which increase the frequency of urination. This results in water and electrolyte loss, including potassium.
- Increased blood pressure. It is a mild condition that may only happen in a short time after drinking one cup. The primary cause is unclear, but some studies include that caffeine blocks the hormone that widens arteries.
- Kidney Stones. Coffee may reduce the risk of the formation of kidney stones, but not all caffeinated drinks have this effect. Caffeinated sodas increase the risk of occurrence and recurrence of kidney stones. Some study results conclude that the sugar included contributes to the increase in the risk of kidney stones formation. However, coffee and tea do contain oxalates which can cause stone formation. Overall, the effects of coffee are protective but adequate hydration with water is also important.
Effects of Caffeinated Beverages on Urinary Tract Health
Moderate consumption of caffeine is considered safe and beneficial. However, many people tend to have excessive consumption that may lead to these problems.
- Increase in urine volume. Caffeine is a diuretic, which causes the body to excrete salt and water from the body. It happens by urinating more than usual when consuming caffeinated beverages. While diuretics can help with lowering blood pressure and expel toxins, too much of it can cause dehydration.
- Changes in bowel movements. A medical school conducted a study involving men consuming caffeine by drinking two cups of coffee every day. The result shows that moderate to severe incontinence may occur by consuming too much caffeine, as it also has a laxative effect.
- Urinary tract infections. As mentioned previously, the caffeine in coffee increases urine volume due to its diuretic effect. Dehydration and inability to void or empty the bladder completely increases the risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI). It is important to continue drinking enough water even if you are drinking other liquids, especially those that contain caffeine.
Caffeine is an addictive substance that can be found in many foods and beverages. One of these beverages includes coffee. However, is coffee bad for your kidney health? There is evidence that coffee is actually beneficial to kidney health. However, overconsumption of caffeine can lead to dehydration, incontinence, and increase the risk of UTIs. Therefore, limit yourself to drinking 2 to 4 cups of coffee per day. For more information about kidney and urinary tract health, consult your healthcare provider.