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This investigation determined if 3 levels of controlled caffeine consumption affected fluid-electrolyte balance and renal function differently. Healthy males (mean ± standard deviation; age, 21.6 ± 3.3 y) consumed 3 mg caffeine · kg−1 · d−1 on days 1 to 6 (equilibration phase). On days 7 to 11 (treatment phase), subjects consumed either 0 mg (C0; placebo; n = 20), 3 mg (C3; n = 20), or 6 mg (C6; n = 19) caffeine · kg−1 · d−1 in capsules, with no other dietary caffeine intake. The following variables were unaffected (P > 0.05) by different caffeine doses on days 1, 3, 6, 9, and 11 and were within normal clinical ranges: body mass, urineosmolality, urine specific gravity, urine color, 24-h urine volume, 24-h Na+ and K+ excretion, 24-h creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, serum Na+ and K+, serum osmolality, hematocrit, and total plasma protein. Therefore, C0, C3, and C6 exhibited no evidence of hypohydration. These findings question the widely accepted notion that caffeine consumption acts chronically as a diuretic.

Armstrong, Pumerantz, Roti, Judelson, Watson, Dias, Sökmen, Casa, and Maresh were with the University of Connecticut, Human Performance Laboratory, Storrs CT 06269, at the time this investigation was conducted. Lieberman is with the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Military Nutrition Division, Natick, MA 01760. Kellogg is affiliated with Dept of Laboratory Medicine, Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.