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Because, technically speaking, it's just flavored water, right? But at the same time, it can be a little dehydrating (at least, coffee is to me). So should I count it or not?
A cup or two a day is fine but don't drink 8 cups of coffee a day and count it as water intake. Coffee is a dieuretic but it's still made of water.. So technically you can count it as water intake.
As it is a diuretic, I'd probably subtract that volume from my water intake rather than count it towards.
Actually, recent research has thrown the idea of caffeine as a diuretic into question and indicated that it does not have the dehydrating effect it was previously believed to have. Your body will retain most of the water in a caffeinated beverage, just as it does from a beverage without caffeine. http://www.training-conditioning.com/2007/03/ the_latest_buzz.html#dehydrate
So it's probably okay to count it as water, but I wouldn't want to make either my primary source of liquid.
Interesting....I knew that tea was somewhat let of the hook regarding the diuretic effect, but not coffee. I'll check out your reference!
edit: but yes, I'd agree that caffeinated beverages are not best regarded as a primary water source.....but I am alos suspecting my mother's generation never strayed beyond cups of tea for their liquid intake. And they seem to be doing OK generally.....
I count my tea but not my coffee. 90% of the time I drink decaf teas with no sugar or milk so it is just flavored water for me. I love ginger and peppermint teas. :D