Does Soda Cause Dehydration? Healthy Stripe (2023)

It’s a baking summer day. You’ve just returned from a round of basketball with your buddies. Parched, you open your fridge, your eyes running over the contents. Since soda contains caffeine — it’s no surprise that the question “Does soda cause Dehydration?” Let’s understand.

You see the water but a split second later, your gaze lands on the jackpot-a bottle of cola. Nothing hits the spot quite like a swig(or four) of fizzy, bubbly, refreshing cola.

Only, a little while later, you’re back in front of the fridge, feeling thirstier and contemplating another glug. What gives? Could soda be worsening your thirst and making you dehydrated? With Americans drinking 38.87 gallons of soda per person in 2018, that question certainly needs answering. Let’s find out.

Table of Contents hide

1What is Dehydration?

1.1Does Soda Contain Enough Water to Hydrate You?

1.2Does Soda Cause Dehydration?

(Video) What If We Drank COLA Everday? | Bad Effects Of Soda On Health | Dr Binocs Show | Peekaboo Kidz


1.3.1How much water should you drink in a day?

1.3.2Does coffee dehydrate you?

1.3.3What is the difference between dehydration and thirst?

(Video) What If You Only Drank Soda?

1.3.4Is sparkling water a good alternative to soda?

1.3.5What are the health effects of drinking soda?

1.3.6How much soda should you drink in a day?

As the NHS explains very succinctly, dehydration is when your body loses more water than you take in. Dehydration can be caused by a variety of reasons such as too little fluid intake, excessive sweating, heavy exercise and derangements in metabolism.

Given that our bodies are 70% water and water plays a vital role in almost all chemical processes in our bodies, dehydration is a condition that must be treated swiftly lest it becomes life-threatening.

Does Soda Contain Enough Water to Hydrate You?

Let’s get back to soda for a moment. It has always been said that soda is nothing but flavoured, fizzy sugar water. So it ought to be good for dehydration right? All that sugar might not be doing us any favours but the water must surely be good for us.

The truth is more complex.

Despite the seemingly copious amounts of caffeine and sugar, sodas are still 85-99% water. This means that most sodas do contain enough water to hydrate you. That means soda cause Dehydration.

Does Soda Cause Dehydration?

One thing we must understand is that when our body loses water, it also loses essential minerals and ions called electrolytes. Replacing just the fluid loss without compensating for electrolyte loss can exacerbate dehydration. What you think – Does soda cause dehydration.

Soda has been accused of not only not helping with hydration but also contributing to dehydration. Many sodas contain caffeine, which is a diuretic- a substance that makes us urinate more frequently. They also have sugar, salt and artificial flavours and preservatives. Anything that makes us pee more often seems like a strict no-no in terms of dehydration.

(Video) Drinking Water Is NOT the Best Way to Stay Hydrated

However, unless you’re severely dehydrated already or you drink excessively high amounts of soda, it’s not going to dehydrate you. The water 85-99% water content in the soda more than makes up for the diuretic effect of the caffeine. So if you were worried about whether your Sprite dehydrates you, worry no more!

How Much Soda is Too Much?

In an ideal world, we would not be drinking any soda. The literature is clear that the amount of sugar in sodas is simply not good for health. But hey! Who doesn’t give in to temptation from time to time?

One can of soda per week is well within permissible limits. Still confused that soda causes dehydration.

However, you should be mindful of not exceeding the limit of more than 2 cans a day.

What are the Best Alternatives to Soda for Hydration?

While soda is not the worst option for hydration there are several better options that you can consider.

  • WaterThe first item on our list should come as no surprise. Water is the cheapest, most easily available, healthiest and most natural option for hydration. When in doubt, stick to some good old H2O. Tap water also has small quantities of dissolved minerals that increase water absorption in the gut.
  • MilkFor those who can digest it, milk is a great choice as it is loaded with minerals like calcium. It is also a fairly good source of proteins and micronutrients.
  • TeaTea has several health benefits and provides a soothing effect along with hydration.
  • Coffee Despite caffeine being a diuretic, coffee is a great hydration choice and has several positive effects on systemic health.
  • LemonadeHomemade lemonades are a refreshing and simple way to hydrate. They also provide Vitamin C.
  • Sparkling WaterWater’s fizzier cousin will hydrate you just fine. You need not worry about dental concerns because studies have shown it to affect enamel just slightly more than regular water
  • Sports DrinksSports Drinks replenish electrolytes as well as fluids. However, some of them have very high amounts of sugar so you should be careful of consuming too much
  • Fruits and VegetablesHomemade juices and smoothies are some of the best options for hydration with nutrition. But even whole fruits and vegetables like watermelons and cucumbers are excellent sources of hydration


The research is clear. Sodas are not healthy for you. But taken in small amounts they show no evidence of causing dehydration and can be a decent stop gap for hydration if you don’t have access to water. That being said, making them your go-to source of fluids is asking for trouble and you would be far better served going for the healthier alternatives mentioned above.

Here are some answers to frequently asked question

  • All
  • FAQs related Soda dehydrate

How much water should you drink in a day?

Everyone’s body is different but for a regular adult with mild activity levels, a good rule of thumb is as follows

Take your weight in pounds and divide it by 2. That number is the ounces of water you should be drinking daily.

So a 200-pound person ought to drink 100 oz of water a day.

For those doing heavy exercise or living in very hot conditions the amount of water intake is markedly higher.

(Video) What Too Much Diet Soda Does To Your Body And Brain

Does coffee dehydrate you?

Despite caffeine being a diuretic, regular coffee is a great hydration choice and has several positive effects on systemic health. It does not dehydrate your muscles as is often erroneously believed.

What is the difference between dehydration and thirst?

Dehydration is a condition when your body loses more water than you take in. Thirst is your body signalling to you that you should drink water.

Is sparkling water a good alternative to soda?

Sparkling water is a much better option than soda as it contains weak carbonic acid and no sugar. It hydrates without leading to obesity and tooth decay.

What are the health effects of drinking soda?

Drinking soda may make you feel more energetic in the short term but over longer periods it has several harmful health effects. It leads to obesity, an increase in appetite, an increased risk of disease and erosion of teeth.

How much soda should you drink in a day?

One can of soda a week is permissible but anything exceeding 1-2 cans per day is bad for your health.

(Video) Why do we get Dehydrated? + more videos | #aumsum #kids #science #education #children

Is soda bad for you?

While the occasional soda is not going to harm you, there is no doubt that drinking soda regularly is bad for you. It leads to obesity, an increase in appetite, an increased risk of disease and erosion of teeth.


Can soda make you dehydrated? ›

A can of soda may seem to quench your thirst, but the caffeine contained in most popular drinks is a diuretic, which can cause dehydration. The high levels of sodium and sugar in soda can also contribute to dehydration.

Does Coke actually hydrate you? ›

Yes. Sparkling soft drinks, including reduced and no sugar, no calorie options, contain between 85% and 99% water, which means they can help quench thirst and count towards your recommended daily fluid intake.

What drinks dehydrate your body? ›

Coffee, tea, soda, and alcohol are drinks that people associate with dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, which removes water from the body. Drinks such as coffee and soda are mild diuretics, although they can have dehydrating effects on the body.

Is Coke more hydrating than water? ›

Juice and soda are not only less hydrating, but offer extra sugars and calories that won't fill us up as much as solid foods, explained Majumdar. If the choice is between soda and water for hydration, go with water every time.

What hydrates better than water? ›

Research shows that milk is one of the best beverages for hydration, even better than water or sports drinks. Researchers credit milk's natural electrolytes, carbohydrates, and protein for its effectiveness.

What happens if you only drink soda and no water? ›

If you drink only soda as your beverage of choice, you may be at risk for weight gain. Consuming an extra 3,500 calories leads to 1 pound of weight gain, explains the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Should I cut out soda? ›

Your risk for heart disease drops

And quitting diet soda is heart-smart, too — one study showed that 61% of people who drank diet soda daily had a higher incidence of heart disease and stroke. Especially if you're already at risk for heart disease, stopping the soda habit is a good way to stay healthy.

What happens to your body when you quit soda? ›

Quitting soft drinks and sodas will promote kidney health and keep your hydration levels high. It will also lower your risk of suffering from associated diseases such as kidney stones and chronic kidney disease. Caffeine is also a culprit here that plays a big role in increasing dehydration.

What are the symptoms of drinking too much soda? ›

7 Side Effects of Drinking Too Much Soda
  • Increased Sugar Cravings. The more sugar you eat, the more sugar you crave. ...
  • Weight Gain. ...
  • Higher Sweet Tolerance. ...
  • Poor Gut Health. ...
  • Dehydration, Headaches, Difficulty Sleeping, & Other Caffeine Side Effects. ...
  • More Trips to the Dentist. ...
  • Elevated Risk of Health Concerns.

What hydrates you fast? ›

If you're worried about your or someone else's hydration status, here are the 5 best ways to rehydrate quickly.
  • Water. ...
  • Coffee and tea. ...
  • Skim and low fat milk. ...
  • 4. Fruits and vegetables. ...
  • Oral hydration solutions.
Dec 19, 2019

Does Gatorade actually hydrate you? ›

Gatorade, because of its electrolyte content, helps to restore the lost electrolytes and keep a person hydrated, during intense activity. It can also replace electrolytes, during times of illness, such as stomach viruses.

Which is healthier soda or water? ›

Water is a far superior option and provides a slew of advantages to your overall health and wellness, whereas soda provides no benefits aside from tasting good. Here are the top reasons to drink water instead of soda: Stay hydrated. Lose or Maintain Body Weight.

What drink has the highest electrolytes? ›

Best Overall: Gatorade

The levels of electrolytes (sodium and potassium) are moderate and sensible with 160 mg of sodium and 45mg of potassium per 12 fluid ounce serving. You can also find Gatorade varieties with higher sodium, zero sugar or no calories depending on your needs.

Does soda count towards water intake? ›

“We regularly read that we should drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Do other drinks count toward that total if they contain water, like soft drinks, iced tea, coffee and fruit juices?” The answer is yes, all beverages add to your daily fluid intake.

What's the most unhealthiest drink? ›

10 Unhealthy Drinks You Should Be Avoiding
  • Soft Drink. Soft drink can increase the risk of diabetes, obesity, and other health issues. ...
  • Energy drinks. Energy drinks are usually high in caffeine and sugar. ...
  • Sweetened coffee drinks. ...
  • Sweetened tea. ...
  • Fruit Juices. ...
  • Sports drinks. ...
  • Alcoholic beverages. ...
  • Flavoured water.
Jan 28, 2023

Is Gatorade more hydrating than water? ›

It hydrates you

This myth comes from a study funded by Gatorade that found people who drank their product were better hydrated than if they drank water—but only because they drank more fluids. If you drank the same volume of water versus Gatorade, you'd be equally hydrated.

What is the healthiest drink besides water? ›

8 healthy drinks besides water
  1. Green tea. ...
  2. Mint tea. ...
  3. Black coffee. ...
  4. Fat-free milk. ...
  5. Soy milk or almond milk. ...
  6. Hot chocolate. ...
  7. Orange or lemon juice. ...
  8. Homemade smoothies.
Jun 22, 2021

What happens when you never drink water? ›

Water also contributes to regular bowel function, optimal muscle performance, and clear, youthful-looking skin. However, failing to drink enough water can cause dehydration and adverse symptoms, including fatigue, headache, weakened immunity, and dry skin.

What beverages count as water intake? ›

In addition, beverages such as milk, juice and herbal teas are composed mostly of water. Even caffeinated drinks — such as coffee and soda — can contribute to your daily water intake.

Will I lose weight if I stop drinking soda for a month? ›

can per day, you will be cutting 150 calories from your diet once you stop drinking soda. A pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories, which means you can lose a pound every three and a half weeks by cutting out sodas. You can lose even more weight if you regularly consume more calories through sodas.

What can I replace soda with? ›

Alternatives to Soda
  • Sparkling Water. The closest alternative for sodas is sparkling water. ...
  • Flavored Sparkling Water. Old habits die hard and you're probably still be craving your favorite sweet soda drinks. ...
  • Sparkling Water Infusions. ...
  • Freshly Squeezed Lemonade. ...
  • Kombucha. ...
  • Coconut Water.

Is Gatorade better than soda? ›

A 20-ounce serving of Gatorade's Thirst Quencher contains 36 grams of sugar. While that's a bit less sugar per ounce than your average soda, it's not exactly healthy. In fact, Berkeley researchers say the sugar in sports drinks may be contributing to the child obesity epidemic by increasing caloric intake.

Will I lose my belly if I stop drinking soda? ›

If you drink sugary soda regularly, you can lose body fat by kicking the habit -- provided you're maintaining a steady weight on your current diet and you don't pick up the lost calories through additional foods and beverages.

What happens if you stop drinking soda for 2 weeks? ›

Withdrawal symptoms include irritability, fatigue, headaches, and even feelings of depression ( 21 , 22 ). Usually, these withdrawal symptoms are due to quitting caffeine, and they typically last anywhere from 2–9 days ( 21 ).

What should I drink after quitting soda? ›

But the best option will always be water. “If water seems boring to certain individuals, try adding cut up fruit or cucumber to add some flavor,” Harrison said. “There are also other drink options with no added sugar. Even low-fat and fat free milk or 100% fruit and vegetable juice are great options.”

What happens if I only drink water? ›

Although it sounds strange, a water fast could make you dehydrated. This is because roughly 20–30% of your daily water intake comes from the foods you eat. If you're drinking the same amount of water but not eating foods, you might not be getting enough water.

What organ does soda affect the most? ›

Sugary drinks are the easiest and most common way to consume excessive amounts of fructose. When you consume too much, your liver becomes overloaded and turns the fructose into fat ( 12 ). Some of the fat gets shipped out as blood triglycerides, while part of it remains in your liver.

What is worse soda or alcohol? ›

In fact, a standard can (330 ml) of cola contains as much as 7 teaspoons of sugar! So in weighty matters (both literally and metaphorically), alcohol emerges as a clear winner. There's not much to choose between alcohol and soft drinks when it comes to nutritional benefits. Neither drink has any dietary value.

Is one soda a day too many? ›

Is it bad to drink one soda a day? Yes, even one soda a day can hurt your health and cause many serious diseases such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, liver, and heart disease.

What are 3 warning signs of dehydration? ›

Some of the early warning signs of dehydration include:
  • feeling thirsty and lightheaded.
  • a dry mouth.
  • tiredness.
  • having dark coloured, strong-smelling urine.
  • passing urine less often than usual.
Feb 13, 2023

What helps dehydration immediately? ›

With beginning symptoms of dehydration, you can rehydrate by consuming fluids that contain electrolytes, such as sports drinks or oral rehydration solutions. There are also foods available that have a high water content, such as fruits and vegetables. These will also help with rehydration.

How long does it take to get rehydrated? ›

In general, however, it usually takes about two hours for your body to rehydrate fully after drinking a significant amount of water. As for how you should rehydrate, water is the best choice. Sports drinks, such as Gatorade, can be helpful for athletes who need to replenish electrolytes.

Is Pedialyte better than Gatorade? ›

Pedialyte products generally provide fewer calories and sugar and a significantly higher electrolyte content than Gatorade. Pedialyte may help people of all ages recover from viruses, while Gatorade is specifically designed for adult athletes.

What color of Gatorade is good for dehydration? ›

Gatorade Cool Blue

Gatorade Cool Blue can replenish your electrolytes after a workout, a night on the town, or any time you're feeling dehydrated.

Does Pedialyte help hydrate you? ›

For more than 50 years, Pedialyte has helped people of all ages replace both the fluids and electrolytes they've lost due to challenging moments of dehydration. Backed by advanced science, Pedialyte contains an optimal balance of sugar and electrolytes for fast rehydration.

What is a super hydrating drink? ›

Tea (or Iced Tea)

You won't be surprised to learn that hot tea and iced tea are excellent hydrators—tea is a water-based beverage after all! Even caffeinated teas can still be hydrating.

Are bananas good for dehydration? ›

Fruits and vegetables can help with hydration [a banana is 74% water!] and provide healthful nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. So for elite athletes – or those just trying to stay fit – a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, including bananas, is important for performing at your best!

Does soda hydrate less than water? ›

Andrews University in Scotland and author of a recent study comparing the hydrating effects of beverages including still water, sparkling water, milk, colas, juice and coffee. “The presence of carbonation has little effect on the body's response to ingested water,” Maughan said.

Does soda hydrate as well as water? ›

The bottom line. Sparkling water hydrates you just as much as regular water. Thus, it contributes to your daily water intake. In fact, its fizziness may even enhance its hydrating effects for some people.

Do sugary drinks dehydrate you? ›

Sugar increases your body's water needs due to the amount of water required to metabolize sugar, so while sugary drinks may taste refreshing at first, they actually can be dehydrating.

What are the signs of dehydration? ›

About dehydration
  • feeling thirsty and lightheaded.
  • a dry mouth.
  • tiredness.
  • having dark coloured, strong-smelling urine.
  • passing urine less often than usual.
Feb 13, 2023

What soda is best for hydration? ›

The Best Choice for Dehydration: DripDrop

And, if you absolutely must have carbonation, opt for carbonated water like sparkling water or seltzer instead of a fizzy soda. You can add an electrolyte powder like DripDrop to the sparkling water and seltzer for a tasty treat that also tackles dehydration fast.

How much water should I drink after drinking soda? ›

One 12 ounce soda contains 45 milligrams of caffeine—that's double the amount of caffeine in a standard cup of coffee. If you do drink soda, try to drink one extra glass of water for each can of soda you drink in a day!

How can I stay hydrated without drinking water? ›

The following methods can help to rehydrate your body:
  1. Fruits and Vegetables. Fruits and vegetables hydrate the body because they mainly consist of water. ...
  2. Oatmeal. Oatmeal is a hydrating way to start your mornings. ...
  3. Sports Drinks. ...
  4. Coffee and Tea. ...
  5. Flavored Seltzers. ...
  6. Skim and Lowfat Milk.

What makes dehydration worse? ›

Colas and sodas. Sugar-sweetened soft drinks can actually make your dehydration worse and lead to further kidney-related dehydration problems. Alcohol, including beer. As refreshing as a cold beer might sound when you're exceptionally thirsty, you should avoid alcohol if you're trying to rehydrate.

Is Gatorade good for dehydration? ›

Pedialyte and Gatorade are both designed to prevent or treat dehydration. In fact, thanks to their electrolyte content, they're more effective than water at rehydrating.

What is the fastest way to cure dehydration? ›

With beginning symptoms of dehydration, you can rehydrate by consuming fluids that contain electrolytes, such as sports drinks or oral rehydration solutions. There are also foods available that have a high water content, such as fruits and vegetables. These will also help with rehydration.

How can I rehydrate quickly? ›

If you're worried about your or someone else's hydration status, here are the 5 best ways to rehydrate quickly.
  1. Water. ...
  2. Coffee and tea. ...
  3. Skim and low fat milk. ...
  4. 4. Fruits and vegetables. ...
  5. Oral hydration solutions.
Dec 19, 2019

Can you be dehydrated even if you drink a lot of water? ›

You might have an electrolyte imbalance: Electrolyte imbalances are one of the most common reasons you might feel dehydrated even after drinking tons of water: “Sometimes if we drink a lot of water but we don't take in enough fruits and vegetables, our electrolytes—sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, etc.


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2. Weird Dehydration Warning Signs and Natural Treatments
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3. Get Healthy: Hydration | NBC News Learn
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4. Use Your Saliva and Urine pH to Find Deeper Health Problems
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5. What Happens When You Drink SeaWater?
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6. The Dangers of Dehydration in Seniors
(All Home Care Matters)
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