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?

1.2.1How Much Soda is Too Much? are the Best Alternatives to Soda for Hydration?


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?

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?

1.3.7Is soda bad for you?

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.

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.

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.

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.


Does soda cause dehydration? ›

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 soda hydrate you enough? ›

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 happens if you drink soda everyday and no water? ›

Dehydration: While soda may quench your thirst momentarily, it's not a good source of hydration. Soda contains caffeine, which is a diuretic and can cause dehydration if consumed in large amounts. 5. Increased Risk of Heart Disease: Drinking soda every day can increase your risk of heart disease.

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.

Is it better to drink soda or nothing? ›

But while water only has positive benefits for you, soda has nothing for you. Nutrition experts not only recommend limiting your consumption of soda, but most advocate for avoiding it altogether as there are zero health benefits and several negative impacts.

What happens to your body when you quit soda? ›

And by lowering your sugar and calorie intake, you lower your risk for weight gain and other metabolic issues like high blood pressure — metabolic changes that can make it harder to burn fat and lose weight.

Do sodas count as 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 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 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.

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 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.

What happens if you drink soda all day? ›

Drinking soda every day can cause a lot of damage to your health because it contains so much sugar. Excessive intake can cause chronic health issues, from obesity to diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart diseases. Even drinking diet soda or other sugary juices every day has negative side effects.

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

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 many sodas a day is too many? ›

Although drinking an occasional soda does not necessarily cause health risks, consuming one to two sodas a day can eventually pose some health problems.

How many sodas a week is OK? ›

While drinking soda is not known to cause ulcers, it can cause symptoms to flare up. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 450 calories from sugar sweetened beverages per week (the amount in three cans of cola).

Can you drink soda everyday and be healthy? ›

Soda is not good for a person's health because it contains lots of sugar. Consuming too much soda may lead to weight gain, diabetes, and cardiovascular conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , most people in America consume too many added sugars, which can lead to health problems.

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 ).

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 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.

How can I hydrate without water? ›

Hydration Helpers
  1. Start your day with oatmeal. This one is a classic. ...
  2. Include more moo. ...
  3. Try carb alternatives. ...
  4. Sip smoothies. ...
  5. Pack your plate with vegetables. ...
  6. Slurp soup. ...
  7. Freeze your fruit.
Mar 26, 2018

What can I drink instead of water? ›

View All
  • 1 of 6 Juice Spritzer.
  • 2 of 6 Green Tea.
  • 3 of 6 Coffee.
  • 4 of 6 Milk.
  • 5 of 6 Iced Fruit Tea.
  • 6 of 6 Vegetable Juice.
Apr 28, 2015

What happens if I only drink water and no other drinks? ›

Water has the essential nutrients that are required for a healthy body and no other drink can replace them. Water flushes out harmful substances from the body, making your internal system clean.

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.

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

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

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!

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 happens to your kidneys if you drink a lot of soda? ›

Sodas. According to the American Kidney Fund, a recent study suggests that drinking two or more carbonated sodas, diet or regular, each day may increase your risk for chronic kidney disease. Carbonated and energy drinks have both been linked to the formation of kidney stones.

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.

What happens when you start drinking enough water? ›

You'll feel less hungry and may even lose weight. You'll probably experience more comfortable digestion (less heartburn). Bowel movements might be easier and more regular. Your teeth and gums will be healthier and more resilient.

Is 64 ounces of water a day enough? ›

Here's how much water to drink daily.

The longstanding rumor is that humans need about 8 cups — or 64 fluid ounces — of water a day. But actually, as a general rule, Mayo Clinic shares that men should consume about 15.5 cups of fluids per day. For women, that number is 11.5 cups.

How do you make water more hydrating? ›

Drinking water before or during a meal or snack is another good way to hydrate. “Drinking water with amino acids or fats or vitamins or minerals helps the body take up more of the water, which is why beverages like milk and fruit juice tend to look pretty good in these hydration studies,” he says.

How often is too often to drink soda? ›

Limit yourself to no more than one or two cans (a maximum of 24 ounces) of soda a day, and make sure they don't replace more nutritious foods and beverages in your diet. As long as soft drinks are not your main source of fluids and you're otherwise following a well-balanced, healthy diet, a daily fix of fizz is OK.

What soda is the healthiest to drink? ›

Healthiest Sodas to Drink
  • Sierra Mist. This soda wins by a small margin, as it has the nutritional value of 140 calories, 37 g of sugar, and 35 mg of sodium for 12 oz. ...
  • Sprite. As you may have guessed, Sprite takes the second spot. ...
  • 7UP. ...
  • Seagram's Ginger Ale. ...
  • Grape Fanta. ...
  • Pepsi. ...
  • Coca Cola.
Jul 25, 2022

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.

What is the most hydrating fruit? ›

1. Watermelon. Watermelon is very healthy and one of the most hydrating foods you can eat. A 1-cup (154-gram) serving contains over a half cup (118 ml) of water, in addition to some fiber and several important nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A and magnesium.

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

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.

What hydrates you faster water or Gatorade? ›

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 an instant at home remedy for dehydration? ›

To treat dehydration at home, drink more fluids and either apply a cold compress to your face or take an ice bath to cool down.

What is the best home remedy for dehydration? ›

If you can't get a pre-mixed rehydration solution, don't try to make one yourself. Instead, replace lost fluids naturally with sips of water, fruit juice, crushed fruit mixed with water, or salty soups or broths.

Why do I get dehydrated so easily? ›

Sometimes dehydration occurs for simple reasons: You don't drink enough because you're sick or busy, or because you lack access to safe drinking water when you're traveling, hiking or camping. Other dehydration causes include: Diarrhea, vomiting.

Is it OK to drink soda water instead of water? ›

But can sparkling water actually replace regular water? Nathalie Sessions, wellness dietitian at Houston Methodist Wellness Services says, “Yes, sparkling water is just as healthy as regular water — most of the time.”

What happens if you drink too much soda? ›

Soda And Your Body

After the sugar high wears off, mental fogginess, lethargy, fatigue, and mood changes can follow. Drinking too much soda can increase your risk of lung issues, coronary heart disease, kidney stones and kidney disease, osteoporosis, and problems with cognitive function.

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.

How many sodas per day is too much? ›

Although drinking an occasional soda does not necessarily cause health risks, consuming one to two sodas a day can eventually pose some health problems.

How often is it safe to drink soda water? ›

Though drinking a can or two a day should generally be okay, Dr. Ghouri warns against making sparkling water an outwardly excessive habit — or completely foregoing flat water for fizzy water exclusively.

Is club soda the same as soda water? ›

Club soda is similar to sparkling water because it also has some minerals. However, the biggest difference between the two is that manufacturers add carbonation and minerals after the fact. They don't occur naturally in club soda like they do in sparkling water.

How much water should you drink a day? ›

The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is: About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men. About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.

How bad is 1 soda a day? ›

Studies show that even one can of soda can impact your health. Soda doesn't make you feel full, which means you consume extra calories with no nutritional value. Even one can of soda a day can potentially result in metabolic syndrome, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Is it bad to drink 1 soda everyday? ›

Even that amount — even if it is a diet soda — can hurt your health. An American Diabetes Association study reported that consuming one or more sodas per day compared to none at all increased the risk of metabolic syndrome by 36% and type 2 diabetes by 67%.

What can I drink to stay hydrated? ›

The 7 Best Drinks for Dehydration
  • Water. As you can imagine, water is one of the best drinks to fight dehydration. ...
  • Electrolyte-Infused Water. What's even better than water? ...
  • Pedialyte. ...
  • Gatorade. ...
  • Homemade Electrolyte-Rich Drink. ...
  • Watermelon. ...
  • Coconut Water.
Oct 2, 2018


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