Why Coffee Makes You Pee

Coffee is more than just a morning beverage. It also stimulates urination, a fact that can turn even the most pleasant office meeting into an uncomfortable squirmfest. And the culprit is caffeine, which is present in most types of brewed coffee Why Coffee Makes You Pee.

Caffeine is a mild diuretic, meaning it makes you pee more, but the increased urination doesn’t lead to dehydration.

Diuretic Properties of Caffeine

Caffeine is a mild diuretic, which means it helps you lose water by increasing urine production. This is why you often need to pee shortly after drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages, especially if you consume them on an empty stomach. However, most experts agree that if you drink coffee in moderation and also consume sufficient amounts of fluids, it does not dehydrate you.

The reason why you pee after consuming coffee or other caffeinated beverages is that caffeine blocks the neurotransmitter adenosine, which makes your bladder more sensitive. When adenosine is blocked, your body experiences an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, which stimulates the bladder and causes you to produce more urine.

Caffeine also stimulates the contraction of the detrusor muscle in your bladder, causing you to need to pee more frequently and urgently. According to a 2014 study published in the journal “The Lancet”, the detrusor muscle is stimulated by caffeine as a result of its diuretic properties and it speeds up the time it takes to fill the bladder, which leads to more frequent potty breaks.

Impact on Kidney Function

Some studies suggest that people who drink coffee have a lower risk of developing kidney disease. While more research is needed, the current findings are promising.

Caffeine, which is found in coffee and some energy drinks, affects the bladder by stimulating the release of urine. Depending on the individual, this can cause more frequent and larger volumes of urine. In addition, caffeine can cause an increase in blood pressure and a rise in the concentration of calcium oxalate in the urine. People who are prone to developing oxalate kidney stones may be advised by their urologist to minimize their coffee intake.

While the exact impact of coffee and caffeine on kidney health is unclear, several mechanisms have been suggested. For instance, coffee might stimulate autophagy, a process that helps the body eliminate damaged cells and reduce inflammation.

Population-based epidemiological studies tend to show a positive association between coffee drinking and CKD, but these associations are not always statistically significant and more research is needed. Additionally, some people are sensitive to the amount of potassium in coffee and other high-potassium foods, such as bananas and avocados, and should limit their intake. A cup of coffee, when made without flavored syrup or creamers, contains only 183 mg of potassium and 328 mg of phosphorus, making it safe for most to drink in moderation.

Stimulation of Urine Production

Although caffeine acts as a diuretic and can make you pee more, its impact is not immediate or dramatic. A recent post in Runner’s World examined the common wisdom that drinking coffee can lead to dehydration during exercise, and concluded that, for most people, the low to moderate amounts of caffeine consumed in a normal cup of coffee or tea do not increase urine production to a degree that is measurable and harmful.

In addition to acting as a mild diuretic, caffeine stimulates the bladder’s detrusor muscle, which is responsible for the sensation of needing to go. As the muscles contract, they send signals to the “micturition center” in the brain, which heightens the feeling of urgency and the urge to pee.

In some individuals, this can lead to urinary frequency and urge incontinence (inability to delay the urination urge). If you have these symptoms, you may find that reducing your coffee intake by 1 drink per day until you are below 100mg of caffeine a day can help. If you are uncertain whether this will work for you, speak with your GP. The Gloucestershire Bowel and Urology Service can provide further information and support to individuals affected by urinary problems.

Influence on Bladder Activity

Aside from its diuretic properties, caffeine may impact bladder activity in several other ways. For example, some research has shown that people who drink coffee experience more urinary frequency and urgency than those who don’t.1

This is due in part to the fact that caffeine reduces the threshold for bladder filling, making it more sensitive to capacity limits. It also stimulates detrusor smooth muscle by increasing calcium release from storage sites, resulting in a more vigorous contraction than normal. This increase in detrusor activity can cause frequent urination and bladder spasms, which can trigger leaks.

In addition, coffee and other caffeinated beverages are often consumed with food or soda. This can lead to less fluid intake, which is an important factor in regulating fluid balance.

For this reason, it is recommended that those with LUTS (lower urinary tract symptoms) avoid or moderate their caffeine intake. A recent study showed that lowering caffeine intake to below 100mg per day (one cup of coffee) can cut the severity of bladder symptoms by about half.

Individual Variations in Response

Everyone’s bladder is different, but research has shown that drinking coffee can have a negative effect on some people’s bladder. For some, the caffeine can cause a greater need to urinate, and can exacerbate symptoms of overactive bladder such as urge incontinence. Depending on your own bladder health, you may want to consider switching to decaf or talking to your urologist about it.

Once ingested, the caffeine travels from your mouth and throat through the stomach into the intestines and kidneys on its way to the bladder. Once it gets to the bladder, the detrusor muscle is stimulated and begins to push out urine much more rapidly. This is why we see those shorter lines to the bathroom when a cup of coffee hits the system.

The smell of coffee in the urine is caused by compounds called polyphenols. These and other antioxidants are broken down in the body and excreted in the urine. Dehydration can also affect the appearance and smell of urine. This can be a result of excess drinking or other factors like the common cold, pregnancy and some medical conditions.

While you may enjoy a warm gingerbread latte or an extra shot of espresso over Christmas, it might be worth considering moving on to decaf for your bladder. Switching to the drabber drink will reduce the bladder-irritating impact of caffeine and will give you a more restful night’s sleep.

Hydration Considerations

It’s important to note that the diuretic properties of caffeine may impact your pee. However, this doesn’t necessarily equate to dehydration. Rather, the fluid loss is a result of your kidneys cleaning up excess sodium and water from the body. Drinking plenty of liquids will counteract this effect, although your coffee may still make you pee.

The reason that coffee makes you pee is because it stimulates your detrusor muscle in the bladder’s wall to contract. This contraction triggers signals to the “micturition center” in your brain that it’s potty time. This is the reason that urologists often advise patients to avoid coffee.

If you must drink coffee, opt for decaf or a blend that’s half regular and half decaf. Also, try to pace your intake of the beverage to avoid intensifying its diuretic effects. It’s best to drink your morning cup of java alongside other beverages that are least associated with fluid loss, such as water, iced tea, milk and diluted fruit juices. It’s also a good idea to drink the recommended eight glasses of water per day to help prevent dehydration, regardless of whether you’re consuming caffeinated or non-caffeinated drinks. This is because your kidneys can’t keep up with the demand for fluid when you consume too much caffeine.