Ask the Doctor with Dr. Leslie Spry, MD, FACP
1. How does drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages affect the kidneys?
Caffeine is a mild diuretic and will lead to a mild increase in urine output for a short time. Caffeine will also raise blood pressure slightly for a short time. These changes are short lived and are not permanent.
2. If I am at risk for kidney disease or currently living with chronic kidney disease, will caffeine affect my kidneys differently?
Caffeine has not been shown to cause any change in the course of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). One can see a modest increase in blood pressure if you drink excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages, especially in the first 15 minutes after drinking. I have seen some studies to suggest that drinking more than six cups of coffee per day, could lead to sustained high blood pressure, but these studies have not always been consistent. Overall, there is no reason to restrict moderate consumption of caffeine-containing beverages.
Send your questions to Dr. Spry! Email KEEPhealthy@kidney.org