Water is vital to all aspects of life.

It helps transport nutrients, lubricate joints, regulate body temperature, and provide structure to cells and tissues.

Perhaps interestingly, drinking caffeinated water has become an increasingly popular way to stay hydrated while getting a boost of energy.

While some people claim that caffeine is safe in moderation, others argue that it’s unhealthy and can lead to dehydration.

This article explains everything you need to know about caffeinated water, including what it is and whether it’s good for your health.

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As the name implies, caffeinated water is water that contains caffeine.

Water doesn’t naturally contain caffeine, so manufacturers add it.

Caffeine is a compound that stimulates your body’s central nervous system by increasing brain activity, thereby reducing fatigue and increasing concentration and alertness (1).

It’s found naturally in a variety of plants, including coffee beans, tea leaves, cocoa beans, kola nuts, yerba mate leaves, and guarana berries. It’s also produced synthetically from urea and chloroacetic acid, both of which have the same stimulating effects on your body (2, 3).

Caffeinated water products may contain synthetic or natural caffeine and are available with or without flavors. Most versions are colorless and free of artificial ingredients, sugar, and calories.

That said, some products contain preservatives like potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate. Thus, if you’re avoiding these ingredients, make sure to read the label.

Caffeinated water products range in caffeine content, containing 34–125 mg. Plus, they’re sold in cans or bottles that range in size from 12–16.9 ounces (355–500 ml).

For reference, here is a list of popular caffeine-containing beverages and their caffeine content (4, 5, 6, 7):

  • Coffee: 96 mg per 1 cup (8 ounces or 240 ml)
  • Standard energy drink: 72 mg per 1 cup (8 ounces or 240 ml)
  • Green tea: 29 mg per 1 cup (8 ounces or 240 ml)
  • Soft drink: 34 mg per 1 can (12 ounces or 355 ml)

If you regularly drink specialty coffee drinks, sweetened teas, and sugar-containing energy and soft drinks, caffeinated waters can be a good alternative to help reduce your intake of added sugars and extra calories while still getting your energy fix.

summary

Caffeinated water is water that has been fortified with caffeine. These products are available in flavored and unflavored varieties and can contain up to 125 mg of caffeine per bottle or can.

Caffeine has long been the subject of controversy, as it may stimulate a modest increase in blood pressure, promote dehydration, and cause various side effects, including restlessness, nervousness, and irritability (1, 8, 9).

However, these effects are only observed when the compound is consumed in high doses or by non-habitual consumers (8, 9, 10).

Studies suggest that healthy adults can safely consume doses of up to 400 mg per day (11, 12, 13).

For pregnant women, no more than 200 mg of caffeine per day is recommended to avoid adverse effects, with some studies suggesting not to exceed 300 mg per day (13, 14).

People with severe anxiety, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or conditions affecting the liver or kidneys may also want to limit their caffeine intake (1).

If you’re an otherwise healthy adult, caffeinated waters are likely safe and can promote hydration — as long as you don’t exceed 400 mg of caffeine per day from all sources, including coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, and dietary supplements.

Benefits of caffeine

There are several potential health benefits of consuming caffeine in appropriate amounts.

For example, the beneficial effects of caffeine on exercise performance, mental function, and pain relief are well documented (15, 16, 17, 18).

What’s more, observational studies have linked coffee intake to a reduced risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers (19, 20, 21).

However, these effects may be related to other beneficial compounds — such as antioxidants — in coffee rather than caffeine. In fact, one study showed that decaffeinated coffee exerted health benefits similar to those of caffeinated varieties (22, 23).

summary

Research suggests that healthy adults can safely consume moderate amounts of caffeine. Therefore, caffeinated waters can be consumed safely, assuming your total daily caffeine intake does not exceed 400 mg.

Though it’s commonly recommended that you consume at least 8 cups (64 ounces or 1.9 liters) of water per day, there is no universal recommendation regarding how much water you should consume per day.

Your water needs depend on many factors, including where you live, your activity level, diet, body size, and age (24).

As a general guideline, the National Academy of Medicine established the following recommendation for daily water intake — from both foods and drinks — for adults ages 19 and older (24):

  • Women: 91 ounces (2.7 liters) per day
  • Men: 125 ounces (3.7 liters) per day

These recommendations are based on the average intake of generally healthy people who are adequately hydrated.

Food accounts for approximately 20% of the recommended total water intake, with beverages like tea, coffee, water, juice, and soda accounting for the remaining 80% (24).

summary

Your water needs depend on where you live, how active you are, what you eat and drink, your body size, and your age.

Caffeinated water is water that has been fortified with caffeine.

The amount of caffeine in these beverages, which come in flavored and unflavored varieties, ranges from 34–125 mg per serving.

For healthy adults, drinking caffeinated water is likely safe and can promote hydration — as long as you do not exceed 400 mg of caffeine from all sources per day.

If you would like to try caffeinated water, it’s widely available in stores and online.