What is in coffee that makes it damaging to the kidneys? How much coffee is too much? Would switching to tea be better or can tea hurt

What is in coffee that makes it damaging to the kidneys? How much coffee is too much? Would switching to tea be better or can tea hurt kidneys, too?

You can check the answer of the people under the question at Quora “is drinking too much coffee bad for your kidneys

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  1. I have not seen any studies that show coffee to have renal toxicity. Caffeine is a mild diuretic. Unless you have significant renal disease don’t worry about it and drink your coffee. I think keeping it to less than 6 cups a day would be prudent however

  2. What is in coffee that makes it damaging to the kidneys? How much coffee is too much? Would switching to tea be better or can tea hurt kidneys, too?
    First, we have no evidence that coffee damages the kidneys across a general population. In fact, a 2018 study demonstrated that patients who had preexisting chronic kidney disease lived longer as their intake of caffeinated coffee increased.
    Second, tolerance for caffeine varies widely on an individual basis. The fact that blood pressure rises in some people (because caffeine is a atimulant) is apparently the main hypothesis as to why kidney damage might occur. The problem is, such observations are not repeatable accross a random study group – even among those with preexisting renal impairment.

    The pros and cons of coffee are rapidly becoming the stuff of urban legend, with no definitive results either way. Looks like a wash to me.
    Bottom line: If coffee is wrong, I don’t want to be right 🙂

  3. There is absolutely no evidence that coffee can damage the kidneys across the general population.
    I would imagine that for somebody who already has renal disease coffee might not help things.
    Coffee does have caffeine, which is a mild diuretic. Due to that, I would think it prudent to keep it under four cups a day. Caffeine up to 400mg is safe for most healthy adults, which is roughly equal to four cups of coffee.

  4. Thanks for the A2A.
    There is nothing specific in coffee that damages the kidneys in every person. But…
    Let’s begin with design, rather than the uncountable symptoms the body can exhibit, and discluding energetic functions that weatern medicine refuses to acknowledge. Any symptom is a sign from the body that something needs to change. If one’s kidneys are in poor condition, they will struggle with filtering toxins from the body, sending heat or cold throughout the body, and building bodily energy. The body will heal itself when it gathers the conditions it needs, nutritional or stress reducing. Nutrition will support the body, but the wrong nutrients will work against it as well. If the kidneys need stimulation to function better, then the will respond to caffinated coffee, and much less to decaf. If the kindeys are working overtime and need calming rather than stimulation, then they will respond negatively to coffee, caffinated or not, because the filtering action alone is stimulating. In the case where calming is the kidneys’ need, then clear fluids are the necessity. Coconut milk is great, as well as well water, but not chlorinated water (for multiple reasons). This is the same for teas as well.
    To say coffee is bad for you, which has been said plenty online and in doctor’s offices, is simply misleading. While coffee can be hurtful for you, it can also be the most beneficial drink for you. Ot is about what your body needs at any given time, and not about designing coffee so it can be consumed just out of egotistical desire. I am of the mentality of “eating to live”, and not “living to eat”. This mentality is what has reversed my health issues from decades past. Feeding the body what it needs is what brings forth good health. Contrary to popular beliefs in western medicine, there is nothing the body cannot heal itself from given it gathers the conditions it needs; though there are times when it is too late.
    Applied kinesiology can help you discern what your body needs at any given moment. Many people refuse to trust such because they are not in control of it, so this person will not reap the benefits of healing this way until they learn to trust…. Learn to understand what your body needs, and you will learn how to live. Earth’s foods are not harmful to the body, unless the body simply shows you it doesn’t want them and you ignore it.

  5. Caffeine found in coffee, tea, soda, and foods can also place a strain on your kidneys .
    Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults .
    Drinking chamomile tea daily with meals may help prevent the complications of diabetes, which include loss of vision, nerve damage, and kidney damage
    Water is the best thing to drink for kidney health because it gives your kidneys the fluids they need to function well, without sugar, caffeine, or other additives that do not benefit your kidneys

  6. This study (only the abstract is free. Ask your InterLibrary Loan Librarian for a full text copy of the whole article.) indicates that coffee intake decreases kidney damage.

  7. It is the caffeine that temporarily raises BP. Everyone claims how dangerous coffee is. It is the best food for your brain. Very good for your heart. It was some beneficial effects for the kidneys as well.
    Tslk to your Dr.

  8. What is in coffee that makes it damaging to the kidneys?
    According to a recent report two metabolites (O-methylcatechol sulfate and 3-methyl catechol sulfate), both of which are xenobiotics involved in benzoate metabolism, may represent potential harmful aspects of coffee on kidney health. These two metabolites which are involved in the metabolism of the preservative benzoate—were also found, which are also typically seen in the system after smoking cigarettes and can lead to renal failure. Researchers say the presence of these metabolites is closely associated with higher risks of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD)(1).
    How much coffee is too much?
    Evidence indicates that 4–5 cups of coffee per day may be the optimal amount.
    Consuming 400–600 mg/day of caffeine is generally not associated with adverse effects in most people. This is about 6 mg/kg (3 mg/lb) of body weight, or 4–6 average cups of coffee per day (2).
    Would switching to tea be better or can tea hurt kidneys, too?
    A large body of scientific evidence has suggested that consuming a large amount of coffee is consistent with a healthy diet,” says Casey Rebholz, PhD, a Johns Hopkins associate professor of epidemiology.
    Antioxidant content of coffee is 200–550 mg/cup and tea is 150–400 mg/cup(3).
    There are limited studies on the effects of tea on kidney health unlike coffee as a beverage.
    Tannins and oxalates in tea are studied but we don’t have much data on health risks of tea (4).
    One has to make sure to drink coffee and tea in moderation for antioxidant benefits, as having more than four or five cups per day can provide health risks from the amount of caffeine.
    In our families both tea and coffee are the beverages used. The first one we will have will be coffee followed by tea for the rest of the day except me who prefers coffee at any time of the day !
    So we enjoy the antioxidants of different types from both of these antioxidants rich products and of course we drink unsweetened coffee and tea with milk
    1.Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2021 Nov;16(11):1620-1629. doi: 10.2215/CJN.05520421. Epub 2021 Nov 4. PMID: 34737201; PMCID: PMC8729408.
    2.Food Addit Contam. 2003 Jan;20(1):1-30. doi: 10.1080/0265203021000007840. PMID: 12519715.
    3..Antioxidantss (Basel). 2013 Dec; 2(4): 230–245. doi: 10.3390/antiox2040230
    4.Drinking Tea: Are the Health Benefits Real? – Medscape – Jan 17, 2019.


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  10. I’ll start by saying that unless you have an issue with kidney function that has been diagnosed, it’s not something a lot of people need to worry about.
    Coffee, tea, and colas (among other foods) are high in oxalates. Too much oxalate can lead to kidney stones eventually at high doses. These drinks are also typically caffeinated and can act like a diuretic (though, as another answer pointed out, there are worse things like alcohol). The real danger is drinking only ONE thing and not varying the intake with other things like water, juices, etc. So, it’s not harmful to drink these normally but it’s not a good idea to drink ONLY or A LOT of any one thing (even water!). So, have a cup of coffee, a glass of tea, four glasses of water, and some juice every day.
    On average, your urine output should match the amount of fluids you take in in a 24-hour period (that’s in free fluid and in fluid-containing foods like soup, watermelon, etc.) – for most that’s about 1800 to 2200 mL – about 2 liters. You drink, you pee. You can actually measure this in a 24-hour period by writing down how much you take in and how much you urinate if you are that curious.
    Cut down on the amount of salt you consume (processed foods are notoriously high in sodium) and avoid a large amount of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds (Advil/ibuprofen, Tylenol, etc.) – all of which will serve your kidneys well in the longer term.

    How much is too much? =More than two cups a day.
    would switching to tea is better= normal black tea has almost the same benefits and effects but switching to a herbal tea like chamomile and other medicated ones containing licorice, spearmint, ginger etc is actually good for health but even Normal Coffee has numerous health benefits,it reduces the oxidative load of the Body.
    Just Remember=Too much of everything is detrimental to health, even Elixir.

  12. There is the possibility of aggravating dehydration with excessive caffeine that may over time cause some damage to the liver but this possibility is pretty much not worth thinking about if you are healthy and suitably hydrated.

  13. Coffee doesn’t pose a direct risk to your kidneys if the consumption is moderate and not very high, there are some studies which have related excess coffee consumption to kidney stones. While coffee has health benefits it is usually advised to get professional help as even one wrong ingredient can lead to inflammation.

  14. Who told you that? It is not truth. All of us in the USA are drinking coffee and we are happy and healthy. And I am drinking tea and not other liquids for the last 75 years ! And I am healthy (and well educated after 5and half years of European vet. med study) My uncle (MD, PhD, my sister, MD and my father DVM all of us were drinking every day of our lives 2 -2.5 liters of tea (is half a gallon). None of us had damaged kidneys !

  15. Coffee is not damaging to normal kidneys. At all. Caffeine causes you to lose a little fluid, but not much — about a spoonful of fluid per cup, which means coffee’s net effect is perfectly good for hydrating. Tea has less caffeine and less of that effect, but it still has a little bit.
    FTR, do you know what drink causes you to lose LOTS of fluid , and damages your liver and potentially your kidneys as well? Anything alcoholic. One alcoholic drink makes you lose a CUP full of fluid via the kidneys , during the metabolic process of detoxifying the alcohol. Alcohol is also carcinogenic.
    Studies have shown that people who drink coffee live longer. Wonder why that is!
    I really wish people would lay off harping about coffee and tea, and admit how bad alcohol is on the human body.
    PS to Muhammad, who included a link from Piedmont Hospital in his response: I got in touch with Piedmont to inquire who had done the medical editing on that particular piece. It’s chock full of misinformation that’s easily disproved.


  16. Caffeine is a diuretic, because it irritates the urinary tract — which includes the kidneys. Tea can also be harmful, but it has FAR less caffeine than coffee. However, it also contains tannic acid, so some discretion must also be exercised with tea.

  17. It’s not necessarily they coffee that is bad for the kidneys. It’s the additives! Adding sugars, creamers, other flavor enhancers is the real killer.
    Several articles on this issue state that 3–4 cups of BLACK coffee are ok for people with kidney disease. But the additives increase the potassium and phosphorus content of coffee. BUT …. talk to a dietician who can read your blood work about your coffee intake.
    As I have said before, I drink about 4–6 cups a day – BLACK. The secret to black coffee is knowing how to make it! After several attempts I found the right coffee to water ratio that made the coffee palatable FOR ME. My formula might not work for you. I have made coffee with an espresso machine – too acidic. I have used a pour-over filter – that is quite good. And a regular coffee maker that pours into unheated carafe.
    I also mix my coffee. I might use a 20–80 blend with Kono coffee and a dark roast. THat works best for me.
    If you are worried about your kidneys, DRINK plenty of water throughout the day (no chugging). Make sure water is filtered – I prefer and recommend Alkaline water (9.5 pH+).

  18. Coffee or tea. Coke or SevenUp. Big Mac or Quarter Pounder. Risotto or paella. Kindneys or liver. I want to do something harmful, as long it is less harmful than the thing I don’t do. I think something might have hurt your brain.

  19. There is conflicting evidence on the effects of drinking coffee and kidney disease.
    Some studies show harm whilst other studies show benefits.
    The assumption in the studies that show harm suggest that it is the drug caffeine that is the problem.
    There is caffeine in tea so switching to tea may not be beneficial.
    I think the jury is still out.

  20. This is a very common question, and one that I have personally wondered about since the first time I heard about it.
    The concerns over coffee and its effect on the kidneys might have arisen because of the fact that long-term coffee consumption might result in a higher urine output, but no actual kidney damage.
    It all comes down to how much coffee you’re drinking.
    Even moderate coffee consumption has been associated with a decreased risk of kidney stones and chronic kidney disease.
    But if you drink 4 or more cups of coffee a day, or you develop symptoms of caffeine sensitivity, like frequent urination or insomnia, then it would be best to cut back.
    Tea, on the other hand, has no negative effects on the kidneys.
    folow me Erudite DAc

  21. Greetings. Kidneys are filters of the body and extract all harmful substances from your blood and excrete it as urine. Any thing that you consume with any harmful substance in excess would harm the kidneys and other organs. Coffee contains caffeine in large amounts and tea contains tannin in large amounts and both are harmful in large doses. Coffee and tea in moderate amounts are beneficial to the body for other substances that they contain. Three or four cups of coffee or tea a day is adequate to provide the necessary daily dose of caffeine / tannin but you must also take other liquids such as water and pure fruit juices to keep your hydration level in balance. God Bless

    Eight O’Clock

  22. A recent longitudinal study of coffee drinkers demonstrated a direct association between the number of cups of coffee consumed and longevity with all factors. This includes kidney disease, also.
    More coffee, longer life. There is a factor in coffee beans that is reduced with roasting, and green coffee extracts are available if you prefer tea.

  23. Caffeine. In general, caffeine of any source (tea, soda, coffee) can place a strain on your kidneys because it is a stimulant that also stimulates blood flow and increases blood pressure and stress on the kidneys*. Kidneys apparently filter “more than 200 quarts of blood each day, filtering around 2 quarts of waste products!”* Limiting your consump…

  24. Too much potassium is damaging to the kidneys. There is 50 mg of potassium in a cup of coffee. 330 mg in a cup of kale. 730 mg in a cup of kale. It’s more likely that you will damage your kidney indulging on avocado and/or kale than coffee.

  25. I have read that it is unwise to drink coffee if one ALREADY HAS KIDNEY DAMAGE OR KIDNEY DISEASE. I’ve also read that more than 8 cups of coffee a day can contribute to kidney damage.
    But, since the best advice we can give or get on foods and drinks were consume is variety and moderation, I don’t think this is a result of the coffee per se, rather it’s the result of the lack of moderation in the choice of beverage.

  26. Coffee is not damaging to your kidneys unless you drink too much. Drinking 3 cups a day max is fine. This usually accomplished here by the two in the morning to wake up, and the occasional one in the afternoon to avoid falling asleep.
    I don’t think these drinks in moderation are harmful unless you have advice specific to your pathology from the Doctors.

  27. Three to four cups of coffee a day is considered high in potassium and could raise your potassium levels. Adding creamers or milk can further raise your coffee’s potassium content. Drinking less than three cups of coffee/day is generally considered safe.

  28. I didn’t know anything in coffee was harmful to the kidneys. I drank over a potful a day for decades, and never had any problems from it. My urine is still a healthy bright yellow, just the way my doctor wants it. Instead of a potful of coffee now, I drink 4 cans of Monster Java Salted Caramel, and that’s a hell of lot of caffeine, but I seem impervious to it. I’ve no trouble sleeping even when I don’t take my night time medication. I almost slept right through last weekend.

  29. This study suggests that it is the caffeine in coffee that damages the kidneys:

    There is caffeine present in tea, also, so switching from one to the other probably won’t help much.

  30. Caffeine found in coffee , tea, soda, and foods can also place a strain on your kidneys . Caffeine is a stimulant, which can cause increased blood flow, blood pressure and stress on the kidneys . Excessive caffeine intake has also been linked to kidney stones.They discovered that green tea polyphenols protect against the progression of chronic kidney disease by activating the Jagged1/Notch1-STAT3 pathway.

  31. It’s dependent on your kidney condition. If you feel uncomfortable switch to instant decaffeinated coffee. It’s not as tasty as brewed but you get used to. I’ve been drinking it in the past 60 years. As of April I will be 86 years old with type2 diabetic and relatively healthy body.

  32. Tea has caffeine too.

    What is in coffee that makes it damaging to the kidneys? How much coffee is too much? Would switching to tea be better or can tea hurt

    Listen to this specialist for a more informed view:
    Jessianna Saville, MS, RDN, LD, CSR, CLT is a board certified renal nutrition specialist and registered dietitian licensed in the state of Texas.
    Coffee is staple for more than 5 out of 10 Americans who drink it daily. When people find out they have kidney disease and must make dietary changes, one of the first questions they ask is, “Do I need to give up my coffee?”
    The bottom-line answer is “No.”
    Coffee is not bad for coffee-lovers with kidney disease, but here are a few things to think about:
    The Amount of Coffee You Drink
    First thing to consider is the nutritional content of coffee. An 8 oz. cup of black coffee has 116 mg of potassium. This is considered a low potassium food. However, many people drink more than one cup of coffee each day. Three to four cups of coffee a day is considered high in potassium and could raise your potassium levels. Adding creamers or milk can further raise your coffee’s potassium content. Drinking less than three cups of coffee/day is generally considered safe . Phosphorus, sodium, calories, carbohydrates and protein are minimal in black coffee and not of nutritional consideration.
    Your Blood Pressure
    Caffeine causes a short but sudden increase in blood pressure. Research has not shown that drinking 3-4 cups of coffee a day increases the risk of kidney disease or increases rate of decline of kidney function.
    However, moderating how much coffee you drink is a good idea. Those struggling with blood pressure control should especially drink less than three cups per day.
    What is added to coffee can often be more of a problem than the coffee itself. For example, an 8 oz. cup of cafe latte, made without flavored syrup, rolls in at 183 mg of phosphorus and a whopping 328 mg of potassium.
    Creamers can also be a problem. Manufacturers add chemical phosphates to coffee creamers. These chemical phosphates are easily absorbed by the body and should be limited for anyone with kidney disease.
    Your Fluid Intake
    Coffee counts as fluid. If you are on a restricted fluid diet, you should include drinking coffee in your daily allowance.
    Coffee is an acceptable beverage for kidney disease. If consumed in moderation it poses little risk for those with kidney disease.
    Additives to coffee such as milk and many creamers increase the potassium and phosphorus content of coffee.

  33. not really a diuretic. and not damaging to the kidneys.
    As other answer pointed out, could on people with predisposition, lead to kidney stones. Still if you maintain yourself hydrated you should be fine.
    basically if you are urinating about 2 L of urine you are ok.
    also, if urine is light colored, you are hydrated.
    so, bottom line, regarding the kidneys. You can drink coffee

  34. People in Finland and Sweden are the most heavy coffee drinkers in the world. Strong coffee. And we are among the healthiest people in the world. So it seems that coffee dies not harm anyone.

  35. In otherwise healthy people drinking coffee tea in usual amounts totally harmless except insomnia and more urine volume
    No kidney damage!!
    In excess palpitations insomnia tremors withdrawl but again not toxic to kidneys
    A kidney specialist or Nephrologist

  36. A Korean study of more than 2,600 women showed that consumption of coffee was associated with a decreased risk of kidney disease, including in diabetic women.As we know in medicine though, population-based surveys are not enough to draw hard conclusions.
    three cups is more than enough in a day, also depends which brand of coffee whether it is single origin or an individual sensitivity to caffeine also matters…decaf coffee has less caffeine as compared to regular coffee …Tea consumption or coffee consumption in moderation is ok …also it varies from person to person ..it makes a difference how you prepare your tea or coffee … with milk, sugar … flavours … best is to have bulletproof coffee .. try to avoid sugar instead add stevia organic …
    I hope it helps ❤️

  37. Coffee contains caffeine, which is an effective diuretic but has never, to my knowledge, been implicated in actual kidney damage. It does raise the blood pressure, though, which is why I now drink decaffeinated coffee when I can get it. How much coffee is too much varies by individual.
    Tea contains more caffeine than coffee.

  38. Caffeine found in coffee, tea, soda, and foods can also place a strain on your kidneys. Caffeine is a stimulant, which can cause increased blood flow, blood pressure and stress on the kidneys. Excessive caffeine intake has also been linked to kidney stones.

  39. The caffeine. It dehydrates you, which is what makes it bad for the kidneys. And the fact that it is not water. Although it has antioxidants, most say no more than one cup a day. One real cup. But – if you are concerned with your kidneys or want to keep them as long as possible – avoid all caffeine – tea, coke, coffee, etc. If you drink it, make sure you drink extra water. A lot.

  40. It is the caffeine in coffee that is the culprit. Caffeine found in coffee, tea, soda, and foods can also place a strain on your kidneys. Caffeine is a stimulant, which can cause increased blood flow, blood pressure and stress on the kidneys. Excessive caffeine intake has also been linked to kidney stones. As far as drinking tea instead of coffee, as a rule of thumb, coffee has about twice as much caffeine as tea. Caffeine levels vary a lot, though, in both beverages. Tea would be less damaging to the kidneys than coffee. It is a lesser poison so to speak.

  41. It’s the acid that is damaging. There is acid in tea too.
    The key is in moderation. You can also do things to alkalynize your body to counteract the acidity.
    My brother in law drank one strong cup of black coffee after another all day and night for fifty years.
    He got kidney cancer that spread to his lungs and brain and died at 73.
    He cut his life short by probably fifteen years because of his coffee habit.


  42. The thing in coffee is caffeine. It can in excess cause stress on the kidneys. Regular use is not a problem for a healthy individual.
    Tea has as much caffeine, if not more depending on the type of tea, as coffee.
    The only sure bet is water.

  43. Caffeine, which can be found in coffee, tea, soda, and some foods, can put a strain on your kidneys. Caffeine is a stimulant that can raise blood pressure, increase blood flow, and put a strain on the kidneys. Kidney stones have also been linked to a high coffee intake.Three to four cups of coffee a day is considered high in potassium and could raise your potassium levels. Adding creamers or milk can further raise your coffee’s potassium content. Drinking less than three cups of coffee/day is generally considered safe.

  44. If a person is prone to kidney stones made of calcium oxalate, coffee and black tea and colas have this substance. It is best to avoid excessive diuretic substances. and even green tee may contain caffeine. There are many herbal teas that are less harmful, but they can have some odd things that are steeped that might not be a good idea. Also if caffeine is used it can increase blood pressure which can eventually cause renal…

  45. Coffee is a stimulant so it can cause insomnia and keep you alert. Tea has caffeine. However I heard the other day they did a study and coffee and tea were good in the treatment of dementia. With regards to kidney disease I don’t think it does contribute to it.

  46. Greetings,
    Coffee, or “hot bean water,” is damaging to the kidneys over time as it is an acid and overstimulates and whips the adrenals.
    The adrenals sit on top of the kidneys.
    If you want you could switch to many varieties of tea, using elderberries (dried and powders), using pine needles, dried fruits, chai tea made fresh and not from syrup pumps.
    I would also recommend you try the good quality mushroom powders like Cordyceps, Reishi would be really good for you, and, add in some dandelion, or chicory, or Teechino?
    Add the mushroom powders and use freshly made in a blender nut milk with 2 …

  47. I’m unaware of such.
    I consume 4–8 cups a day, for the last 50 or so years, and other than kidney stones during the time I drank a lot of cola drinks (stones were analyzed as phosphate BTW) my kidney function / GFR are unremarkable.
    What ever you prefer. I think both / either benign.

  48. I have never heard of people getting kidney ailments or failure from drinking coffee or tea. I think you may have been listening to pseudo-science.

  49. There’s nothing in coffee that’s per se bad for kidneys. A quick look pulled up some studies that agreed that caffeine may be bad for older adults who have a comorbidity. I’ve read that coffee is linked to kidney stones, but there may not be a causal effect.
    Tea is not going to be better or worse, but tea has less caffeine per volume.
    There are large swathes of the adult population who have consumed caffeine their whole lives, and large swathes that have not regularly consumed caffeine. If there was a pronounced danger associated with caffeine consumption, it would almost certainly be known.
    Studies regularly show some minor deleterious beneficial effects, using inferential statistics (rather than controlled experiments). I don’t worry about them.
    Some people cannot tolerate caffeine. However, the issue is not kidney-related. If you have kidney problems, talk to your doctor.
    Finally, caffeine is a drug, and should be used in moderation. The general guidance for adults is 400 mg/day limit, and I think the EU says 200 mg for pregnant women. I’m not sure that these are grounded in strong empirical research, but I also think people consuming 5x this are probably not doing themselves much good.

    Victor Allen’s


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