Thirty-seven women, aged 31-78 years, on two separate mornings consumed a decaffeinated beverage to which 6 mg caffeine/kg lean body mass or no caffeine were added. Total urine output of water, calcium, magnesium, sodium, chloride, potassium and creatinine increased in the two hours following caffeine ingestion when compared to the control beverage. Increased urinary mineral (mg)/urinary creatinine (g) ratios were seen for calcium (120 to 200), magnesium (70 to 110), sodium (3,800 to 6,200) and chloride (9,200 to 14,800), following the caffeinated beverage. Creatinine clearance did not change significantly. The percent reabsorption of calcium (98.6% to 97.5%, p less than .001) and magnesium (97.0% to 94.2%, p less than .0001) decreased significantly during the post-caffeine period. The calcium and magnesium filtered loads did not differ significantly between the caffeine and no caffeine beverages. Therefore, caffeine-induced urinary loss of calcium and magnesium is largely attributable to a reduction in calcium and magnesium renal reabsorption, although the physiological mechanism and tubular segment affected remain to be established.