There’s nothing more refreshing than having your favorite coffee in the morning before you leave for work or a cup anytime during a day, is there? However, all those myths that we kept hearing about coffee consumption and the risks it poses to our health make us think twice every now and then.
It’s about time we discover the truth about these myths and assumptions that we have been told for far too long.
Coffee and health: What does the research say?
1) Coffee Causes Dehydration
You might have heard about this one quite a few times already. It is true that caffeine is considered to be a mild diuretic drink, which means that it has substances that increase the blood flow to your kidneys and as a result of that, it might make you urinate a bit more than you would normally do.
However, the fluid in your coffee beverage balances out the fluid-loss effect from urination. If you are someone who knows how to maintain adequate water levels in your body throughout a day, a few coffee drinks will not dehydrate you.
2) Coffee Helps in Weight Loss
There is no scientific evidence that proves that coffee can directly impact your body weight. Yes, it is a stimulant and is sometimes used in weight-loss regimes or pills – however, there is nothing in a cup of coffee that can affect your metabolism to an extent that it makes you lose weight.
3) Coffee Is an Addiction
I am not sure about you, but I have grown up listening to these words all my life. Yes, there is caffeine in your cup of Joe, and depending on how coarse or fine you like your beverage, caffeine levels can vary, too.
However, caffeine does not threaten your physical or mental health in way that can be categorized as ‘addictive’. If a regular coffee drinker suddenly quits consumption, he or she might have some mild withdrawal effects such as fatigue, headache, less focus, etc. – but nothing too serious or severe that makes coffee the culprit.
4) Does Coffee Stunt Your Growth?
Another common misunderstanding about coffee consumption is that it affects growth, especially among st children and teens. Although it contains substantial amount of caffeine that can have adverse effects on children, teens or even adults if consumed too much – however, there is no scientific proof to support the statement that coffee stunts a person’s growth.
Yes, your doctor might tell you to reduce consumption of coffee if you are having more than 1-2 cups in a day, and quite understandably too. Over-consumption of a lot of things can cause problems. So it is always a good idea to keep a check on how much coffee you are drinking in a day, especially if you are still in your teens.
5) Coffee is Harmful during Pregnancy
Another misconception about coffee and caffeine consumption is that it is harmful for women who are either pregnant or trying to get pregnant. In the past, it has been linked with pregnancy-related issues such as trouble conceiving, a miscarriage, birth defects, low birth rate etc.
There is no scientific proof to support these kind of assumptions and statements. However, it is advised that pregnant women drink coffee in moderation.
According to American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) guidelines, pregnant women can consume up to 200 milligrams of caffeine in a day – this is around 12-ounce cup of coffee.
6) Coffee Causes Insomnia
According to Dr. David C. Brodner – Medical Director of the Center for Sleep, Allergy and Sinus Wellness in Boynton, Fl – caffeine is a stimulant and it adversely affects sleep. It takes about six hours for one half of caffeine to exit the body.
Having said that, this only happens if caffeine in coffee is consumed in excess. Normal caffeine consumption is considered to be 250 mg per day, about three 8-ounce coffee cups. Excessive consumption is beyond 500 mg per day. And yes, excessive coffee consumption can surely be one of the causes of sleep-deprivation and insomnia.
7) Coffee Causes Cancer
This is one of those myths that I hear each time and have the look on my face that says ‘really?’ – Mainly because coffee does exactly the opposite of this myth.
Yes, you guess it right! Numerous studies have shown that caffeine in coffee might actually help in protecting a human body against several types of cancers. These might include liver, uterus, prostate, oral or throat cancers.
So, no – moderate amounts of caffeine in a cup of Joe will not pose any cancer-related risks to your health.
8) Coffee Causes Heart-related Diseases
If you are having coffee in moderation, about 3-4 cups a day, you should not have any cardiovascular issues because of it. Although, for those who are relatively more sensitive to caffeine might experience a rise in heart rate, palpitations or blood pressure.
Also, those who have had previous heart-related conditions should consult their doctor to know how much caffeine should be good for them. For a healthy adult, moderate coffee consumption should not cause higher cholesterol, heart rate or any other cardiovascular disease.
9) Coffee Can Cure a Hangover
Well, if you have had a good, eventful night with your friends and you wake up feeling dizzy and groggy – a cup of coffee might just help you focus for a while, but it won’t really flush out the alcohol effects from your body any sooner.
Usually, people drink coffee after they have consumed alcohol and consider it as a potential cure for their hangover, well, it really isn’t. Your hangover will end when it is supposed to end, a cup of Joe – no matter how coarse or fine – will not help to expedite the process.
Wrapping Up the Coffee Myths
You do not have to believe all that you have been hearing since years. Whether you are an occasional coffee drinker or a true aficionado, always do your own research whenever you hear or read something that does not have scientific logic or proof.
I did not know about all this until only a few years ago. For a long time, I have sacrificed a lot of my coffee moments only because of believing something that wasn’t true.
Hope you do not go through the same.. Happy caffeinating!
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I’m Louis Huynh & I’m the guy behind COFFEE MINISTER. In my blog, I share my expertise and help you with your coffee-struggles. I can read coffee like the back of my hand and brew it like it is in coffee shops.