I like coffee as much as the next person, but choosing the right cup of coffee can be difficult when there is so much misinformation out there. Distinguishing between myth and fact can be tricky, so let me walk you through some falsehoods about coffee.
Some common questions are things like, “Does coffee actually cause weight loss?” or “Will drinking too much coffee increase my risk for cancer?” Here’s everything you need to know about the myths and legends surrounding the popular drink.
1. Coffee Causes Weight Loss
Although I have friends that swear by coffee’s magic weight-loss abilities, coffee does not directly contribute to weight loss. There are a few theories about caffeine causing weight loss, which include the fact that it can suppress appetite and stimulate your body, however, is no definite evidence connecting it to the loss of that extra weight.
This is especially true when it comes to coffee. Coffee has high levels of caffeine in it, but it also contains lots of fat and calories, which can cause weight gain instead. (Source)
2. Coffee Increases Your Risk For Cancer
This phrase is a common scare tactic, usually used to get people to stop drinking so much coffee. However, a scare tactic is all that it is. People think that coffee causes cancer because roasted coffee beans contain acrylamide, which is known to cause cancer in animals. There is not enough research yet to determine if acrylamide can be linked to cancer in humans.
“The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed more than 1,000 studies in humans and animals and did not find adequate evidence to indicate that coffee is a carcinogen” (Source).
A study done in 2017 even suggested that coffee actually has some benefits in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer, liver cancer, female breast cancer, and head and neck cancer.
3. Decaf Coffee Has No Caffeine In It
Although decaffeinated coffee certainly has less caffeine in it, there is no sure way to take all of the caffeine out of a coffee bean, so there is still caffeine present in your decaf coffee.
Decaf coffee doesn’t take away all of the caffeine but there is a huge difference in the levels of caffeine from a normal cup. Decaf coffee won’t keep you up at night or cause those shaky jitters that accompany your usual cup of joe.
4. Coffee Is Bad For Your Health
Coffee isn’t exactly known to be the healthiest beverage, especially if you’re buying a sugar-and-cream-loaded cup from Starbucks, but how bad is it really? Health officials used to warn people away from drinking coffee, but recent studies show that coffee actually has a variety of positive health benefits for you.
The major concern about drinking coffee is that it is rumored to cause cardiovascular disease, but there is now a large body of evidence that disproves that theory and supports the idea that coffee is associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases. However, it is suggested that those who have high blood pressure, who suffer from anxiety, or who are pregnant should limit or reduce their coffee intake.
5.You Can Get Addicted To Coffee
I’m sure everyone has heard this statement. Unfortunately for the coffee lovers out there, this one has a lot of truth to it. Caffeine can be addictive and regular coffee drinkers will build up a tolerance to the high levels of caffeine. The more they drink, the higher their tolerance will become, which will cause them to need more caffeine to produce the same level of alertness.
You can technically get addicted to anything, and coffee is no exception. However, caffeine addiction is not serious nor severe enough to be classified as a psychological addiction. The effects on the brain, as well as the withdrawal symptoms, aren’t severe enough to require medical help, and the process of getting off of coffee is not near as difficult as it may seem.
6. Coffee Stunts Your Growth
Alright, everyone has probably heard this at one point or another from a grandparent, teacher, or even someone their own age. This is yet another scare tactic, typically used to prevent children or adolescents from drinking their parent’s coffee. Sorry to break it to the parents, but this phrase is nothing more than an old wives tale.
There is no evidence supporting the fact that coffee stunts your growth. Height and growth are strictly dependent on a person’s genes and the nutrition they receive, not the type of beverage that they consume.
7. Drinking Coffee Causes Dehydration
It’s hard to tell where this myth got started, but that’s all it is: A myth. Coffee is made with water, which helps the fluid intake of your body. There is a slight diuretic effect of caffeine, but this effect is not large enough or major enough to cause dehydration or affect the levels of bodily fluid.
8. Coffee Needs To Be Made With Boiling Water
Many people think that their water needs to be as hot as possible to make good coffee. However, this is simply not true. Boiling water can cause the coffee beans to become scorched, which creates that burnt taste that isn’t very pleasant for anyone.
Try to keep your water level under 200 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent the coffee beans from burning.
9. Coffee Will Sober You Up
A common party myth is that a cup of coffee will counter the effects of the alcohol in your system and make it safe for you to go about normal activities such as driving. Not only is this completely false, but it is very dangerous. Coffee may make you feel more alert, but it definitely does not counter the effects of the alcohol in your system.
In fact, coffee with alcohol may make you even more reckless because you feel as if you are alert and okay to do things, but your body is still under the effects of the alcohol and will have slower reaction times. This can put you in dangerous situations such as driving while intoxicated or wandering into hazardous circumstances.
10. Coffee Will Shorten Your Lifespan
This is just yet another scare tactic about coffee. There is no definite evidence to suggest that coffee will decrease the length of your lifespan. However some studies have been conducted that suggest the exact opposite: coffee can actually increase your lifespan, as long as it is used in moderation and not excess.
There are definitely a lot of myths and legends about coffee; some true and some false. Hopefully, now you will be able to drink coffee peacefully and without worrying about a million negative side effects that don’t exist.