6 Myths About Coffee Debunked, So You Can Enjoy Your Morning Brew In Peace
Coffee is the nectar of the gods. It wakes you up, puts butterflies in your stomach, and gives you something to do in those never-ending afternoon office meetings where nothing is actually accomplished. Coffee is arguably the most important thing in the average human's life — besides, you know, relationships, and spiritual fulfillment, and all of that jazz. Because everyone loves coffee so much, it's only natural that there's a whole lot of false information to sift through about it. In the same way that rumors about your favorite celebrities tend to circulate quickly, there are tons of myths about coffee that are just plain untrue, as well as exaggerations about what coffee actually does to your body when you drink it on the reg.
As you probably already know, coffee comes in the form of a bean and is naturally caffeinated, which is why you get such a quick boost of energy when you toss back a cup from your local coffee shop. But the effects that these little caffeinated beans have on your body are far less obvious. In truth, coffee is a potent substance that can have both positive and negative effects on your physical, and even your emotional well-being. Here are six classic coffee rumors, debunked.
1. Coffee Dehydrates You
How many times has someone warned you about dehydration when you're caught reaching for that second cup of coffee? Well, the next time it happens, feel free to confidently tell that person to mind their own dang business, 'cause this myth is not true.
According to the Mayo Clinic, coffee is a mild diuretic, meaning it might make you pee a bit more than usual, but it won't immediately lead to a loss of fluids in the body just because you're drinking it. What might dehydrate you is replacing literally all of your water glasses with coffee cups, and ignoring good ol' H2O in its purest form. But if you remember to drink water along with your coffee, you should be totally fine.
2. Coffee Is Bad For Your Heart
As it turns out, there's science to back up the exact opposite claim: that drinking coffee in moderation can improve your heart health.
According to Heart MD Institute, drinking coffee regularly not only helps lower your risk of heart attacks, but also protects your body from strokes, heart failure, cancer, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Talk about an endorsement to brew up a cup.
3. Coffee Can Sober You Up
Ever gone to a diner with your friends after the bars closed to "sober up" with a cup of coffee? Well, I hate to break it to you, but it doesn't really work that way.
According to the American Psychological Association, coffee has no neutralizing effect on the way alcohol affects you, meaning it's definitely not going to "sober you up" or anything of the sort. The only thing that you might do at the diner to sober up is sit there for an hour or two, and let time work its magic on you.
4. Decaf Coffee Has No Caffeine In It At All
This might come as a surprise, but seriously, decaffeinated coffee still has caffeine in it. It simply has a whole lot less than regularly caffeinated coffee.
A normal 12-ounce cup of decaffeinated coffee (aka a "tall" coffee at Starbucks) might contain anywhere between three and 18 milligrams of caffeine, Fox News reports, while a regular cup can contain as much as 300 milligrams.
5. Coffee Is Addictive
This one is actually true: Caffeine is technically the world's most popular psychoactive drug. You just don't realize it, because people drink it in regular situations, like in meetings and in the car on the way to work.
In truth, quitting your coffee habit cold turkey might lead to headaches, nausea, flu-like symptoms, muscle pains, and more, Smithsonian.com reports. But if you make small changes in your coffee intake, and slowly decrease the amount you drink over time, you should be able to steer clear of any nasty symptoms.
6. Coffee Stunts Your Growth
This was likely a myth created by your parents to keep you from stealing their precious morning lifeblood, but rest assured, there doesn't appear to be any proof whatsoever of a connection between drinking coffee and a stunted height.
According to Harvard Health, people used to make this argument because coffee can sap calcium from your bones, thus potentially leading to osteoporosis. But in truth, the effect coffee has on the calcium in your bones is extremely minimal. However, caffeine does affect your central nervous system, and therefore isn't recommended for children until their brains have fully developed. The more you know, y'all.