The common misconceptions about coffee are: Espresso contains more caffeine than regular coffee. Caffeine causes dehydration. Caffeine increases cardiovascular health risk. Caffeine helps lose weight. Caffeine helps you sober up. Caffeine increases osteoporosis. Causes Insomnia. Caffeine Is Addictive. Increases risk of death. Creates health issues.
The National Coffee Association estimates roughly 83 percent of adults in the U.S. drink coffee. But due to some studies, coffee drinking is considered bad. Also, that caffeine crash cannot possibly be healthy, right?
Yes, it’s true that caffeine crash is very real. But the studies about coffee causing insomnia, cardiovascular disease, inflammation and many other ailments needs to be re-visited. In this post, we will look at the most common misconceptions about coffee.
10 Common Misconceptions About Coffee
1. Caffeine is bad for you: “According to the Mayo clinic, studies have shown a moderate caffeine intake has been linked to protection against Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and even liver disease, including liver cancer”. Moreover, it has been found to improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of depression.
2. Espresso contains more caffeine than coffee: Remember the times you ordered an espresso instead of a regular coffee to stay awake? Well, this is a common misconception. To get the same level of caffeine that you would get in a standard cup of coffee (8 oz of coffee gives 95-200mg of caffeine) you will need to drink 4 cups of espresso (1 oz of espresso gives 47-75 mg of caffeine).
3. Caffeine causes dehydration: This is partly true because coffee is slightly diuretic in nature, which makes you pee more, thus people assume it causes dehydration. But that doesn’t mean it will cause ‘dehydration’. In 2014, researchers at the University of Birmingham did a study of 50 men who drank between 5 and 6 cups of coffee daily. When they looked at the participants fluid levels, they discovered that coffee was able to hydrate them in similar ways as that of water.
4. Caffeine increases cardiovascular health risk: One of the more common reasons people attribute to stop drinking coffee. According to the American Heart Association, a possible link between caffeine intake and heart disease is still being studied, but so far studies have had conflicting results. But moderate coffee drinking (1 to 2 cups a day) doesn’t seem to be harmful.
5. Caffeine can help in weight loss: This may work in theory because if you take in a 100 milligrams of caffeine it will burn around 75-100 calories a day due to a metabolism boost. But it isn’t foolproof. One study followed 58,000 health professionals for 12 years and found that both men and women who increase their caffeine intake over the years ended up gaining more weight than those who maintained the same caffeine intake or decreased it.
6. Caffeine can sober you when you’re drunk: It might make sense because coffee is considered a good metabolism booster. But the catch is coffee will not help you metabolize alcohol any quicker than your body already would. In fact most experts recommend you avoid caffeine altogether when you’ve been drinking.
Coffee acts as a stimulant, so may feel more alert, but that doesn’t mean you’re sober. According to a 2008 study of college students, those who drank both alcohol and caffeine in the same night (like a red bull and vodka) were twice as likely to get in a car with a driver who had been drinking and also twice as likely to injure themselves in an accident.
7. Caffeine increases the risk of osteoporosis: This needs more research to prove its validity. However, for older adults drinking over 300mg of coffee per day, may increase their risk of osteoporosis and hip fractures. As for younger adults, research published in a 2002 issue of the Journal food and chemical toxicology claims that caffeine consumption does decrease calcium absorption which is related to osteoporosis. But it’s a very slight decrease which can be offset with a mere 1-2 tbsp of milk in your coffee.
8. Caffeine causes Insomnia: There are two types of insomnia- primary and secondary. Primary insomnia cannot be blamed on medical or environmental causes, so caffeine is not responsible in this case. Secondary insomnia is considered as a side-effect to another condition or problem, meaning caffeine intake can cause this.
But, caffeine gets absorbed quickly since it’s processed mainly through the liver and has a short half-life. This means it takes about five to seven hours to eliminate half of it from the body, and by 10 hours, 75 percent of it is gone. Drinking two cups of coffee in the morning won’t interfere with a good night’s sleep.
9. Caffeine is addictive: Caffeine withdrawal is very real. If you typically drink a cup or two every day and stop one day, you might get a headache, irritability, anxiety, fatigue or some other symptoms. But these are not considered as serious as withdrawal to other drugs by experts because it’s mild in comparison. According to the 2009 edition of Molecular Neuropharmacology, a foundation for clinical neuroscience, says, “true compulsive use of caffeine has not been documented”.
10. Too much coffee may increase the risk of death: The Harvard School of Public Health has found no correlation between coffee consumption and an increased risk of death. Still, how much coffee is too much? Generally speaking, it’s safe to consume about 400 mg of caffeine daily, which is a lot considering the average American gets about 200 mg in about 3 cups of coffee they drink every day.