Coffee Myths: Which ones are true?

By October 29, 2020 January 16th, 2021 No Comments
A young woman holding a compostable coffee cup.

Coffee cups are consumed by the billions every day, making it one of the most popular hot drinks worldwide and a regular presence on many people’s daily habits.

Though it’s fantastic taste and warm appeal are very much appreciated, they are not the only reasons why people love coffee. The stimulating effect in this drink has provided just as many avid followers. However, with the vast popularity also came plentiful rumours on the impact it can cause on the human body and the proper way to drink it.

And because we do not want that a few rumours stop you from drinking and enjoying your daily cup of Espresso or Americano, below, you can read on the most common myths surrounding coffee and find out if they’re real or not:

Coffee Is Highly Addictive

FALSE – Actually, the more you drink coffee, the more the effects are watered down. However, drinking too much at once can lead to some adverse effects depending on the person.

While for a particular person, three cups will be the sweet spot to get them going through the day for others, it may just take one. That’s because we all have different tolerances and react differently when it comes to coffee ingestion, not due to any addiction. And in case of any withdrawal symptoms, they only last one or two days so coffee is not really an addiction, it just works as any mild habit.

There’s the possibility you might be drinking too much coffee

TRUE – Well, as per above, drinking too much coffee can lead to some adverse effects such as shakiness or headaches. You can also experience a big slump when the effects wear off, but these are quite rare since regular coffee drinkers know their limits.

Still, we can also say the same about people drinking too much water or consuming too much sugar.

According to researchers, six cups a day should be the most anyone should be drinking.

Coffee leads to dehydration

FALSE – Another common misconception. Since coffee is highly composed of water it more than makes up for the presence of caffeine – which, in fairness, is dehydrating but not enough to cause general dehydration.

Coffee and alcohol should not be mixed

TRUE – If you think that a cup of coffee will sober you up after drinking too much alcohol, you may be surprised. Although caffeine can make someone under the influence feel more alert, it does not reverse the effects of alcoholic drinks.

Furthermore, it can be dangerous to mix coffee and alcohol as both may lead you to feel like you are able to do some things you actually can’t.

Coffee is bad for the heart

FALSE – Even though Coffee can be a stimulant that drives adrenaline – which in turn can speed your heart – it does not possess the necessary effect to cause any damage to your heart. Unless you have any existing medical condition that advises against its consumption, coffee isn’t bad for your heart.

Darker roasts have more caffeine

FALSE – The heavier a bean is roasted; the more caffeine gets burnt off. Even though it may have a more pungent taste to it, the dark roast coffee actually has less caffeine present. If you are looking for more potent effects, stick to blonde roasts or invest in a home coffee bean roaster for added control over your brew.

Coffee in the afternoon will keep you awake at night

FALSE – Coffee passes through your liver very rapidly, and close to 75% of it will be out of your system in five to six hours.

The remainder 25% won’t really be enough to keep you from sleeping at night or keep you awake for that matter. For those more susceptible to caffeine, having a cup at 7pm might have some effects on your sleep if you go to bed at 10pm, but if you drink it at 3pm you won’t feel any impact at all in your sleep routine.

Pregnant women shouldn’t drink coffee

TRUE – but to a limit. Caffeine does not harm the foetus, science shows, but it can be passed on through the placenta. Pregnant women are advised to limit their caffeine consumption to 200 milligrams, but most choose to avoid it to be on the safe side.

Espresso contains more caffeine than a longer coffee cup

FALSE – Espressos taste stronger, have a thicker consistency and are more concentrated than other mixes. Still, in comparison, on average, a regular 12oz cup of coffee has 120mg of caffeine way more than a single espresso shot, with 80mg.

Water can be too hot when it comes to making coffee

TRUE – If you are using boiling water (at 100°C) to brew your morning coffee, you are overheating the coffee grounds, burning them and creating an acidic taste.

Coffee halts your growth

FALSE – Despite the fact that growing children at younger ages should not be drinking coffee, it does not stop them from growing. Caffeine does slightly reduce calcium absorption, but it is not enough to stunt children’s growth.

Coffee is great for weight loss

NOT FALSE BUT NOT COMPLETELY TRUE EITHER – Coffee is very low in calories, and it indeed increases metabolism. Still, the effect is not sufficient for a noticeable impact. It would take large doses of caffeine to influence metabolism significantly.