It can be hard to enjoy your morning coffee when there are so many harmful myths surrounding what's in your cup floating around. For instance, apparently coffee makes you poop like a racehorse? Actually, that one's true.
Regardless, there are still a ton of tall tales being passed around that negatively impact the way you consume coffee. Drink in these 11 facts and wake up.
1. Your afternoon cup will cause insomnia
Caffeine is a stimulant. However, the caffeine you consume in your post-lunch cup of is processed through the liver at lightning speed and nearly all of it (roughly 75 percent) is flushed out of your body within four to seven hours. So, if you drink your second cup at 3 p.m., it’s completely gone by bedtime, unless you're really lame.
2. You use boiling water on the grounds
If the temperature of your water goes above 200 degrees Fahrenheit, the water will start to extract some of the bitter oils from coffee grounds and may even scorch them. You can attribute the burnt taste of coffee to extra-hot water.
3. Coffee dehydrates you
Not true. Why exactly? Well, take a look at your cup of coffee. Notice the watery consistency? You can attribute this characteristic to all the goddamn water in a cup of coffee. The amount of H2O in a cup makes up for the dehydrating effects of caffeine.
4. A cup of coffee will sober you up
The amount of drinking myths rivals that of caffeine myths, but the short answer is: no. Caffeine can make an intoxicated person more alert, but a study by The American Psychological Association concluded that coffee does not reverse the negative cognitive impact of alcohol. It’s actually even worse for you, they report: “People who have consumed both alcohol and caffeine may feel awake and competent enough to handle potentially harmful situations, such as driving while intoxicated or placing themselves in dangerous social situations.”
5. Coffee helps you lose weight
Not exactly. The stimulating effects of caffeine can slightly—and I mean very slightly—increase your metabolism, but not enough to make a dent in your diet, especially in terms of long-term weight loss. Caffeine may reduce your desire to eat for a brief time, but there's not enough evidence to show that long-term consumption aids weight loss.
6. Coffee stunts your growth
This myth has been around forever and is the sole reason why my mother thinks she hovers above five feet. However, the belief that coffee does stunt your growth is—forgive the aged expression—nothing more than an old wives’ tale. It's unclear how this myth got started, but there's no scientific evidence supporting it.
7. Caffeine is highly addictive
While there’s a little bit of truth to this one, it’s not as bad as Jessie Spano made it seem in Saved By The Bell. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, which causes a very slight dependence, however the withdrawal effects last only a day or two and are a far cry from the withdrawal effects of, oh, heroin.
8. Coffee causes heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, rabies
Calm down, everything is going to be fine. Consuming a moderate amount of (up to 300 milligrams or three cups of coffee) caffeine on the daily isn’t going to hurt you. If you have high blood pressure, you could potentially experience a temporary rise in heart rate, but there is no link to caffeine and high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, or rabies. Especially rabies. There's even plenty of evidence from places like Harvard that coffee is good for you.
9. Pregnant women shouldn’t drink coffee
Caffeine won’t harm a fetus, however it is advised that women should limit their caffeine intake to only 200 milligrams—about one cup of coffee. Caffeine can pass through the placenta and reach the baby, but there are no concrete studies saying it’s harmful. But better safe, right? So, just be careful.