Over 1 billion people worldwide drink coffee every day! That's a big family. Now you might be sipping on a warm cup of coffee thinking to yourself, “Is this good for me?”
Countless coffee myths and misconceptions are floating around on the internet, and who knows, you might believe some of them. Rest assured my fellow coffee lovers, today I'm going to debunk 9 coffee myths.
Make yourself another cup of coffee, and let's dive in.
- 1. Coffee Will Sober You Up
- 2. Espresso Dehydrates You
- 3. Coffee Stunts Your Growth
- 4. Drinking Coffee Will Keep You Up All Night
- 5. Decaf Means Caffeine-Free
- 6. Coffee Helps You Lose Weight
- 7. Boil Water Before You Make Coffee
- 8. Coffee Is Bad For Your Heart
- 9. You Need Barista-Level Equipment to Make Good Coffee
- Coffee Myths: The Final Word
1. Coffee Will Sober You Up
Unfortunately, this is one of those coffee myths. Coffee will not sober you up. If you have high alcohol levels, drinking a cup of coffee won't get rid of the alcohol in your body.
The best way to sober up is to stop drinking alcohol.
This myth became popular because people got a caffeine rush after drinking coffee while drunk, leading to increased focus and cognition. This misconception causes some people to think they're sobering up, but in reality, it's just the caffeine's effects on your body.
This is one of those coffee myths that can be dangerous because people will get behind the wheel thinking they're sobering up.
2. Espresso Dehydrates You
In theory, this is somewhat true. Coffee is a diuretic, meaning it makes people urinate.
This led people to think coffee had dehydrating effects because they urinated more. This is not true. In fact, the opposite is true.
Caffeine is always consumed with water. This water hydrates you.
And if you didn't drink that cup of coffee, you'd be more dehydrated than if you did.
3. Coffee Stunts Your Growth
Your parents probably told you to limit or avoid drinking coffee until you're 18 because it'll stunt your growth.
The myth that coffee stunts your growth came to be when studies found that coffee leaches calcium from your bones. What nobody spoke about is that older populations are more vulnerable to calcium-leaching than younger ones.
Also, the amount of calcium lost is so small, it's inconsequential. The calcium loss from one cup of coffee can be replaced by 2 tablespoons of milk.
So if you're worried about losing calcium because you're a coffee drinker, simply add some milk. Better yet, add cream.
4. Drinking Coffee Will Keep You Up All Night
As far as coffee myths go, this is fairly accurate, though it depends on the amount of caffeine you have in your system by the time you go to bed. Caffeine has a half-life of 5-7 hours.
So if you drank 2 cups of coffee at 3 p.m. and your bedtime is 10 pm, then half the caffeine will already be out of your system.
Our bodies are efficient at eliminating caffeine.
If you're concerned about caffeine affecting your sleep, then avoid drinking coffee at least 5 hours before bed.
5. Decaf Means Caffeine-Free
Decaf coffee is a great alternative for people whose caffeine intake is too high and would like to cut back. However, it isn't caffeine-free. USDA regulations state that at least 97% of the caffeine must be removed.
Therefore, the decaffeination process removes only about 97% of the caffeine from coffee beans.
Your average cup of decaf coffee will still contain 7 mg of caffeine. That isn't much, but your cup of joe isn't caffeine-free.
6. Coffee Helps You Lose Weight
Caffeine has stimulating effects, and it's a popular drug found in weight loss pills. This led some to believe that coffee helps with weight loss. However, no studies link coffee to long-term weight loss success.
Caffeine is found to result in a slight increase in metabolic rate for a short period. Still, no proof shows that coffee will help you shed excess pounds.
Also, most people drink coffee with sugar or in calorie-packed energy drinks. This will not help you get rid of those love handles. Instead, if you want to lose weight, focus on eating healthy and not drinking beverages full of sugar and calories.
7. Boil Water Before You Make Coffee
We all know the routine: Boil your water, then brew your coffee. It's quick and easy, but pouring boiling water over your coffee grounds will ruin the taste.
The sweet spot for brewing coffee is 200-206 degrees Fahrenheit. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Pouring boiling water over your coffee grounds will cause the water to extract too much coffee too quickly.
This leads to a cup of coffee delivering a burnt and acidic taste.
To ensure you don't burn your coffee, let that boiling water rest for 30 seconds to a minute before you start your brew.
8. Coffee Is Bad For Your Heart
For healthy people, caffeine will cause a temporary increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This isn't dangerous. On the contrary, coffee has countless health benefits.
It's good for your heart health because it's been found to unclog arteries and regulate cholesterol.
However, individuals with existing health problems like heart disease and high blood pressure should aim to restrict their caffeine consumption.
If you find you're experiencing heart palpitations after drinking coffee, it's a sign that you should cut down on your caffeine intake.
9. You Need Barista-Level Equipment to Make Good Coffee
You can make the best coffee you've ever tasted in the comfort of your own home.
If you're looking for an afternoon cup to get you through the day or you just want to imitate your favorite Starbucks drink, you don't need fancy equipment or machines.
Simply boil some water and let it sit for a minute. Then add your coffee grounds into your plunger, pour the warm water over it, and plunge away.
An AeroPress works great and is cheap and cheerful.
You now have a quality cup of black coffee. You can add milk, cream, sugar, or if you want to imitate a Starbucks drink, bring out the whipped cream and hazelnut syrup.
Coffee Myths: The Final Word
Coffee is God's gift to us. It makes us productive, focused, and healthy. What more can you ask? Now I'd like to hear from you. What misconceptions did you believe?