10 Coffee Myths and Facts

Author: Rob   Date Posted:3 September 2014 

Coffee is one of the most misunderstood foods in the world. Did we say "foods”? Yes, coffee is a food, not just a beverage. That's one of the myths about it.

Coffee has great nutritional value, thanks to the large amounts of healthy antioxidants it contains. Here are 10 more coffee myths and facts:

1) Fact: Coffee is a diuretic

Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees contain ingredients that stimulate peristalsis. It is not a powerful diuretic, though and discontinuing use does not cause constipation, as some critics suggest.


2) Myth: Coffee stunts your growth

"Don't drink coffee! It will stunt your growth!" Where that myth began is lost in the sands of time, but it was probably started to frighten children into not starting a coffee habit at an early age. The myth was supported by one old study that linked coffee consumption with reduced bone mass. The study was conducted on elderly patients, though, and there was no direct or indirect correlation between their coffee consumption and age-related loss of bone mass.


3) Myth: Dark roast coffee contains more caffeine than light roast coffee

Actually, the reverse is true. The roasting process removes some of the caffeine in coffee, so dark roasts contain less caffeine than light roasts. The myth probably stems from the fact that dark coffee is darker in colour than light roast coffee and "therefore" must contain more caffeine.


4) Fact: Coffee can help reduce the risk of skin cancer

According to the scientific journal, Cancer Research, coffee reduces the risk of skin cancer by inhibiting cancer cell growth. Caffeine seems to be the ingredient that does this, but researchers recommend coffee over other caffeinated beverages because it has has other health benefits and does not contain high levels of sugar like caffeinated sodas. For more information, read Coffee could cut skin cancer risk on CNN Health.


5) Myth: Coffee is a cure for a hangover

Put this one in the "wishful thinking" basket. Yes, coffee has a stimulant effect, but, like alcohol, it dehydrates the body and this is one of the causes of a hangover. The best hangover treatment is to drink plenty of water to rehydrate the body.


6) Fact: Pregnant women should avoid coffee

Most health professionals agree that drinking coffee while pregnant should be avoided. The reason is because the caffeine in coffee can cause an irregular heartbeat in the foetus. The Mayo Clinic recommends limiting your intake to 200 milligrams of caffeine per day when pregnant. A cup (not a mug!) of coffee has about 95 milligrams of coffee in it, so one cup in the morning and another after lunch should be okay, but ask your health professional first.


7) Myth: Coffee causes insomnia

Well, if you habitually drink coffee at night, yes, it will prevent you from sleeping. However, coffee passes through the system within 8 to 10 hours and about 75% of the stimulating effects of caffeine are lost within 6 hours. There is no direct correlation between insomnia and coffee other than the passing effects of caffeine.


8) Fact: Coffee makes you smarter

It may not improve your IQ, but researchers using sophisticated MRI brain imaging devices have discovered that two cups of coffee increased brain activities in two regions of the brain associated with memory and attention, the frontal lobes and the anterior cingulum. Of course, you already knew it made you smarter, otherwise you wouldn't drink coffee while studying or working, would you?


9) Myth: The world's best coffee is grown in Italy

It may be a fact that the world's best coffee comes from Italy, but that's after it has been imported from the tropical climates that grow the world's best coffee. The origin of this myth comes from the fact that Lavazza coffee and a few other fine brands are imported from Italy.


10) Myth: Store coffee in the freezer after opening

Storing coffee in the freezer is a bad idea because coffee beans are very porous and will absorb moisture from the surrounding air. The best way to store coffee is in a vacuum sealed container like a Blue Pod coffee pod and in a cool, dry place. 

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