The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders

Top 10 Coffee Myths

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We see coffee every day. Teachers carry Starbucks cups with them to class, our parents get grouchy if they don’t have their daily cup, and the (new! flavorful! creamy!) Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino is advertised on posters on the windows of your favorite coffee shop. However, the more commonplace coffee becomes, the more we may forget the truth about one of the world’s favorite drinks. Here are some common misconceptions about coffee:

1. Coffee has a lot of calories

As a matter of fact, coffee and tea have no calories on their own. If you add sugar and milk, however, the calories start to stack up. “Coffee” beverages that have flavored syrups, whole milk and foam have about 200-600 calories.

2. Caffeine causes bone loss

Caffeine does cause an increase in calcium excretion which would weaken your bones in the long run, but you would have to drink about 3 cups of coffee for this to occur, according to a study by the Creighton University Osteoporosis Research Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Putting a splash of milk in the coffee would compensate for this loss of calcium.

3. Coffee is a bean 

(source: bit.ly/RvKAi)

 

Well, they do look similar to beans. What we use to make coffee is actually the seed or pit of the coffee fruit, which comes from a small evergreen shrub from the family classification Rubiaceae. A bean is a seed, but not all seeds are beans.

4. Dark roast has more caffeine than light roast coffee

Caffeine burns off during the roasting process, so dark roast coffee actually has less caffeine than light roast coffee because it’s roasted longer.

5. Caffeine is addictive

According to the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, caffeine is only a mild stimulant and not addictive. However, if you drink coffee often your body will develop a dependence on it. If you give up coffee altogether after developing this dependency, you may experience withdrawal systems such as headaches, irritability, and restlessness. It is recommended from American Dietetic Association that an adult only have 200-300mg a day, or about 2-3 cups of coffee.

6. Coffee will help relieve stress

The consumption of caffeine actually increases anxiety, especially in people who already suffer from panic attacks, so the opposite is true. However, hot drinks with less caffeine, such as herbal tea, may help calm nerves.

7. Coffee causes insomnia

Your body absorbs caffeine quickly, so if you drink one cup in the morning your body will be ready to sleep at bedtime. After 8-10 hours, 75% of the caffeine is gone. This depends on your metabolism, and drinking coffee more than six hours before bedtime does stimulate your body and keep you awake.

8. Coffee is unhealthy

Anything that tastes this good can’t be good for you, right? As it turns out, Coffee has numerous health benefits. According to WebMD, coffee drinkers are less likely to develop diabetes, 80% less likely to develop Parkinson’s Disease, and 25% less likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer. The high caffeine content may increase anxiety, however.

9. Espresso has more caffeine than normal coffee

As a matter of fact, the opposite is true. Espresso is made by brewing hot water through finely ground coffee under pressure. A typical 8oz. cup of drip coffee contains 65 – 125mg of caffeine while a 1oz. shot of espresso contains 30 – 50mg of caffeine,  according to the National Coffee Association. However, keep in mind that coffee is served in much greater amounts, while espresso is often more concentrated. If you filled a cup with coffee, and another cup with the same amount, except of espresso, the cup with espresso would have more caffeine. Realistically though, you’re only going to consume a small amount of espresso, but a large cup of coffee, in which case, the coffee would have more caffeine.

10. Coffee stunts your growth

We’ve all heard it, but is there any truth in the old wives’ tale? Nope. As stated before, caffeine consumption does cause small amounts of calcium loss, but numerous studies have shown that coffee has no effect on children’s height as they grow older.

Drinking coffee is a choice, and before you make that choice be sure to read up on what it will really do to your health. Also, be sure to consult your parents before you decide to intake that much caffeine. Happy brewing!

(source: http://bit.ly/17PRIPD)
(source: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/australia-food-blog/2013/oct/08/ironman-geisha-ludicrous-coffee-fetishism)

Further Reading:

http://en.ilovecoffee.jp/posts/view/44

http://voices.yahoo.com/10-coffee-myths-debunked-12250617.html

http://www.lifescript.com/diet-fitness/articles/0/9_caffeine_myths_explained.aspx

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/drugs-alcohol/7-myths-about-caffeine.htm

http://kidshealth.org/teen/expert/nutrition/coffee.html

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