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7 Popular Coffee Myths: What’s True & What’s False?

Surprised young man

Myth #1: Coffee always causes stress

False

It is widely believed that due to it being a stimulant, coffee always sends your body into a state of heightened stress (aka why you feel more awake when you indulge in a cup). However, according to research conducted by Seoul National University in South Korea (as discussed by The Washington Post), smelling the aroma of coffee beans and/or grounds can actually relieve stress. In their study, researchers exposed sleep-deprived rats to the aromas of roasted coffee beans. They focused on 11 different genes within the rats, and found that smelling the aromas increased the activity of some genes and decreased the activity of others, all resulting in lowered stress levels.

 

Myth #2: Coffee causes insomnia

False (Depending on when you drink it that is)

If you’re waking up in the morning and enjoying a cup or two of coffee, going coffee free for the rest of the day after that, and then experiencing difficulty when it’s time to go to sleep – your cup of Joe is not to blame. Caffeine is absorbed into the blood stream almost immediately, and is entirely out of your system after 8 hours, maximum. Therefore, unless you’re ordering a Venti drip coffee at 6PM, your sleepless nights are likely not rooted in your coffee indulgences.

 

Myth #3: Coffee flushes you out (think #1 and #2)

True

In terms of urinating, coffee (caffeine) is a mild diuretic, which means it causes you to lose water. This explains why most people have to pee soon after they drink a cup of coffee (similar to the effects of alcohol). Additionally, lets not be coy: coffee makes most people poop, but why? Researchers are a bit unclear as to why coffee is directly correlated to increased bowel movements as extensive studies on the matter have yet to be conducted. Scientists do however have some generalized findings that could help explain the phenomenon: Coffee may cause something called peristalsis, which is the typical relaxation and contraction of the colon when producing a bowel movement. By speeding up this process, the colon therefore has less time to reabsorb the water within the stool, which explains why most coffee-induced bowel movements are “looser “in nature.

 

Myth #4: Coffee is bad for your health

False, false and more false!

From fighting against cancer to providing protection for vital organs, read our blog on 8 awesome health benefits of coffee, here.

 

Myth #5: Caffeine is extremely addictive

False

Most of us have experience the “caffeine headache” and have chalked it up to our “caffeine addiction”, curing it with a cup of Joe. Addiction however, is classified as the completely irresistible need for a substance, and the experience of extreme discomfort with a wide variety of physical and possibly even mental symptoms without it. Caffeine is not only easy to resist, but the possible symptoms of withdrawal are mild, limited to headaches and lethargy. Therefore, while you can develop a caffeine “dependence”, it is not technically regarded by scientists as actually being addictive.

 

Myth #6: Coffee helps with hangovers

False (ish)

If you’ve ever woken up with a massive hangover and the need to be productive that day, then you’ve likely turned to coffee for assistance. We say false “ish” because it is true that the caffeine found in coffee can definitely help you to become more alert and even slightly increase your motor functions (which are depressed during a hangover), that being said however, it is more likely to prolong your terrible state than it is to alleviate it. As previously stated, coffee is a diuretic, meaning it flushes you of liquids (Layman’s terms: it dehydrates you). Hangovers are caused by a variety of things, but one of the main components is extreme dehydration. Therefore, drinking something that will flush you of even more fluids and only further dehydrate you, will likely only perpetuate your hangover and the symptoms you’re feeling.

 

Myth #7: Coffee can help to sober you up faster

False

In a study published in the Journal of Behavioral Neuroscience, researchers performed an experiment on mice, feeding them a sufficient amount of alcohol followed by a sufficient amount of coffee in order to test its “sobering” effects. After both the alcohol and coffee were ingested, the researchers had the mice perform the task of working through a maze. While the coffee did appear to make the mice more alert than they had proven to be pre-coffee, they still had a great deal of trouble navigating the maze as compared to the other, untainted group of mice. The takeaway? While coffee might make you feel more “with it” the fact of the matter is that you’re not, and only time will make you sober.

8 Reasons Why you Should Definitely Drink Coffee

Lets not beat around the bush: you should definitely be drinking coffee. Why you may ask? Well, aside from the ability to speak to unicorns and the telepathy, it also provides you with 8 other benefits that are simply too good to pass up.

benefits of coffee

It boosts your intelligence!

Lets all give a big round applause for caffeine shall we? Caffeine jolts your body to life on those slow mornings, but it also makes you a lot more mentally sharp in addition. Basically put, coffee makes your brain function much more efficiently, improving everything from reaction time to reasoning to attentiveness.

Antioxidants

Coffee is chockfull of powerful antioxidants, all of which work together to fend off a multitude of diseases, specifically diseases of the cardiovascular nature, according to a study conducted by Harvard.

It lowers your risk for developing Alzheimer’s Disease

Most researchers are in favor of the notion that coffee wards off cognitive decline. In a recent study, researchers found that individuals (in their middle years), who consumed between 3-5 cups of coffee per day, significantly reduced their chances of developing Alzheimer’s Disease as well as Dementia.

It gives you a short-term memory boost

In addition to helping you preserve your long-term memory, coffee (caffeine) proved to boost the short-term – or working – memory of those individuals who consumed 100 mg of caffeine (or two cups of coffee) before performing a memory-related task, according to a study conducted by the Radiological Society of North America.

It enhances exercise performance

The giant caffeine punch that coffee comes packing doesn’t just make you more alert and aware, but it boosts your performance at the gym! According to various research studies discussed by the New York Times, caffeine increases the power output of muscles, and positively affects the part of your brain associated with exhaustion. The result? Basically, you wind up crushing your workout without even feeling like you need to try hard, and you feel able to go for a longer span of time than you otherwise would sans caffeine. Awesome.

It helps with depression

In multiple studies, Coffee was proven time and again to aid in the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine – 2 of the body’s natural antidepressants. In a study conducted by Harvard’s school of Public Health, their results indicated a 20% decreased risk of depression in women who drank just two cups per day.

It aids in protecting your liver – especially if you like alcohol!

According to studies conducted by Harvard, drinking coffee religiously can protect against both liver cancer as well as cirrhosis of the liver. The research is still fairly new and more studies need to be done, but the benefits of coffee according to already conducted research look promising! 

It can boost your metabolism

If you’re trying to lose weight, then caffeine – a household chemical name found in wide variety of beverages – will be your new best friend. Why? Because according to numerous studies discussed by Livestrong.com, caffeine has been proven to boost your metabolism significantly for up to 24 hours. What is one of the most common places that caffeine can be found you ask? COFFEE!

 

 

Light, Medium, Dark – The Differences Between Coffee Roasts Explained

Most coffee drinkers know that different roasts have different tastes but many folks may not know what makes one roast different from the next.  So, without further adieu, here’s a quick and simple explanation of light, medium and dark coffee roast coffees.

coffee roasts

Light Roast

Lighter roasts contain the most caffeine out of the three.  Additionally, they are also the most versatile in flavor, given that the darker the roast the more charred the beans become, and the more universal the almost burnt flavor seems to become from one dark roast to the next. Due to minimal charring, the true flavors of the beans are able to come out and express themselves freely in lighter roasts, as they aren’t masked away by a much stronger, charcoal-y taste

Medium Roast

Medium roasts are darker (obviously) than light roasts. They have a bit less caffeine, are far more acidic, but don’t have the charcoal taste characteristic of darker roasts. Medium roasts are often times seemingly more balanced coffees, with lots of possibility for flavor.

Dark Roast

Dark roasts are the typical coffee that everyone generally thinks of – bold, robust, rich and bursting with flavor. Dark roast coffees have the least caffeine out of the three, and have a chocolate-like darkness that gives them that strong, charred, charcoal-y taste, which many coffee drinkers know and love.