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5 Coffee myths busted

Whether you love it or hate it, the “most widely-used drug on the planet” stirs up strong feelings and urban myths. As coffee lovers ourselves here at Espresso Espresso we thought it was about time we investigated some of the myths around coffee, so read on to find out what we uncover...

1)      Caffeine is dehydrating: This is partially true. Caffeine does indeed have a mild diuretic effect, but it is typically consumed with lots of the wet stuff in the form of coffee or tea. The water contained in your favourite caffeinated beverages more than makes up for any diuretic effect the caffeine might have. In fact, a study has even found that regular coffee drinkers may actually build up some resistance to the potential dehydrating effects of caffeine.

2)      You won’t get a hit from decaf: A typical cup of coffee contains between 95 and 200 milligrams of caffeine, and a 2007 consumer studied found that out of 36 cups of decaf coffee some contained as much as 20 milligrams of caffeine. Decaf doesn’t mean caffeine-free, it simply means less caffeine; but if you drink five to ten cups of decaf in a day you might consume the same amount of caffeine as one or two regular cups of coffee.

3)      Caffeine sobers you up: There are many old wives tales that offer advice for sobering up quickly. A cold shower, a cup of coffee etc, but is there any truth in the coffee myth? A study which examined the effects of caffeine on mice who had been intoxicated found that the mice were more alert with the caffeine but still had more difficulty navigating a maze than the sober mice.

4)      Caffeine can only be bad for you: Caffeine does come with some health risks, especially in higher doses, but it can also be really good for you too. For example it seems to lessen the risk and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, may ward off the onset of Alzheimer’s, and recent studies link it to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes!

5)      Caffeine aids weight loss: Most of the over-the-counter weight loss products contain caffeine because it does seem to slightly increase the metabolism. However, the effects are not likely to add up to significant and permanent weight loss. A few cups of coffee is certainly not the answer to  the obesity epidemic anyway!


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