Whether you drink it religiously twice a day or only on days you’re really dragging, coffee is one of the most common beverages in the United States; in fact, two-thirds of the United States’ population drinks coffee at least once in awhile.
But how much do you actually know about this everyday staple? We busted some myths about water earlier this year, and we figured it was time coffee got the same treatment.
Myth #1: Coffee stunts your growth.
While we’re not sure how this old wives’ tale got started — maybe in an attempt to keep kiddos from invading an already-long line for coffee each morning? — there’s actually no scientific evidence that drinking coffee stunts children’s growth.
All kidding aside, scientists used to think that caffeine was a risk factor for osteoporosis (when you have fragile, brittle bones with low bone density). However, the latest research suggests that if that effect exists, it’s pretty miniscule, and it can easily be countered by getting enough calcium.
Myth #2: An afternoon cup will keep you awake all night.
Assuming you stay up past 8pm, you’re safe to drink that afternoon cup of coffee. Your body processes caffeine really quickly, and 75% of it is out of your body within four to seven hours. Go ahead, savor that post-lunch latte.
Myth #3: Coffee sobers you up.
Absolutely not, and this myth is actually a pretty dangerous one. Coffee is a stimulant, while alcohol is a depressant — so coffee may make a drunk person more alert, but it doesn’t undo the effects of alcohol on your nervous system. Instead, drinking coffee while intoxicated can trick you into thinking you’re sober enough to handle potentially dangerous situations.
The truth? That’s not the case at all. No matter how much coffee you drink, time is the only thing that can sober someone up.
Myth #4: Coffee causes dehydration.
Nope, nope, nope. Coffee is mostly water, and that water counts towards your daily hydration. The confusion here comes from caffeine being a diuretic (meaning, without mincing words, it makes you pee a lot). Sure, you lose water when you hit the restroom, but you’re also rehydrating with all the water in the coffee. So, enjoy your stainless steel travel mug full of coffee with or without a water bottle by your side too.
Myth #5: Dark roasts have the most caffeine.
It’s actually the complete opposite — light roasts have the most caffeine! Turns out, roasting coffee beans burns off the caffeine; however, the amount of caffeine lost in the roasting process isn’t significant.
This myth has stuck around for two main reasons. First, coffee drinkers tend to associate caffeine with a stronger, more robust coffee flavor — just like the flavor you get in a dark roast. Second, people also mistakenly associate caffeine with bean size. During roasting, coffee beans expand and swell. However, that doesn’t mean they take on any more caffeine. If your local coffee place prepares coffee by scooping beans (rather than weighing them), your dark roast won’t use as many beans, meaning you’ll get less caffeine. But at the end of the day, when it comes to coffee beans and caffeine, it turns out that size doesn’t matter.
Which myth were you the most surprised by? Does dark roast or light roast make an appearance more often in your vacuum insulated stainless steel travel mug? We’re always down to talk coffee, so let us know in the comments!