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Caffeine: 10 Most Commonly Believed Misconceptions

Caffeine is a bitter ingredient of coffee, chocolate, tea, many carbonated and soft drinks and many medicines. It affects the body through metabolism by stimulating the nervous system. It makes an individual more alert and gives him a boost of energy needed in many situations. In moderate amounts, caffeine has been shown to have positive effects on people’s bodies and minds. There is some evidence that caffeine may help improve memoryenhance workouts and boost concentration.

Caffeine (1, 3, 7 trimethyl xanthine) content can vary from 160 milligrams in some drinks to 4 milligrams in 1 ounce of chocolate syrup. Even decaffeinated coffee isn’t 100% free of caffeine. In diet pills, medications or pain relievers there could be 16-200 milligrams of caffeine. It is, however, mostly consumed through coffee.

Here are 10 interesting and most commonly believed misconceptions about caffeine for reading while enjoying your morning coffee!

  1. Caffeine causes insomnia. Caffeine does not cause insomnia, as popularly believed. Insomnia is a sleep disorder where people have problems falling and/or staying asleep. The fact is that caffeine can affect the human body for more than five hours. That way, it delays sleep, not preventing it. Caffeine is disposed from our system after a day or two. After that period, an individual shouldn’t have any problems with his sleep. The best solution is not to drink caffeinated drinks about six hours before going to sleep.
  2. Caffeine is addictive. This is one of most believed myths. For caffeine, consumption in moderation is enough. Although some coffee drinkers may have headaches, anxiety or fatigue when stopping with caffeine, those symptoms are easy to overcome with the painkiller or a glass of water, and they disappear in a few days.
  3. You dehydrate when drinking something with caffeine. It is true that caffeine drinks are slightly diuretic, so they enhance liquid ejection from your body, but researchers proved that coffee can also hydrate your body, as the matter of fact – it can be similar to water! And if you continue to consume water on a regular basis, it won’t dehydrate you!
  4. Caffeine will help with weight loss. Caffeine does help to burn an additional 70-100 calories per cup, thanks to the metabolism boost that it provides, but studies show that people who increase their caffeine intake are gaining more weight than other people who don’t. And the thing is that, although it can assist a little, you need to make changes in your diet and life so any weight changes will occur.
  5. Caffeine is bad for blood pressure. Caffeine increases blood pressure after consuming it, so those that have high blood pressure or are sensitive to caffeine should limit their caffeine intake, but the long-term effect on blood pressure hasn’t been found yet. High blood pressure has been found in people who consume huge amounts of coffee daily, but in moderate coffee consumption, there has not been found any trouble.
  6. Espresso contains more caffeine than coffee. Actually, one espresso serving cup has 2-4 times less caffeine than a single cup of coffee. You should drink 3-4 espresso cups so you can achieve the same amount of caffeine as a regular cup of coffee.
  7. Energy drinks contain more caffeine than coffee. These drinks provide energy, and many of us reach for it when needing extra energy and concentration. Although it is believed it has a very high amount of caffeine, it turns out that energy drinks have less caffeine than a standard cup of coffee. For example, one can of energy drink contains 75-80 milligrams of caffeine, which is 2-3 times less than a cup of coffee. Check it out before buying it to ensure it is not high in caffeine.
  8. Caffeine increases the risk of heart diseases. The link between caffeine and heart diseases is yet to be studied. So far, research shows some conflicting results. However, many scientists agree that moderate coffee drinking (1-2 cups per day) doesn’t seem to be harmful to the body.[1]
  9. Caffeine increases the risk of osteoporosis. It is also one of the themes that should be more researched. Studies do find that older people should be careful with coffee intake, so they can avoid osteoporosis and hip fractures. They shouldn’t drink more than 300 mg of caffeine. Although it decreases the amount of the calcium within the body, it is a very small amount and it can be reduced by pouring one or two teaspoons of milk into the coffee.
  10. Caffeine is bad for you. Actually, caffeine can have many positive effects on our body and health. Scientists recommend it against Parkinson’s disease, type two diabetes and liver disease, including liver cancer.[2] It can also enhance cognitive functions of the body and help against depression.

Considering all facts and truths about caffeine, we should continue enjoying it without worrying to harm our health. The best is in consuming it within the normal limits – up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, which is more than enough for everyone to enjoy a cup of favorite coffee, energy drink, or chocolate!

About the author: Rudy Caretti has more than 15 years of experience in the coffee industry, a passion that started in Italy within the family business and brought him to found Gimoka Coffee UK and G Coffee Pod with a group of friends, who share the same passion. Since he roasted his first batch of coffee seeds as a teenager, he was fascinated by the many ways it can be processed to get the many different distinctive flavors we all love. As a coffee connoisseur, Rudy has always been aware of the vital role played by coffee in most people’s social life and he is especially active through the company’s social media and blog. He loves sharing his knowledge with readers around the world, writing and posting articles that range from the coffee brewing techniques to raising awareness of the importance of responsible production to help protect the rights of farmers and protect the environment.

[1] http://newsroom.heart.org/news/moderate-coffee-drinking-may-be-linked-to-reduced-risk-of-death

[2] http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/coffee-in-moderation-may-offer-health-benefits/

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