Five Myths About Caffeine
Coffee is the sweet, sweet nectar that fuels this sleep-deprived mama. What's the first thing you to when you wake up in the morning? Go to the bathroom? Check your phone? Not me. The first thing I do is make my way to the kitchen where my coffee pot has produced my daily dose of the juice which allows words to form in my mouth. Without coffee, I'm just an awful and incoherent mess.
If you're like me, you have caffeine every single day, in one form or another. But how much do you really know about that mug of coffee, other than the fact it has the magical ability to give you the superhuman ability you need to face the day? If you don't know much about the caffeine you consume every day, it's time to get educated! Here are five myths about caffeine according to those who study such things (Which is not me, I just guzzle it without a second thought).
Growing up, we weren't allowed to drink much caffeine, and certainly, no coffee until we were at least 18. Our parents believed that doing so would cause us so many problems, including stunting our growth. I remember pleading with my mom and grandma for a taste of their coffee and they'd sternly tell me no, crushing my tiny heart. According to "The Journal of Pediatrics", the average American kid between the ages of five and seven drinks about 52 milligrams of caffeine per day which is like drinking a can and a half of soda and kids between eight and twelve drink about double that amount on a daily basis. Before you panic, some studies have found that a little caffeine here and there isn't going to do long-term damage to kids. I mean, if your kids are drinking high doses every day, they're probably going to get overly excited or have sleep problems, but caffeine does that to grown-ups, too.
True story, I've been told this myth no less than four times a week for the past three years which is the amount of time my husband and I have been trying with no luck to have another baby. If you think that drinking moderate amounts of coffee is what's keeping you from getting pregnant, several studies say, "nope."
This myth is sort of true, but kind of not really. For most adults, drinking three cups of coffee isn't going to do massive damage, but for some people, including seniors and those with high blood pressure, it can cause some problems. There's a teeny tiny bit of research that hints caffeine might slightly increase your risk of osteoporosis, but only if you drink a huge amount of coffee- like eight cups a day or more. Then again, that amount might be fine for people in good health. Caffeine also doesn't increase your risk of heart disease, raise your cholesterol, or cause irregular heartbeats. It also doesn't cause cancer. As a matter of fact, according to 66 different studies, coffee has virtually no effect on your risk of developing pancreatic cancer or kidney cancer.
Coffee is actually really good for you. I'll raise my mug to that! Coffee has antioxidants that can help prevent cancer, and while there's no solid evidence that caffeine reduces your chance of getting Parkinson's disease, liver disease, or type 2 diabetes, researchers who've study such things are leaning toward the idea that it does.
A lot of people think if you're drunk that you can quickly sober up by tossing back a couple cups of strong coffee. Nope, sorry. According to Discovery Health, you might be a little more alert if you chug coffee, but a study found that college kids who drank alcohol and then caffeine were actually more likely to cause a car accident.