Admit it or not, everybody loves coffee! I haven’t seen any coffee hater in my life so far. In fact, after tea, it is the most common beverage consumed. Caffeine is a common component of coffee/tea. There are many popular myths about caffeine stopping us from having clear knowledge. But is caffeine good or bad for our health? We get lost with every sip of coffee that we don’t consider its side effects or health benefits.
The most common types of coffee consumed are cappuccino, caffè americano, café latte (or Café au lait), espresso, flat white, long black, macchiato, mochaccino, Irish coffee, etc. But what gives coffee its characteristic? Let’s talk about the main component of coffee responsible for this and debunk a few popular myths about caffeine.
What Is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant of the methylxanthine class. According to Wikipedia, it is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug. It is present naturally in coffee, tea, and cocoa plant. Being a nervous system stimulant helps to wear off the tiredness and makes us more alert and active. Drink coffee in moderation while considering the positive and negative effects of coffee.
Health Benefits Of Coffee
Coffee is generally used to relieve physical and mental tiredness, increase cognition, productivity, and mental awareness. Some studies also show that coffee can prevent Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, and cognitive decline. It can also prevent diabetes, gout, gallstones, and certain types of cancer.
Safe Amounts Of Caffeine
It has been proved in certain studies that around 400 mg of caffeine is safe for a healthy adult that is about 4 cups of coffee. Too much intake of coffee results in sleep deprivation, depression and can lead to mental disturbance.
Popular Myths About Caffeine Debunked
Myth 1: Caffeine Is Addictive.
Many people claim that they are addicted to coffee. It’s just that you like the taste of it. Ceasing your caffeine consumption isn’t going to hamper your daily life. You aren’t going to get any withdrawal symptoms. Yes, the body is used to it, and thus there might be some drowsiness or fatigue but nothing more. Question yourself. Except for the Gilmore Girls, have you seen someone working inefficiently because of coffee?
Myth 2: Caffeine Causes Cancer.
Cancer is a very complex disease with many causes, but is caffeine one of them? Roasted coffee beans consist of acrylamide, a probable carcinogen that causes cancer in animals, but apart from that, there has been no EVIDENT RISK of coffee in causing cancer.
Some earlier studies linked coffee to cancer, but that was major because of smoking as people who smoke drink a lot of coffee. But the newer studies have also linked coffee consumption to lower rates of certain cancer. Not to point out, not much evidence is available to make a statement.
Myth 3: Caffeine Affects Heart Health.
Studies have proven that there is no such risk of coffee to heart. Caffeine increases the amount of epinephrine in the blood, which in pure form increases your blood pressure (mild), the force of contraction, and a little bit of heart rate. People with heart problems should avoid coffee consumption as even a slight chance may prove fatal. Overall, there is no risk of heart disease of stroke or heart disease due to coffee. However, overconsumption of anything will be bad for health. So, consume coffee in moderate amounts.
Myth 4: Caffeine May Trigger Osteoporosis.
Few studies claim that coffee can worsen your osteoporosis, but it is true only in older adults who take excessive caffeine in a day. It is probably concerned that caffeine can increase calcium loss in urine and decreases calcium absorption in the body. Other than that, you are good to go with around 3 cups a day! Consume it in moderate amounts, and you are safe.
Myth 5: Caffeine Is Harmful To Pregnant Women.
All the studies relate to this issue are inconclusive. Some posit caffeine relations with miscarriages and difficulty in conceiving, but no solid proofs are present. Caffeine can cross the placenta, so it may hamper your baby’s sleep pattern, too, as it’s a stimulant, but still, no proofs are available. It has been said that moderate amounts, i.e., 150 – 300 mg of caffeine, are entirely safe in pregnancy.
Myth 6: Caffeine Leaves Adverse Effects On Children.
The ability to digest caffeine in children is similar to that in adults, so there should not be any detectable effects. Though it reaches a high level in children sooner than in adults, it may cause insomnia, jitteriness, upset stomach, headaches, difficulty in concentrating, and increased heart rate. However, there aren’t any proofs supporting this.
Overall, all these are just myths, and drinking coffee in moderate amounts is safe for you. So, enjoy your cup and keep yourself safe from these lies!