Five Myths About Caffeine
I've heard it said that coffee is the sweet nectar of the gods, but let me tell you- coffee is the sweet nectar that fuels this sleep-deprived mama. I am absolutely and totally addicted to coffee and without it, I'm incapable of so much as forming words first thing in the morning.
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 that it has the magical ability to give you the superhuman ability you need to face the day? It's time to get educated, don't you think? 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. 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. But before you panic, some studies have found that a little caffeine here and there isn't going to do long-term damage to kids. 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 two 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 is sort of true, but 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 tiny bit of research that hints that caffeine may 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. And it doesn't cause cancer either. 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 a 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 studied such things believe 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, but a study found that college kids who drank alcohol and then caffeine were actually more likely to cause a car accident.