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Caffeine Myths and Facts

Here are some of the most common myths about caffeine along with the facts to shed some light on those myths.

Caffeine Myth No. 1: Caffeine Is Addictive

This myth has some truth but not as the hardcore addiction. Caffeine functions as a stimulant to the central nervous system and its regular usage can cause mild physical dependence. However, it does not threaten your social,  physical, or economic health the way addictive drugs do.

If you stop taking caffeine all of a sudden, you can have symptoms for few days only if you consume two or more cups of coffee in a day. Symptoms of withdrawal may include:

Caffeine withdrawal can make you suffer for few bad days. But it doesn’t cause any severity as harmful as street drugs or alcohol. This is why most experts don’t take caffeine dependence so seriously.

Caffeine Myth No. 2: Caffeine Is Likely to Cause Insomnia

Caffeine is quickly absorbed by your body. But it also gets flushed out quickly. Caffeine has a relatively short half-life and its processed through the liver. Now this means that within five to seven hours, it gets eliminated from your body.

In next eight to ten hours, 75% of caffeine is gone. People, who have a cup of coffee or two in the morning won’t face any problem with their sleep at night. But consuming caffeine later half of the day can interfere sleep.

Caffeine Myth No. 3: Caffeine Increases the Risk of Heart Disease and Osteoporosis

Moderate amounts of daily coffee, about 300 milligrams = three cups, do not cause significant harm in healthy adults. But some people are quite vulnerable to its effects. People who have high blood pressure or are older may suffer from it. Here are some facts:

  • Osteoporosis – Taking more than 744 milligrams of caffeine every day can increase the chances of calcium and magnesium loss through urine. However, recent studies show it doesn’t increase the risk of bone loss, especially if you are taking enough calcium. You can maintain that calcium loss by adding just two tablespoons of milk in your daily one cup of caffeine.
  • Cardiovascular disease – Those who are sensitive can face a temporary rise in heart rate and blood pressure. If you already facing issues like high blood pressure and heart problems, then you need to discuss it with your doctor about your coffee intake.

Caffeine Myth No. 4: Caffeine Is Harmful to Women Trying to Get Pregnant

Many studies have shown that there is no link between low amounts of caffeine and any of the following issue:

However, the March of Dimes suggests less than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day for those who are trying to conceive.

Caffeine Myth No. 5: Caffeine Has a Dehydrating Effect

Caffeine can make you urinate more. However, the liquid you consume in through caffeinated beverages also tends to offset the effects of water loss whenever you urinate. The bottom line is that caffeine does act as a mild diuretic, but studies have also shown that drinking caffeinated drinks in moderate amount doesn’t cause dehydration.

Caffeine Myth No. 6: Caffeine Has No Health Benefits

Well, caffeine has proved a few health benefits too. However, the list of caffeine’s potential benefits is a little interesting. If you are a regular coffee drinker you may have noticed that caffeine improves concentration, alertness, clear-headedness, energy, and feelings of sociability. Various scientific studies also support these subjective inferences. One of the French studies showed that a slower decline in cognitive ability in women who had caffeine.

Other possible advantages of caffeine include relieving from certain kinds of headache pain. People with asthma have also reported the benefit from taking caffeine. Though these research findings are interesting ones but it still need to be proved

Limited proof also suggests that caffeine can also reduce the following risks:

Despite its various potential benefits, always remember that a high intake of caffeine can have adverse effects too. Further studies are needed to confirm its benefits and potential risks as well.

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