America may run on Dunkin’, but NYU students don’t just stop there. We run on Dunkin’, Starbucks, Think, The Bean, and any other coffee shops we can quickly stop by before long classes or even longer nights of studying. When it comes to coffee, we’ve all heard our fair share of myths about its positive and negative side effects, which may not be enough of a reason to sway your decision to drink or ditch it, but it’s good to know the facts. So, here are some of the top coffee myths debunked.
1. Coffee is a diuretic and leaves you dehydrated:
Fiction! Coffee, like any other liquid, will eventually work its way through your system and into your bladder, which we all know leaves you on your way to the bathroom. However, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t work any faster than plain ole’ water! Unlike true diuretics, coffee does not increase the urge to hit the John (unless, of course, you drink it in extreme quantities).
2. Coffee speeds up your metabolism:
Fact! Fitness junkies rejoice because this one is true. The caffeine found in plain, black coffee may increase metabolism by up to 10%. Just be careful not to counteract the benefits by ordering a sugar-loaded frap with an extra shot of whipped cream.
3. Coffee is addictive:
Fact… well sort of! This one depends on how you define addictive. Caffeine has been classified as addictive because some people experience withdrawal symptoms upon quitting, such as headaches, tiredness, decreased energy, decreased alertness, irritability, feeling foggy, depression. Once a certain level of caffeine consumption is reached, and the person is dependent, they will also develop a tolerance to caffeine. Those who drink large amounts can become immune to the effects of all but the largest doses of caffeine, while people who use it infrequently often feel affected by as little as 1 cup of coffee. This means that people who use coffee to feel energetic will have to drink more and more, which would lead to the conclusion that it is addictive; however, since not everyone experiences these symptoms, some would argue it isn’t truly addictive and most would say that even the most dedicated coffee drinkers are not truly dependent on it. Moral of the story here: enjoy your joe… just don’t overdo it.
4. Coffee stunts your growth:
Fiction! There is no known link between coffee consumption and stunted growth. If anything, this myth may have stemmed from the fact that children who consume a lot of caffeine drink it in place of the milk they should be drinking to make their bones stronger, but then, it’s the lack of calcium and other vital nutrients (that a growing child needs) that is to blame, not the coffee!
5. Coffee fixes hangovers:
Fiction! Sorry to all the drinkers out there, coffee is not the miracle solution to that morning-after headache. It may help you wake up, but it won’t help to sober you up. Expert tip: stick to rotating a glass of water with each drink you have, then you won’t even have to worry about the headache the next morning.