5 Common Coffee Myths

Some people love it for the taste, while others slurp it down just to get a jolt of energy during their morning commute. Some can’t go a day without it, which has led others to vow never to start drinking it. There are plenty of rumors swirling around coffee, but that doesn’t keep people from starting their day with a cup of joe. Learn the answers to common questions about the world’s favorite drink!

Can coffee stunt your growth?

It’s a common myth that caffeine can prevent bone growth and can even stunt your growth. While caffeine can have many affects on your body, studies indicate that the caffeine in coffee will not stunt your growth. Click through to read the study and you’ll find that higher caffeine intake was associated with taking in more sugar, less fruit, and less milk, so don’t start sharing your coffee with your kids — but not because you want them to be tall.

Does coffee cause cancer?

Studies from the 1970s and 1980s suggested that coffee increased the risk of cancer and heart disease. These studies failed to separate other unhealthy habits such as physical inactivity and smoking from coffee drinking. Currently, there’s little evidence that coffee causes cancer. There is evidence, however, that drinking any beverage – even water – at temperatures over 160 degrees Fahrenheit can increase your risk of esophageal cancer.

Is coffee unhealthy?

For most people, moderate consumption of black coffee is a fairly healthy, non-caloric beverage. There is little evidence of health risk and some evidence of health benefits for adults who drink 3-4 cups of coffee, or 300-400 mg of caffeine, per day.

Some research shows coffee may help prevent certain types of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and liver disease.

Certain people who may be more susceptible to caffeine should not drink coffee, however. Those with high blood pressure, the elderly, and children should limit the amount of caffeine they consume.

Of course, coffee stops being healthy once you add cream, sugar, syrups, or corn syrup solids and hydrogenated oils (hi, creamer!) to your cup.

Can coffee lead to cardiovascular disease?

Most studies do not show coffee to significantly increase a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Coffee consumption is, however, associated with increasing cardiovascular disease risk factors such as hypertension.

Consuming large amounts of caffeine can increase your blood pressure, your heart rate, and anxiety levels. Caffeine can also cause heart palpitations in some people, and can lead to sleep problems.

Does coffee increase cholesterol levels?

This one is not exactly a myth. It just doesn’t apply to all coffee drinkers. Consuming large amounts of unfiltered coffee – think espresso or French press – may increase cholesterol levels. The filtration process removes cafestol and kahweol, both of which are associated with raising cholesterol levels.

A daily demitasse of espresso after lunch or several cups of filtered coffee may not affect cholesterol levels.

And once again, it can be hard to tease out what part the coffee plays and what part has to do with coffee-related habits. That Caramel Brulee Frappuccino or daily coffee break with powdered creamer, double sugar, two doughnuts and a cigarette — coffee isn’t really the issue there.