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5 Coffee Myths Debunked

Learn about the most common coffee myths about beans, brewing, caffeine and whether sobering up with a cup of joe actually works.

Have you ever been afraid to enjoy your daily coffee after hearing about a wild side effect from a friend? There are so many coffee myths out there, but here are five big ones that we think need to be set straight.

1. Having a mid-afternoon coffee will cause insomnia

Caffeine is processed through the liver at an alarming rate, meaning most of it will be flushed out of your system in 4-7 hours. So if you decide you have to have that second cup around 3:00 PM, it should be completely gone by the time you're ready for bed.

2. Coffee will dehydrate you

Caffeine is a diuretic, and it can dehydrate you. HOWEVER, this myth is funny, because coffee is brewed with water! All the H2O that goes into your morning brew combats the dehydrating effects of the caffeine. While I do not suggest replacing your 8 glasses of water a day with coffee, a cup of coffee can hydrate you as much as a glass of water will.

3. Coffee stunts your growth

My mom swears her love of coffee is the reason she just barely made it above 5 feet tall, but there is actually no scientific proof that this is true. So it is totally safe to let drink some coffee without ruining your chance at a career in the NBA.

4. Decaf coffee is caffeine free

Many people assume that a decaf coffee is free of caffeine altogether, but there is actually no way to completely decaffeinate coffee. A cup of decaf coffee will typically have about 10-20% of the caffeine you would find in a regular coffee. So if you are drinking 4 or 5 cups of decaf, you might as well be enjoying a cup of regular drip coffee.

5. A cup of coffee will help sober you up

This is a very dangerous myth, because a cup of coffee can make you feel more alert and awake but will not sober you up at all. Consuming caffeine is actually a poor choice, because it could trick you into believing you are alert enough to handle potentially dangerous situations like driving home even though you are still intoxicated. Water or Gatorade is a much better choice and will hopefully help you out the next morning.

Now that we have set you straight, you can go brew yourself up another cup!
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