20 Coffee and Caffeine Myths and Facts - Part 1
- Hangovers – Caffeine will wake up a drunk, but it has no effect on sobriety. In fact, coffee can actually make a hangover worse by dehydrating the body.
- Headaches – Caffeine is used in various painkillers, since it seems to increase the power of aspirin by as much as 40%. However, caffeine gradually loses its effectiveness causing more frequent headaches.
- Increased Energy – many people say that caffeine gives them a lift, causing them to feel less drowsy and more alert. But, over time, more caffeine is needed to produce the same result, causing greater dependency on the drug.
- Problem Solving and Quick Response –Research on caffeine and reaction time is controversial. Some experts say it speeds up reaction time. Others say it slows it down. But most scientists agree that caffeine worsens performance of more complicated tasks, such as numerical reasoning, complex word problems, delicate muscular coordination and accurate timing.
- Sleep – A cup of coffee 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed causes restlessness, delay of sleep and a decreased quality of sleep. And one recent study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, showed that caffeine taken in the morning created consistent stress throughout the day that persisted even through bedtime.
- Heartburn – Coffee seems to relax the sphincter muscle of the esophagus in some people causing heartburn. But research is not clear if this is from the caffeine or from other elements in coffee.
- Anemia (iron deficiency) – Drinking coffee has been shown to cause significant loss of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B and C, calcium, zinc and iron.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) – Caffeine causes the blood vessels to constrict and the heart to pump faster, leading to high blood pressure. Coffee can worsen the symptoms of hypertension, as well as reduce the effect of medications.
- Heart Disease, Heart Attack and Stroke – Coffee contains a known blood thickener. Caffeine has also been shown to cause irregular heart beats (cardiac arrhythmias). Therefore, people at high risk for heart attack and stoke should avoid coffee.
- Coronary heart disease - A recent study at John Hopkins Medical Institute found people who drank five or more cups of coffee a day had two to three times the risk of coronary heart disease.
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