Caffeine Myths Thoroughly Debunked (Evidence Included)
Caffeine myths usually present themselves in examples like this:
Tell someone you had trouble sleeping last night, and you’ll likely get the same response every time. “That’s too bad. Too much caffeine before bed?”
It’s almost groan-inducing, especially if the only caffeine you had was an early morning cup of coffee. Most of us are careful; we’ve all heard the common-sense and science-backed idea that you
While that’s a good rule of thumb to follow, caffeine has a wide variety of effects that can’t all be prevented by just staying away from it six hours before you sleep.
Caffeine is incredibly complex. Some pervasive myths have led us to believe that what we know about caffeine is enough. That couldn’t be further from the truth, and these myths prove that what we think we know about caffeine might be pretty far from the truth.
1. Caffeine is Good for You
This is a strange myth, as there’s just as much evidence suggesting caffeine is healthy as there is evidence suggesting the opposite.
Some studies suggest that caffeine is dehydrating, while other studies suggest that not only will it keep you hydrated, while other studies suggest that not only will it keep you hydrated, but boost your memory too.
Multiple studies have found that caffeine may have an effect on bone density, while others have dismissed the idea altogether. What’s clear is that the jury is still very much out on some of the effects caffeine can have on the body.
What is agreed upon, however, is that caffeine is indeed a drug, and a potentially dangerous one at that.
2. Caffeine Isn’t a Drug
This myth isn’t really so much a myth, but a commonly avoided fact. Caffeine is, by nature, a drug. However, it’s tough to get the it’s tough to get the 83% of the American population to accept or be comfortable with the fact that they’re consuming a central nervous system stimulant.
While it’s not nearly as dangerous as something like cocaine, it triggers similar mechanisms of action in the brain, albeit in a much smaller and much less dangerous amount.
This is what helps it stay legal, but it still definitely falls within the classification of a drug, and still shares some of the more unsavory effects drugs are known for.
3. Caffeine Isn’t Addictive
Caffeine is addictive, but not in the traditional sense we associate with the word “addiction.” Caffeine isn’t going to destroy your life or your health like a sleeping pill addiction might.
Instead, you’ll probably just experience a noticeable discomfort if it’s been awhile since your last espresso or energy drink. Fatigue, headaches, irritability, and some anxiety are common when it’s been a day or two since the last time you had caffeine.
Caffeine isn’t what we think of when we think of life-ruining drugs, but it can still have a noticeable impact on your immediate health.
4. Decaf Won’t Keep You Up
The common misconception about decaf coffee is that it’s caffeine free.
Multiple studies have concluded that most decaf coffee still has traces of caffeine in it. In some cases it’s enough to have a noticeable impact.
This is especially true if you have more than one cup of decaf per day, which many do as they believe they’re drinking caffeine-free coffee. While it’s still less caffeine than normal, it’s still best to avoid decaf before bed, as you never know just how much caffeine you’re actually drinking.
5. Caffeine Can Help You Lose Weight
This myth has persisted for a few reasons, but mainly because caffeine does have a positive impact on our metabolism. Unfortunately, over long periods of time, no benefit to weight loss has been found with caffeine use.
In fact, due to how we consume caffeine, it’s likely that the opposite is true.
Caffeine is consumed most commonly in either coffee or energy drinks, both of which aren’t very good for you.
Coffee alone isn’t terrible for your health or calorie count. But start adding extras to it, and the calories start to skyrocket.
Many drinks at places like Starbucks average above 500 calories, and energy drinks aren’t much better. 16 oz of Red Bull clock in at 223 calories, while Monster has 210 calories per serving.
Caffeine Myths Overview – Use With Moderation!
It’s best to stick to the 6 hour rule. Avoid buying into some of the more pervasive myths about caffeine. Drink coffee, be happy, but don’t expect to fall asleep quickly or shed pounds with it.
About The Author:
Victor Uhlman is a writer, photographer, and film lover living in Detroit, MI. He currently blogs about
You can find him on his days off cooking, playing hockey, or watching Netflix with his cat, Luke Skywalker.