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10 Coffee Myths & Misconceptions Debunked: The Truth Explained

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Coffee has been around for quite a long time, so it is no surprise that there have been hundreds of coffee myths throughout the years. Coffee has often been wrongly blamed for many things that have been debunked, but there are still quite a few myths that persist today. Unfortunately, some of these myths are not always safe to believe, so it’s important that the truth is out there to squash these caffeinated rumors. Here are 10 popular coffee myths and misconceptions that we can gladly say are debunked:

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Top 10 Coffee Myths & Misconceptions to Stop Believing:

1. Coffee is Bad for Your Health

health benefits of decaf coffee
Image credit: Unsplash

Coffee is often treated as a vice simply due to its addictive nature. However, there are some health benefits to drinking coffee daily, which prove to a lot of naysayers that coffee isn’t bad. These health benefits apply to black coffee, however, which is not how most people drink their coffee. The problem lies in what’s in your coffee: creamers, sugar, sweeteners, and flavored syrups. Unless you’re using just a splash of milk or cream (which still contain some sugar), those fun, sweet-flavored creamers or fancy syrups at coffee shops are not good for your health.

2. A Cup of Coffee After Drinking Can Sober You Up

Not even discussing the health reasons as to why alcohol and caffeine together are potentially dangerous, the suggestion that a cup of coffee can rewind a night of drinking is extremely dangerous. Coffee or caffeine does not speed up the sobering process, no matter how “sober” a person might feel. While it used to be customary for barkeeps to make a cup of coffee to help sober up their patrons, the myth was eventually debunked to help lower drinking and driving. The truth is that although drinking coffee may make you feel sober, only time will sober you up.

3. Storing Coffee in the Fridge or Freezer Extends Freshness


While it’s important to keep coffee beans and ground coffee away from direct sunlight, the fridge and freezer are not ideal for coffee due to moisture. Moisture will speed up the process of coffee losing its flavor and possibly growing mold, especially if the coffee isn’t stored properly. Instead of placing them in the fridge, keep your coffee beans in the pantry in an airtight container or the bag that they came in.

4. If Coffee Makes You Tired, You Have ADHD

Probably one of the more serious coffee myths, coffee making a person tired does not mean that they have ADHD. While there are some people with an ADHD diagnosis that get tired of coffee, there are also plenty of people who also get tired and do not have ADHD. It’s important to understand that stimulants don’t always work for everyone, regardless of their diagnosis. Some people simply get tired after a cup of coffee, so jumping to ADHD as an explanation isn’t a good idea.

5. Stronger or Darker Roast Coffee Has More Caffeine

people with four drinking glasses of coffee making a toast
Image Credit: Valeriia Miller, Pexels

Whether you’re new to coffee or looking for a stronger caffeine kick, it might be tempting to reach for the dark roast coffee. While it may seem like strong, dark coffee would have more caffeine, it’s actually quite the opposite. Light roast coffee has the most caffeine due to the fact that it spends the least amount of time roasting, so it retains the most amount of caffeine and acidity.

6. Coffee Will Dehydrate You

Many people believe that coffee is a diuretic that will dehydrate you. But it’s not true! This myth can be traced back to a misleading study from the 1920s that showed that people who drink coffee urinate more… but failed to account for the fact that they were also consuming more liquid. More recent studies have shown that coffee does not make you lose more liquid than you consume, meaning that you’re coming out ahead when you drink that morning cup.

7. Drinking Coffee Will Prevent You From Sleeping

young caucasian man awake at night not able to sleep
Image Credit: SB Arts Media, Shutterstock

Although caffeine does interfere with your brain’s sleep processes, its half-life is about 5 hours. That means that if you drink a cup of coffee at noon, half of the caffeine will be fully metabolized by 5 pm. Unless you’re particularly sensitive to caffeine or have a very slow metabolism, you’ll likely sleep just fine, despite your love of coffee.

8. You Should Brush Your Teeth After Drinking Coffee

Another common coffee myth is that brushing your teeth right after drinking coffee will prevent it from staining them. Not only is this a bad idea, but it can actually harm your teeth! Coffee is acidic, so if you brush your teeth immediately after drinking coffee, the acidity can damage your enamel. The best plan is to brush your teeth before you drink coffee, which will get rid of the plaque that stains like to latch onto. Another good option is to wait half an hour after you finish your coffee before brushing your teeth. This gives your saliva a chance to rebalance that acidity!

9. Drinking Coffee Right When You Wake Up Is a Good Idea

how to fall asleep after drinking coffee
Image credit: Unsplash

Does coffee help you wake up? Absolutely! But when you drink coffee immediately after waking up, you may not enjoy the full benefits. In the early morning, your brain pumps out high levels of cortisol, which helps you feel awake and alert. If you drink coffee while your cortisol levels are high, you may not feel any extra caffeine benefit, and the combination can raise your blood pressure level, too. The best idea is to wait 20 minutes to an hour after you wake up before you brew that cup of joe.

10. Drinking Coffee Makes You Smarter

The final coffee myth on our list is only a shade off the truth. Coffee doesn’t exactly make you smarter, but it can have measurable effects on your memory and ability to focus in the short-term. Long-term benefits from coffee include protection from diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. You may not see a literal rise in IQ, but you may certainly feel smarter after you drink coffee!

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Coffee Myths: Final Thoughts

When it comes to coffee, the difference between truth and myth can be hard to figure out. While some myths have been proven wrong, other myths won’t be debunked so easily. Before believing in the latest coffee rumor, make sure it’s from a legitimate source. Otherwise, you might be falling for just another coffee myth that is probably far from the truth.

Featured Image: nathan dumlao, Unsplash


Jaimie Wisniowski

Jaimie is a freelance writer fueled by coffee, whether it’s hot, iced, or made from a local coffee shop. She enjoys writing all things coffee, especially if it means trying the latest coffee shop trends (hello cold foam!). After spending years writing poems, college essays, and short stories, it only a matter of time to turn writing into a career. Writing about coffee simply combined two of her favorite things! When she’s not drinking coffee by the minute and writing at her laptop, Jaimie spends time hiking, exercising, and living an active life. She also loves to snuggle up with a good book and her dog, Margo. If you catch her without a cup of coffee, she’s probably on her way to the coffee maker now.

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