Anything good for you, or enjoyable, is almost certain to be the topic of cultural myths and misconceptions. Here’s a familiar example at this time of year: Turkey makes us sleepy because it contains tryptophan. The truth is, it is the copious traditional Holiday meal that makes us sleepy, not the bird alone. Nuts like almonds and cashews contain more tryptophan than turkey, yet they do not make us feel drowsy. Make a fresh cup and read on, as we set the record straight on three coffee myths.
Coffee Cures Hangovers
Watch out for illusions on this one. Because coffee quickly provides a sense of sharpness or restored clarity, we mistakenly equate this with sobering up. We rarely think about it, but there is no mechanism in the body and not a single component of coffee that can clear alcohol out of the system. In other words, there’s no amount of coffee anyone can take between the last drink and getting on the road that will bring about the alertness of an alcohol-free brain or body. What works, though, is to allow a teetotaler-du-jour friend to play chauffeur and thank them with an invitation to coffee the next day. THIS is how coffee cures hangovers.
Coffee Causes Dehydration
Do a random survey of your friends or colleagues asking, “Do you believe that coffee counts as the daily recommended 8 glasses of water?” We would not be surprised if you reported that nearly all replied that coffee probably does not count because it is a diuretic. Likewise, the majority of your friends and colleagues will rejoice when you inform them that, “Coffee does not cause dehydration and a cup of coffee is a valid serving of water as part of the recommended daily fluid intake.” Whoo-hoo!
Dehydration is a matter of insufficient water intake. Yes, it is true that coffee tends to go “right through you,” but it is not causing dehydration. Omitting to replenish your body on a daily basis, regardless of your coffee intake, is the real culprit. Physicians agree though, variety is best. Hydrate yourself with water, juice, fruit, vegetables and yes, your beloved coffee.
Coffee Can Raise Cholesterol
It is true that coffee contains a molecule that has been shown to raise cholesterol, slightly. You would have to drink very large amounts of coffee for any significant impact. It is known as Cafestol. However, it finds its way to your cup only if your brewing method does not use a paper or cloth filter. Cafestol is present in the coffee oils. Thus it is absent from a filtered brew. Notice that the filter in question should be able to trap it. Paper or cloth filters do the trick. By no means does this mean that you should necessarily switch your brewing method if you prefer a French Press or Percolator. If you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, alternating with a filter-based method could be a solution. Also, explore. You may enjoy a different variety of coffee with a filter method.
Interestingly, Cafestol may also prevent type 2 diabetes. Rest assured, Cafestol is not alone in its reported benefits for people at risk of developing diabetes. Coffee is a rich source of several compounds that can benefit your health, including reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
By the way, we are not doctors, nor do we play one on TV! The health information in this article and throughout this Blog is presented here for your enjoyment and consideration. Always seek professional counsel.
We raise our cup to you!