Monday December 10, 2018

International Coffee Day: Let’s Debunk Some Coffee Myths

Debunking some coffee myths on the occasion of International Coffee Day

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International Coffee Day
Coffee. Pixabay
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Oct 1, 2017: Who does not like waking up to the delicious aroma of coffee? Coffee has become one of the main constituents of people’s lives. Thus the International Coffee day celebrates coffee lovers all over the world. Coffee comes in several different types like a latte, cappuccino, espresso, iced, black, decaf and much more. No matter what type of coffee lover you are, International Coffee Day is always here to memorialize your affection for coffee.

Coffee has often symbolized the new beginnings of friendships and relationships. This brown liquid and its rich aroma have become the most favored drink worldwide. Recently people have started paying more attention to their health and have made a list of food that should and should not be consumed. Coffee often falls in the not to consume category. This is because of the several myths surrounding our favorite drink.

Let’s invalidate these myths on the occasion of International Coffee Day.

Coffee leads to insomnia

The first myth being that a cup of coffee in the afternoon will cause insomnia. The main ingredient in coffee is caffeine. Though it is true that too much of caffeine causes insomnia but if it is consumed in the afternoon, it is usually processed by the liver in 4 to 7 hours and is flushed out of the system, it cannot lead to insomnia. Even if the second cup coffee is consumed at 2 pm, it has already been flushed out of the body.

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Richness of Coffee. Pixabay

Coffee helps in losing weight

Another myth that is frequently associated with coffee is that drinking coffee helps in losing weight.  This may not be completely a myth according to some experts. The caffeine may lead to the slight rise in the metabolism, but it’s not enough for losing weight long term.  Experts have realized that coffee is not as harmful as they thought it to be.

Coffee sobers up drunkards

One of the myths that have recently made rounds with the coffee addicts is the fact that a cup of coffee sobers up drunken people. The direct answer to this myth would be no.  Coffee does not sober up drunken people. Though the caffeine may make the intoxicated person much more alert it does not reverse the effect of the alcohol.  This has been proved by the American Psychological Association. They report that “It is made worse for these people. People who have consumed both alcohol and caffeine feel that they are competent enough to handle socially dangerous situations like drinking and driving.

Coffee increases height

The next myth that is famous among the coffee drinkers is the fact that coffee stunts the growth of an individual. There is no scientific evidence to prove that this is true. There have been cases where the coffee addicts have not grown more than 5 feet in height. This is mere coincidence and nothing else.  This is nothing but an urban legend and nobody knows how it came to existence.

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Coffee Beans. Pixabay

Caffeine is highly addictive

Last but not the least, there is a myth which says that caffeine is highly addictive and the withdrawal effects of caffeine are worse than the withdrawal effect of illegal narcotics.  The first part of the myth is partially true. Caffeine is not highly addictive but it is addictive to a certain extent. However, the second part of the myth is nothing but poppycock. The withdrawal symptoms of caffeine last only for two or three days maximum and extremely far from the withdrawal symptoms of the illegal drugs.

Prepared by Saloni Hindocha of Newsgram

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Your Genes Determine You As a Tea or Coffee Person

"The findings suggest our perception of bitter tastes, informed by our genetics, contributes to the preference for coffee, tea and alcohol," Cornelis said

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Your genes make you tea or coffee lover: Study. Pixabay

Are you a tea or coffee person? The answer may lie in your genetic predisposition towards bitter tastes, say researchers.

It could be because bitterness acts as a natural warning system to protect us from harmful substances.

The study, led by researchers from US-based Northwestern University, and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia, explored reactions to three bitter substances — caffeine, quinine and propylthiouracil (PROP) — to understand how they affect people’s preference for drinking tea, coffee and alcohol.

The findings showed that people who were more sensitive to caffeine and were drinking a lot of coffee consumed low amounts of tea.

In other words, people who have a heightened ability to taste coffee’s bitterness — and particularly the distinct bitter flavour of caffeine — learn to associate “good things with it”.

“You’d expect that people who are particularly sensitive to the bitter taste of caffeine would drink less coffee,” said Marilyn Cornelis, assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

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The findings showed that people who were more sensitive to caffeine and were drinking a lot of coffee consumed low amounts of tea. Pixabay

“The opposite results of our study suggest coffee consumers acquire a taste or an ability to detect caffeine due to the learned positive reinforcement (stimulation) elicited by caffeine.”

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, also found that people sensitive to the bitter flavours of quinine and of PROP — a synthetic taste related to the compounds in cruciferous vegetables — avoid coffee.

For alcohol, a higher sensitivity to the bitterness of PROP resulted in lower alcohol consumption, particularly of red wine.

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“The findings suggest our perception of bitter tastes, informed by our genetics, contributes to the preference for coffee, tea and alcohol,” Cornelis said.

Scientists applied Mendelian randomisation — a technique commonly used in disease epidemiology — to test the causal relationship between bitter taste and beverage consumption in more than 4,00,000 men and women in the UK. (IANS)