Kathleen Doheny (@DohenyKathleen)
September 29, 2015
If it’s coffee that makes your world go round, pour yourself a fresh cuppa, then take the quiz to find out how java-smart you really are.
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How dehydrating is coffee?
Yes, coffee is a diuretic, which means it makes you pee more. But don’t forget that it also contains water. According to the Mayo Clinic, researchers have discovered that it doesn’t cause you to lose any more fluid than you’re taking in.
Which roast has more caffeine?
People often choose darker roasts for what they assume will be a bigger caffeine hit, but light roast is in fact a tiny bit higher in caffeine. As far as we know, there is no such thing as purple roast.
How many cups a day is considered generally OK for health?
According to a panel of experts who worked on the proposed new Dietary Guidelines for Americans, "Strong and consistent evidence shows that consumption of coffee within the moderate range (3 to 5 cups/d or up to 400 mg/d caffeine) is not associated with increased risk of major chronic diseases." Drinking four to five cups daily was linked with a longer life in a large study of thousands of people. It didn't seem to matter if the java was regular or decaf. The longevity benefit is probably due to one or more of coffee's 1,000+ other compounds.
After a cup of coffee, you should brush your teeth:
Waiting about 30 minutes is best, according to the Mayo Clinic and other health experts. The acids in acidic beverages like coffee weaken tooth enamel, some of which you’ll actually brush away if you brush too soon.
True or false: Coffee sends most people to the bathroom for #2.
According to the American Chemical Society, only about three out of ten coffee drinkers experience this laxative effect. It’s probably not because of the caffeine, they note, but something else in coffee.
Coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of:
Studies have found that coffee reduces the risk of developing both Type 2 diabetes and a common kind of skin cancer, basal cell. Researchers aren't suggesting you start drinking coffee just for these benefits, but if you're already a java junkie, you can add these to your fringe benefits list. Both caffeinated and decaf coffee reduced Type 2 diabetes risk in studies, but only regular joe appears to lower basal cell cancer risk.
How much coffee will give you the jitters?
The amount of caffeine required to produce the jitters varies greatly from person to person. “Caffeine gets cleared from the body at different rates because of genetic variations, gender, and even whether a person is a smoker,” according to an article in Chemical Engineering News. And according to Mayo Clinic, “How you react to caffeine may be determined in part by how much caffeine you're used to drinking.” Up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day — about the amount in four cups of brewed coffee — appears to be safe for most healthy adults according to Mayo Clinic.
Caffeinated coffee will raise your blood pressure.
True, but only briefly. According to a review of studies published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in people with high blood pressure, “Caffeine intake produces an acute increase in BP for ≥3 h [hours]. However, current evidence does not support an association between longer-term coffee consumption and increased BP or between habitual coffee consumption and an increased risk of CVD [cardiovascular disease].” Still, if you have high blood pressure, it can’t hurt to check with your doctor about your caffeine habit.
Java with a jolt has this effect on long-term memory:
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, “Caffeine has a positive effect on our long-term memory.” The results of their double-blind trial, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, show caffeine enhances certain memories at least up to 24 hours after drinking it. “We've always known that caffeine has cognitive-enhancing effects, but its particular effects on strengthening memories and making them resistant to forgetting has never been examined in detail in humans," said one of the authors. "We report for the first time a specific effect of caffeine on reducing forgetting over 24 hours."
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