Published: Friday, September 7, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 7, 2012 22:09
As hard-working college students, we all appreciate the stimulating effects of coffee and other caffeinated drinks. Yet how much do we really know about these beverages on which we so mindlessly rely? Here are a few dispelled myths and confirmed facts about coffee that you should know in order to stay as caffeinated as ever.
Myth. Espresso has more caffeine than a cup of regular drip coffee.
An 8-ounce cup of drip coffee has about 100 milligrams of caffeine, while one shot of espresso has only 65 milligrams Espresso is brewed for a much shorter time than drip coffee: 20 to 30 seconds as opposed to four to six minutes. This means that less caffeine is extracted from the beans during espresso brewing compared to drip coffee.
Myth. Darker coffee roasts contain more caffeine than lighter roasts.
Darker roasts have less caffeine content than lighter roasts because the beans are roasted longer. The heat from roasting process destroys the caffeine contained in the acidic oils of the beans.
Fact. Coffee is a diuretic.
Coffee is a mild diuretic because of the stimulating effect of caffeine. In moderation, the diuretic effects are barely noticeably. Be careful when drinking caffeine in large amounts though, or you will be visiting the restroom more frequently than usual.Myth. Tea has the same amount of caffeine as coffee.
Coffee contains more than twice as much caffeine as tea. Here is the breakdown:
8-ounce cup coffee: 100 milligrams of caffeine
8-ounce cup black tea: 40 milligrams of caffeine
8-ounce cup green tea: 20 milligrams of caffeine
Red Bull: 80 milligrams caffeine
5-Hour Energy: 200 milligrams caffeine
Fact. Coffee will help prevent memory loss.
In 2005, researchers in Austria showed that caffeine helps temporarily improve focus and memory. In a more recent study, researchers found that women who drank three or more cups of coffee a day had 33 percent less of a decline in memory than those who drank only a cup or less. However, the researchers did not find such a correlation for the men in the study. Ladies, drink up.
Myth. It is okay to store coffee in the refrigerator.
Storing coffee in the refrigerator actually exposes the beans to moisture and unwanted food odors. Since coffee beans are porous, they take up these odors and lose their flavor, becoming stale. The best place to store coffee is at room temperature in an airtight container.
Fact. Coffee is good before working out.
Coffee is a stimulant, which can give you that edge during your workout. A cup of coffee has been shown to enhance athletic performance in those who exercise frequently. Drink a cup an hour or so before exercising in order to get the full effects of the energy boost.
Myth. Coffee dehydrates.
Caffeine is a mild diuretic in moderation, but if you drink more than a moderate amount (more than 600 milligrams a day), you will be urinating much more than usual and this can eventually lead to dehydration. This is easily remedied by balancing out the fluids lost by drinking more water throughout the day.
Fact. Bottled water is best for brewing coffee.
Tap water contains chlorine that can noticeably tamper with the taste of even the best coffee. The quality of drip coffee depends much on the kind of water used. Bottled water is recommended to keep coffee tasting fresh and crisp.
Myth. Espresso is a special type of coffee bean.
Espresso is a method, not a bean or a type of roast. In fact, espresso beans are the same beans used to make drip coffee. The difference is in the brewing method: Coffee beans are ground extra-fine and brewed under high pressure for about 20 to 30 seconds. Any coffee bean can be used to make espresso.
Fact: It is pronounced “ES-pres-so” not “EX-pres-so.”