Oh, coffee. The first thing to drink when you wake up is the drink you rely on to cure your afternoon sleepiness and the solution to your night.

But what about all the common myths we’ve heard about coffee? Does drinking lead to long-term weight loss? Is it true that drinking coffee shortens our lives? Is it really unhealthy? Do we get extra caffeine if we opt for a darker roast in the coffee shop?

USA TODAY spoke to experts to unravel some of the secrets behind one of the world’s most popular beverages.

Drinking coffee leads to weight loss

According to Katherine Zeratsky, a registered nutritionist at the Mayo Clinic, caffeine is a stimulant that increases the metabolism in the body. However, she says that caffeine alone won’t help long-term weight loss because other factors need to be considered, including a healthy diet and exercise.

“Caffeine can increase your basal metabolic rate, but overall basal metabolic rate is only a small percentage of what happens to calorie burn,” Zeratsky told USA TODAY. “It probably won’t be significant enough to see a weight change that most people are looking for.”

Zeratsky adds that While research on the relationship between caffeine and weight is inconclusive, there are some theories about how caffeine could affect weight. One theory is that caffeine can suppress appetite and reduce feelings of hunger.

Ashley Shaw, nutritionist at Natus Wellness, says that caffeine appetite suppression can be dependent on how often coffee is consumed between meals.

“If you were to drink coffee before you have a meal, you would probably feel a little more full than you normally would if you had a cup of water. You may not be eating that much of your meal and that’s where you will likely see that weight loss effect, ”Shaw told USA TODAY.

Shaw adds that the way bodies react to coffee is personal.

“Coffee works as a stimulant and appetite suppressant for some, but it’s individualized because some people may not have these effects.”

Coffee is unhealthy OR coffee is healthy

Edward Giovannuci, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, says coffee has been linked in large study reports to a likely reduced risk of some cancers and type 2 diabetes.

“Coffee contains some unique compounds that are beneficial to health. These include some antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds,” Giovannuci told USA TODAY.

However, Giovannuci says the potential health benefits aren’t always there.

“Caffeine in pregnant women is linked to an increased risk of pregnancy loss,” said Giovannuci.

He also says that too much caffeine can have acute effects in susceptible people by increasing blood pressure and causing insomnia.

“However, coffee drinkers have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. As long as you don’t experience these acute effects, you shouldn’t worry,” he said.

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The darker the roast, the stronger the caffeine

According to the National coffee association (NCA) roasting itself does not change the amount of caffeine in coffee beans.

“Many people assume that the strong, rich taste of darker roasts suggests higher caffeine levels, but the truth is that light roasts might actually have slightly higher caffeine levels,” an NCA representative told USA TODAY.

Coffee stifles your growth

Zeratsky says coffee or caffeine by themselves doesn’t directly inhibit growth. If a child instead consumes coffee, soda, or other beverages to replace their intake of drinks that are considered nutritious, parents worry about whether they are getting enough nutrients to support or realize their growth potential.

“We don’t want caffeinated beverages to replace other nutritious foods and beverages that encourage adequate growth. Therefore, caffeine is not recommended at all for children and adolescents, ”said Zeratsky.

Coffee shortens your lifespan

According to a 2018 JAMA research study on internal medicineThe researchers analyzed data from half a million Britons over a 10-year study period and found that drinking coffee, whether decaffeinated or caffeinated, was inversely linked to the risk of death, including those who drink eight or more cups a day.

A Pubmed Research Study 2019, after analyzing 21 cohort studies of over 10 million participants, found that drinking one cup of decaffeinated or caffeinated coffee per day was associated with a 3% reduced risk of death and drinking 3 cups of coffee was associated with a 13% reduced risk was. reduced risk of death.

“Coffee can be part of a healthy diet in acceptable amounts, and in fact, coffee is a rich source of antioxidants for many people. So when you think about healthy aging, consuming foods or beverages with these antioxidants will help,” said Zeratsky.

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Coffee will dehydrate you

Coffee contains fluids that count towards your hydration needs, and it is good to consume in moderate amounts. However, Shaw says that too much can have a mild diuretic effect.

“Basically, a diuretic makes you go to the bathroom more, so more fluid drains out of your body, so a cup or two balance should be fine,” Shaw said.