Coffee is loved by many worldwide. Each cup can be filled with different variations and each bean holds its own unique taste. Coffee is celebrated for its ability to provide a big caffeine boost, but also for its potential health benefits. You might have also asked yourself a few questions about your coffee habits as you hear news and myths. Over-consumption, the correct time frame in which to consume a cup, and whether it can help or hinder a hangover are just a few topics that arise.
To separate the coffee myths from facts, we spoke to coffee expert at Coffee Direct, Lewis Spencer, to answer your most common coffee questions.
There is no evidence that coffee can combat the effects of alcohol, but some people do say it can help them recover. Coffee can benefit a hangover by preventing caffeine withdrawal from making it worse. This is not removing any symptoms, but instead, preventing additional ones from developing. If your head is already pounding, coffee might make it worse before getting better. This is because caffeine slightly constricts blood vessels and raises the blood pressure.
Coffee doesn’t sober you up as the compounds won’t prevent or slow down the effect it causes. The caffeine in coffee does increase your alertness but doesn’t interact with the same receptors as alcohol. This means you will still be under the influence of alcohol even if you feel more sober.
Coffee, like most drinks other than water, can cause natural bacteria in the mouth to make acids that may be harmful to teeth. Coffee also contains tannins that can cause staining. However, if you maintain your oral hygiene and know when to brush your teeth, you can still enjoy your coffee! Drinks likely to cause acid in the mouth can soften tooth enamel but brushing your teeth too soon after drinking them can risk further damage, while they are in this weakened state. However, if left a while, the enamel has a chance to harden again. Therefore, it’s recommended that teeth shouldn’t be brushed for 30 minutes after drinking coffee.
London Hygienist says “If you are worried about staining or coffee breath, then I would advise rinsing your mouth after with water or a fluoride mouthwash. Alternatively, opt for a piece of sugar free gum or mint.”
For people concerned about having a good night’s sleep, it’s best to avoid caffeine close to when you go to bed. Research shows that coffee doesn’t significantly affect sleep patterns for most people; nicotine and alcohol are the culprits. A study found that there is little correlation between coffee and sleep difficulties if you sleep within four hours of consumption, so if you drink coffee straight before bed, this might keep you up.
Recent studies have advised that no caffeine should be consumed when pregnant, as there is no safe level. The NHS still advises that you can drink coffee, but limit the amount of caffeine you consume down to 200 milligrams a day, which is equivalent to 2 mugs of instant coffee. If you are worried, but need your daily intake, Coffee-Direct.co.uk can offer a perfect solution – a coffee that’s a minimum of 99.9% caffeine-free without any loss of flavour.
Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee, as the name suggests, is decaffeinated using the Swiss Water method. This ingenious process doesn’t use any chemicals in the act of removing caffeine, and the original coffee beans’ full flavours are retained in a rich, decaffeinated liquid.
Experts say that drinking coffee before a workout in the morning is fine, and it can benefit your fitness routine. Consuming pre-workout caffeine can up your metabolism, suppress the effect on perceived exertion, and enhance your athletic performance. But, if you wish to pair your coffee with a workout, ensure you find the right amount of caffeine that works for you. The side effects are based on caffeine dosages, duration, and the type of activity. In general, you should consume your caffeine around 20 minutes before you exercise.
When going for interviews, you shouldn’t rely on any food or drink to help you get the job. If coffee is part of your daily ritual (and you can handle the caffeine) then stick to it. If you’re not a coffee drinker, avoid trying it for the first time before an interview. Instead, go for a green tea, as this will give you a caffeine hit whilst reducing any jitters with its calming ingredients.