Coffee has not been around since the dawn of man – earliest evidence of coffee comes from the 15th century! – but for almost as long as people have been using it to help them get alert in the morning people have been telling stories and spinning myths about the glorious bean.
First, let’s just take a second to appreciate that we were all born the post-coffee-discovery era of mankind. Socrates wasn’t so lucky. DaVinci, incredibly, came up with all his ideas while un-caffeinated.
Okay, now for some coffee myth trivia.
- Coffee has been implicated in many coups and revolutions and has been seen as the drink of instigators, imbibed in crowded rooms, the natural habitat for radical ideas. (see the French Revolution and the American Revolution)
- In the dark ages of American cultural mythology, coffee was thought to cause hypertension and heart disease. Today we live in a world relatively more enlightened scientifically and we now know that coffee is positively healthy for your heart. Among other good things, coffee drinking reduces the likelihood of heart disease.
- Coffee was once a banned substance in the Olympics. It was considered a performance enhancing drug. This isn’t a myth. Coffee is performance enhancing. Science says so, but it’s allowed in the Olympics again.
- Coffee has yet to successfully combat the myth that caffeine is energizing but bad for you. Studies show that caffeine may help prevent Parkinson’s disease, promote physical performance and breaks down fat, turning body fat into energy. So, besides all the other health benefits of coffee (its antioxidants, its positive effects on the liver, its diabetes-fighting qualities), the caffeine in coffee is also a good thing.
The truth is: Coffee is not only good. Coffee is good for you, and good for America too.