Coffee: Fact or Fiction? Take the Quiz!

If your typical day includes a steaming cup of coffee (or two or three), you are not alone.  In fact, you’re in the majority—83% of all Americans drink coffee. As a nation, we drink more coffee than any other country in the world. If you’re a coffee lover, you’ve no doubt heard that coffee is good for you—and you’ve probably also heard that it’s bad for you. Take our coffee quiz and see if you can separate the coffee facts from the coffee fiction!

  1. True or False: Coffee dehydrates you.
  2. True or False: An 8-ounce cup of coffee has 30 calories.
  3. True or False: Joe, java, mud, jitter juice, wakey juice, go juice, cuppa, and dirt are all slang terms for coffee.
  4. True or False: Coffee drinkers are more likely to have a stroke.
  5. True or False: People with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) should not drink coffee.
  6. True or False: The more coffee you drink, the greater your risk for cancer.
  7. True or False: Coffee raises your blood pressure.
  8. True or False: Coffee increases mental alertness.
  9. True or False: Drinking coffee during the day will keep you awake at night.
  10. True or False: Drinking coffee can help you live longer.



  1. False. While coffee does have a slight diuretic effect (it increases urine), the amount of water in the coffee makes up for this.
  2. False. An 8-ounce cup of black coffee has only two calories. It’s what we add to each cup of coffee that can quickly transform it into a higher-calorie drink. If you brew your coffee at home, and if, for example, you add one tablespoon of Coffee-Mate French Vanilla creamer, you’ve added 35 calories. However, if you prefer two tablespoons of creamer per cup and you typically drink two cups of coffee, you’ve added 140 calories. If you get your coffee at Starbucks on the way to work each day, a Grande (16-ounce) White Chocolate Mocha made with 2% milk adds a whopping 360 calories.
  3. True. All of those terms affectionately refer to the coffee beverage.
  4. False. Research has found that coffee actually lowers your chances of having a stroke.
  5. True. Coffee can aggravate GERD.
  6. In fact, for some cancers, coffee may have the opposite effect. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, “Relatively large and well-controlled population studies now provide good evidence that up to six cups of coffee per day do not increase the risk of most cancers. Current research even suggests that coffee might decrease the risk of certain cancers. In some population studies, people who drink moderate amounts of coffee daily show modestly reduced risk of a wide range of cancers, especially endometrial and liver cancers… (”
  7. False, if you drink less than five cups a day. Possibly true if you drink five or more cups. The website states that clinical trials “suggest that coffee intake of around 5 cups per day may cause a small elevation in blood pressure (1-2mmHg) when compared to abstinence or use of decaffeinated coffee.”
  8. True. Research has well documented this fact. If you regularly drink caffeinated coffee, you can probably attest to this from your own personal experience. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that 75mg of caffeine (an amount approximately equal to one regular cup of coffee) temporarily increases attention and alertness.
  9. True, depending on several factors. Individuals vary in sensitivity to caffeine. Some people metabolize caffeine more slowly than others. Genetics may play a role in this. Other factors include the total amount of caffeine you consume over an entire day (think chocolate, sodas, etc.). Caffeine sensitivity varies with age and weight, too. Older adults or those who weigh less may be more sensitive. And of course, the time at which you drink coffee relative to your bedtime can also make a huge difference.
  10. True. Two large studies, both published about a year ago in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that drinking two or more daily cups of coffee—even decaf—helps us live longer. “Moderate coffee intake,” according to the researchers, is part of a healthy diet. Happily, it turns out that a love affair with coffee just might prolong your life!

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