Every day millions of Americans consume caffeine in some for or another. It’s been estimated that over 90% of us get a dose of caffeine every day in this country. Sometimes, it seems as if caffeine is hard to avoid. Caffeine is naturally found in chocolate, coffee and tea and is also added to almost all carbonated soft drinks. Oh, by the way, those miracle energy drinks? Caffeine.

Whenever a highly popular food or beverage becomes this far ingrained into popular culture the inevitable myths and misinformation find their way in too. Many popularly held beliefs turn out to be not quite true.

Among the many misconceptions about caffeine are these:

Myth: If you’re pregnant you should avoid caffeine. It’s perfectly safe for pregnant women to continue getting their caffeine in moderation. Don’t overdo it and drinking your morning coffee or tea is perfectly healthy for both you and your baby.

Myth: Stay away from caffeine to stay hydrated. Caffeine does not cause dehydration. While caffeine is a mild diuretic the amount of water consumed with caffeine compensates for the diuretic effect. Not as good as drinking pure water, drinking coffee or tea will help you stay hydrated.

Myth: Caffeine is especially bad for children. Not so. Children have about the same ability to metabolize caffeine as adults. Kids usually get their caffeine from sodas and there’s no evidence that moderate intake has any detectable effects on activity levels or crankiness.

The U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has classified caffeine to be safe for everyday consumption. Don’t overdo it and two, three or even four cups of coffee or tea won’t hurt you a bit. Practice moderation with caffeine and you won’t have to worry about your health and safety.

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