Coffee in College – Does it help or harm?
By Kimberlee Smith
WALESKA, Ga. — I and many other college students around the United States, rely on one thing to get them through the day. That item is coffee. No matter how you take it, 90% of Americans drink coffee each day. Coffee has been thought to keep you alert during the day, so you can focus on school work and/or tests coming up later in the week. But does coffee help or hinder your health and/or studies? In this article, we will be going over the effects of coffee and caffeine and seeing if it is good for your studies or making your health decrease.
But before going into the nitty-gritty, let’s discuss the positives of drinking caffeine. Caffeine does give students the boost that they need to stay awake in class, but like all things, it should be used in moderation. Studies have shown that caffeine contains chemical properties to help enhance your memory, and within 24 hours of drinking coffee, you will be able to retain memories better. Caffeine can decrease the risk of a stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and if you drink up to 5 cups of coffee every day, you might have a 15% chance of living longer than non-coffee drinkers.
First things first, caffeine is a drug and can be abused as such. Caffeine is the most widely used addictive drug in America, because it stimulates the central nervous system, such as the receptors adenosine and dopamine, and could lead to dependence on the substance and over drinking could cause massive withdraws. It also causes side effects like any other drug, such as headaches, nervousness, upset stomach, heartburn, increase in blood pressure, difficulty concentrating (how ironic), lower bone density in women, dehydration, and increase the risk of heart disease. I, myself, can contest that after being a coffee addict for almost a month I do drink more water than usual due to the dehydration of regularly drinking caffeine.
After all of these facts, if you would still like to partake in coffee consumption, here are some safe ways to do so. Drink around 200 milligrams, or 100 milligrams for teens, of coffee each day to gain the benefits of caffeine. Don’t drink caffeine 6 hours before you plan to sleep.
To gain the benefits of drinking caffeine without the negatives of the drug, here are some alternatives. Drink a glass of ice-cold water because dehydration tends to make you sleepy which is why you lean towards caffeine to keep you awake, stay hydrated and you won’t need that coffee! You could also go for a walk; walking gives your body the boost it needs to stay awake. and it helps you feel less sluggish.
Let me know what you thought about this article and hopefully, these tips helped you stay alert, aware, and awake!
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