Campus News

OP-ED: Should students drink coffee?

Zadok Miller, Staff Writer

Coffee is an integral part of the day for a vast majority of college students across the country. It has a profound effect on our mental and physical well being on a day-to-day basis, yet many students are unaware of the many positive and, unfortunately, negative side effects of the drink.

Students will ingest coffee in scary quantities, not thinking about the potential pitfalls of binge consumption. A main ingredient in the drink, caffeine, makes us feel awake, and allows us not to bite off our professor’s heads at 8:00 a.m. However, caffeine is also the main culprit of many less-than-desirable side effects when consumed in excessive quantities.

According to CNN and health.gov, the amount of caffeine that is recommended for the average healthy adult is 400 mg per day, should they choose to incorporate the substance into their daily diet. 400 mg of caffeine equates to about three to five cups of eight-ounce coffees each day. Once 400 mg is exceeded, the negative effects of coffee make themselves evident, in the form of cardiac arrhythmias (rapid and/or irregular heart rate), gastrointestinal upset (diarrhea and heartburn), and even increased blood pressure, according to WebMD. Additionally, many individuals try to use coffee as a tool to decrease anxiety before a test or presentation, but WebMD suggests that excessive coffee intake can actually make your anxiety worse.

Coffee has numerous perks when used in moderation, however. According to health.gov, when coffee is consumed in quantities of three to five cups per day, the average healthy individual can expect to have a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease such as hypertension or stroke, a 13 percent total lower risk of cancer, and a 33 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. There is also research studying a correlation between coffee consumption and decreased risks of Parkinson’s disease.

It is evident in many aspects of our lives that all things are good in moderation, and this rings true with coffee: in small portions it can help students focus in class, and lower the risks of chronic disease later in life.

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