I admit I’m a caf-fiend after working three years as a barista and drinking coffee every day for ten years. Up until this summer, singlehandedly finishing a pot of coffee before noon was not unheard of, or even that much of a challenge for me. It’s how I, along with many other students, survive a day of work and classes but we don’t fully understand caffeine’s effect on our health.
There are never-ending arguments for and against coffee as more research is conducted. Students don’t necessarily have to take a pro-coffee or anti-coffee stance, but they should notice how it effects them. Everyone processes different foods and substances differently, especially stimulants such as caffeine. Some people are barely effected while others break out in a cold sweat and tremors after consuming a few cups of coffee.
For the most part, people assume caffeine is harmless despite findings indicating it can be dangerous in some instances. This research fails to take into consideration everyone’s unique response to caffeine. However, if a person has adverse effects to caffeine it may be doing more damage than they are aware of. To me, I think it is important to be aware of your body and make an effort to adjust caffeine consumption based on how you feel.
This summer I cut back on coffee to only one cup each morning because of a new work schedule that wouldn’t allow me to drink coffee throughout the day. It was surprisingly easy to kick the dependence as long as I stayed hydrated and kept myself busy. I also made sure to get enough sleep and eat healthy foods throughout the day, focusing on small, easy-to-digest snacks. After a few weeks I found that my sleep, alertness, headaches and skin improved. Time will tell if I’ll be able to keep up with my limited caffeine intake throughout the school year but I plan on using alternatives such as tea and juices for energy boosts throughout the day.