Quitting Caffeine: Pros and Cons

August 18, 2019

 Photo: Jakub Dziubak on Unsplash 

 

Caffeine is in a lot of our food and drinks. It appears in different forms like tea, coffee, soft drinks, energy drinks, and chocolate. Beyond food, caffeine is also present in medicine such as pain killers. Most of us have caffeine in our daily lives. Therefore, knowing the pros and cons of caffeine is beneficial.

 

Feeling tired? 

One of the greatest pros of caffeine is its ability to give you energy. With caffeine, you don’t have to worry about sleeping through a class or going to work lacking energy. Caffeine makes you more alert and increases your concentration. The downside is that caffeine may disrupt your sleep. College students rarely get enough sleep, so drinking more caffeine could mean another lost hour of sleep.

 

Parkinson’s Disease: What’s that? 

People who drink coffee regularly have a lower chance of getting Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s disease is a disease causing muscle rigidity, shaking, and poor balance. How does caffeine lower your chance of getting it? In recent studies, scientists have found that coffee helps the body from losing dopamine-transmitting brain cells. These cells are the key to fighting the disease. 

 

Reduce Your Chance of Getting a Stroke

Caffeine can reduce your chance of getting a stroke as well. Most people believe caffeine increases the chances of getting a stroke. In a study in the Journal of American Heart Association, women who consumed coffee were shown to have a decrease in their stroke risk. 

 

Hang Out With Friends 

Grabbing a cup of coffee is always an affordable and fun activity to do with friends. With a cup of coffee, you can have a good chat and get to know someone better. Coffee dates and meetings are becoming common among young people.

 

Too Much is Never Good 

After reading the pros, are you thinking about grabbing more caffeine? Hold your horses! It’s time to learn the cons about caffeine. 

 

If you take in 500 to 600 mg of caffeine daily, you are drinking too much. Too much caffeine causes anxiousness, nervousness, irritability, headache, irregular heartbeat, muscle twitches, and sleeplessness. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, lower your intake of coffee. 

 

Some studies have shown that heavy consumption of caffeine could lead to bone loss in postmenopausal women. It also increases the rate of bone loss. You are young now, but it is never too early to prepare for the future. Imagine yourself at the age of 40 or 50, and hold yourself back from that extra cup of coffee.

 

Lose Weight? Nah 

Contrary to the popular myth of caffeine helping with weight loss, caffeine can actually lead to weight gain. Truthfully, caffeine can speed up your metabolism, which burns calories. However, consuming lots of caffeine can create cortisol (a stress hormone) and result in weight gain. Most of the calories burned from caffeine is not enough for weight loss.

 

Is Caffeine For Everyone?

Caffeine is not for everyone.Our body systems all work differently. Some people can handle alcohol while others can’t. With caffeine, it’s the same idea. Some people get jittery or irregular heartbeats from only one cup of caffeine. If you ever feel this way, definitely turn to decaffeinated beverages. Caffeine can become addictive when you drink too much. Try to balance how much caffeine you consume. If you become addicted to caffeine, it will be difficult to quit drinking it. 

 

Coffee Adds Up!

Before you realize it, buying coffee everyday can be detrimental to your finances. The costs might seem insignificant at first. You shrug it off because it seems like nothing. You would be surprised when you start to keep track of every caffeinated product you purchase. For example, if you buy a cup of coffee ($4.50) for 20 days every month, the cost would be $1,080. This amount was solely on coffee! It is quite shocking to see how much people spend on coffee on a daily basis. Overall, if you drink and eat caffeine daily, make sure you find a good balance for both your health and wallet. 

 

Mindy is a 20 years old junior at Bentley University in Waltham, MA. She majors in marketing with a minor in HR Management. Her favorite movie is The Emperor’s New Groove due to her love for llamas. You’ll never see her without her dark eye circles. If you didn’t know, you would think she’s part of the panda family.

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