December 2, 2023

Lisette Nichols -- Student considers the caffeine: to drink or not to drink?

Lisette Nichols -- Student considers the caffeine: to drink or not to drink?

Whether you choose to drink a nice, warm cup of joe in the morning or a bubbly cola to keep cool in the heat, the obvious goal is to get energized. However, which is the healthier of these caffeine-loaded beverages?


It seems that there is always a new study warning to stay away from all caffeine or research suggesting you should drink a cup of coffee every day. Though some people may not care either way – all that matters is the taste of something delicious. So which one is the better of two evils?


“Although neither is good in excess, coffee is definitely a better choice,” Amy Miller, professor of kinesiology, said. “That being said not all coffee is created equally. For example, one cup of black coffee is a significantly better choice than a blended caramel frappuccino with whipped cream. It is not necessarily only the caffeine that we are concerned about. Other things to watch out for are sugar, fat and sodium.”


Portion control is also imperative, even in the drinks that you are consuming. It is best to stay away from excess amounts of anything. Though it may taste good at the moment there are health consequences like the saying “a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.” Some simple ways to cut back on excess calories are to order a tall or small serving instead of the venti or jumbo size. In the end, the taste may not be worth negative effects on your body.


“There have been positive effects associated with moderate caffeine consumption.” Miller said.


According to the Mayo Clinic, “Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, alleviating fatigue, increasing wakefulness and improving concentration and focus.”


Although sometimes too much of a good thing can prove to be negative.


“There is a limit when too much caffeine is too much,” Miller said. “There is not necessarily a hard fast number because some people are more sensitive than others. For most people, between 200 mg and 300 mg shouldn’t pose health problems. However, if you start noticing that you are having trouble falling asleep, you are jittery, your heart is racing or you have headaches when you don’t get caffeine, it may be time to cut back.”


Your body was made to understand when it is time to stop consuming a certain food. Sweets, for example, may taste good but too much can damage teeth, cause weight gain or upset the stomach. Depending on caffeine is consumed, the effects can either be positive or negative. It is important to take care of our bodies in order to live a long and healthy life.


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