Tag Archives: caffeine

Coffee… Yay or Nay?



Mornings are the worst. Waking up all tired knowing that you have to roll out of bed to go to work or school. It sucks. You’re moping around your home like a zombie throwing on clothes and dragging yourself out the door. However, you just have to have your typical cup of coffee in the morning to hype you up and get you wide awake for your day! Wait, a drink that can wake you up? Is this amazing or just flat out unhealthy?

Coffee is made from coffee beans that expand when exposed to humid climates at altitudes over 6,000 feet above sea level(All 1). Also, coffee is the second most traded item in the world, behind oil(All 1). How important! Coffee is usually drank in the morning and it comes in regular and decaf (no caffeine). You can add additives such as milk, cream, or sugar to enhance the taste or flavor of your drink.

clipart-sad-hot-coffee-cup-256x256-834bEveryone’s initial thought is that coffee is bad for you. Coffee is known for being very sugary once adding sugar and it also stains your teeth. It can get you on a sugar high if you drink too much of it as well. However, the worst part is that you can easily get addicted to coffee, almost acting like a drug. I was reading an article where the author was stating how “At times I’d quit coffee for up to a month but then eventually I’d come crawling back to it (normally triggered and lured back in by the sight and smell of it whilst catching up with friends)” and also stating, “I literally tried so many times to quit coffee during this time; I tried to tell myself that I didn’t have an addiction and that I deserved these 1-2 coffees a day”(Coffee 1). It is quotes like those which make coffee seem like heroin or crack. It is crazy to here how a person can rely so much on a hot beverage. The most unhealthy part about coffee is the caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulate of the neurotransmitter serotonin, a hormone in our brain which controls sleeping(Coffee 1). When our body depends on this hormone too much, it “impacts on the body’s natural ability to regulate healthy serotonin production”(Coffee 1). This leads to the random and sudden highs and lows after drinking coffee(Coffee 1). So, isn’t it clear that coffee is awful for you?

gty_smiley_coffee_jt_120929_wblogOn the other hand, coffee could be considered good for you. Studies have shown that coffee improves mood and brain function because the caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter inside of the brain, which starts a net stimulant effect(Gunnar 1). Also, coffee raises a person’s metabolism which mobilizes fatty acids from fat tissues; in the long run, it burns fat and improves ones physical performance(Gunnar 1). Another shocking finding concludes that coffee decreases your risk of receiving Type II Diabetes. There is a indirect correlation which states that the more coffee you drink per day, the less likely you get diabetes(Gunnar 1). Finally, drinking coffee could decrease your risk of receiving Alzheimer and Parkinson Disease(Gunnar 1). So drinking coffee leads to better health in the long run and it can protect your from very serious diseases in the future. So, isn’t it clear that coffee is good for you?

There were a variety of 18 studies done in a huge review article which tested out if coffee actually lowered the risk of diabetes. There were 457.922 participants total in the 18 studies and each of them had to drink coffee every single day(Gunnar 1). The data showed that each additional coffee drank per day, led to a whopping 7% decreases in the risk of diabetes(Gunnar 1). Other studies have proven that four cups of coffee per day would lower the risk of cirrhosis by 80%(Gunnar 1). There are so many different other reasons and studies that show why coffee is good for you. Since there were so many random participants in these studies and so many different types of studies, it is quite obvious that the data is most likely valid. Reverse causation would not work in this case and it is possible that this information could be due to chance, but it is doubtful.

So coffee might be good for you… Thoughts?

Is coffee good or bad for you?

Is coffee good or bad for you?

Works Cited

“All about Coffee.” Indigo Coffee: What Is Coffee? N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2014.

“Coffee: 10 Shocking Reasons Why It’s Soooo Bad For You.” Nurture Pod Health Coaching Yoga In Sydney RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2014.

Gunnars, Kris. “Why Is Coffee Good For You? Here Are 7 Reasons.” Authority Nutrition. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.

“Top 10 Most Underrated Health Foods.” Summer Tomato RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2014.

Just how bad are energy drinks?

Growing up, I never drank energy drinks because my mom would always yell at my dad for drinking 5 Hour Energy, going on and on about how bad they are for him.  Now that I’m in college, however, I’ve started drinking Starbucks Doubleshot Energy Drinks to help me stay alert enough to get my homework done on top of studying, going to class, working, and eating a meal at some point.  But every time I crack one open, I can hear my mother’s voice in the back of my head.  This made me wonder what is specifically bad about energy drinks, so I decided to do a little research and find out.

Energy drinks are sold as nutritional supplements.  Because of this, the FDA does not regulate or limit the ingredients put in these drinks.  This makes it very possible that we may not know what we are truly ingesting when we drink these products (Koelliker para. 3).  That’s a scary thought.  Even soda has a limit as to how much caffeine can be in it, and the ingredients are printed right on the can.

Many people tend to forget that caffeine is a psychoactive drug.  Too much of it can cause headaches, tremors, heart palpitations, and nausea.  At even higher levels, it can cause seizures, mania, hallucinations, and strokes (Schumaker para. 4).

Minors are especially prone to taking part in this new energy drink phenomenon.  Since they don’t (or shouldn’t) have access to alcohol or other kinds of drugs, energy drinks are a fun, cheap, and easy way to get wound up and have fun.  This is especially dangerous because “high levels of caffeine have been associated with harmful neurologic and cardiovascular effects in children, and drinks containing stimulants should never be given for hydration or as a supplement to young persons” (Koelliker para. 9).  Even The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that energy drinks should never be consumed by children or adolescents (Koelliker para. 8), and yet there’s no age limit.

Energy drink-related visits to the emergency room have nearly doubled between 2007 and 2011, and about 80% of adults in the US consume caffeine daily (Schumaker).  These startling facts should be proof enough that energy drinks are a huge problem affecting a large portion of our population.  If energy drinks were regulated like soda is, they wouldn’t be nearly as dangerous as they are.  However, until that changes, energy drinks should be something we all avoid if possible.  They have dangerous amounts of caffeine and other unknown ingredients in them, and can cause some pretty horrible side effects. I guess my mom was right, energy drinks are bad.

Works Cited:

Koelliker, Diana, MD. “Just How Bad Are Energy Drinks?” Telluride Medial Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2014. <http://tellmed.org/patient-information/local-health-concerns-1/just-how-bad-are-energy-drinks>.

Schumaker, Erin. “Just How Dangerous Are Energy Drinks, Anyway?” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 23 June 2014. Web. 20 Oct. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/23/just-how-dangerous-are-energy-drinks_n_5515647.html>.

Can caffeine cause anxiety?

I suffer from anxiety and depression.  These are issues that influence my life on a daily basis, so I am quite attuned to them.  I started to notice that sometimes, while I was drinking coffee, I would begin to have those tell-tale feelings of anxiety, and it made me wonder if it was the coffee triggering these attacks.  After doing a little research, I found that I am not the only one out there who suffers from this specific problem.

Coffee has been becoming more and more popular. It is now considered stylish to be walking down the street with a disposable Starbucks or Dunkin cup in our hands.  They can be found all over Instagram as proof.  Coffee shops are where people go to catch up with friends, study, have meetings, and more.  With this new societal norm in mind, researchers have become increasingly concerned with caffeine’s role in panic and other anxiety disorders.  Roland Griffiths, PhD, a professor in the departments of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine says, “People often see coffee, tea, and soft drinks simply as beverages rather than vehicles for a psychoactive drug. But caffeine can exacerbate anxiety and panic disorders.”

How, you may ask.  Caffeine works by blocking the depressant function of a chemical called adenosine.  For most people, the result is a pleasurable feeling of energy and the ability to focus (Vogin para. 7).  However, that same energy-inducing drug can cause the jitters.  In people predisposed to anxiety disorders, caffeine can trigger increased heart rate, sweaty palms, ringing ears, all leading to a full blown panic attack (Vogin para. 8).  So why does caffeine make some of us feel great and induce panic in others? People with anxiety disorders experience caffeine’s affects as signs of impending doom.  This then allows their anxiety to take over.

One study has found that, among healthy college students, moderate and high level coffee drinkers scored higher on a depression scale than low users (Murray para. 2).  Several other studies have found that caffeine intake has been positively correlated with the degree of mental illness in psychiatric patients, especially related to panic disorders and depression (Murray para. 3).

Of course, these study results could also be due to chance.  It is possible that caffeine had nothing to do with it, but my personal experience leads me to believe these results are accurate.  If these results are wrong, they are a false positive.  In class, Andrew talked about the harmful affects of sugary drinks.  It is important to remember that the caffeine in these drinks can be harmful also.

Works Cited:

Murray, Michael T. “Can Caffeine Worsen Depression And Anxiety?” MindBodyGreen. N.p., 31 Oct. 2013. Web. 22 Oct. 2014. <http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11425/can-caffeine-worsen-depression-and-anxiety.html>.
Vogin, Gary. “Brewing Trouble.” MedicineNet. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2014. <http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50820>.