Pros and Cons of Drinking Coffee

By Josie Barton

The effects of drinking coffee factor into the amount of coffee the average American consumes, which is around 2-4 cups per day. The average college student drinks 4-8 cups of coffee a day, so these facts may prove detrimental to the mental and physical health of students. What health benefits and risks does coffee pose?

One benefit includes that coffee intake can reduce the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Coffee contains antioxidants that can prevent damage to brain cells and aid neurotransmitters involved in the functioning of senses.

Studies link the intake of coffee to a lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Antioxidants in coffee can boost cell’s sensitivity to insulin, regulating blood sugar.

Avid coffee drinkers are less at risk for strokes- the antioxidants help repress artery inflammation. The compounds can activate nitric oxide causing the lowering of blood pressure. Although, a large coffee intake can overwhelm the antioxidant’s effects.

Coffee intake can lower the risk of liver diseases. Antioxidant and caffeic acids can prevent liver inflammation and inhibit cancer cells.

Although the health benefits seem overwhelming, the negative consequences to drinking coffee can prove detrimental to a person’s overall health.

High doses of caffeine can cause anxiety and irritability. Caffeine slows down the brain chemical associated with sleep and the relaxation of blood vessels. Avid coffee drinkers develop a tolerance for the effects of caffeine, resulting in an addiction and withdrawal symptoms if a person’s required daily caffeine intake is not met.

Another threat to coffee intake includes the risk of losing sleep. It takes about 6 hours for the effects of caffeine to filter out of a person’s system and this can worsen with age.

An obvious con to drinking coffee includes the risks caffeine poses to pregnancy. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology suggests that it is safe for pregnant women to consume a moderate amount of daily coffee, but a higher intake could lead to a risk of miscarriage or caffeine passing into breastmilk.

Coffee can pose many health benefits and risks to a person’s overall health. As final exams and assignments approach for all college students, be aware of the risks before chugging a whole pot of coffee at 10pm.

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