Student Perspective: Coffee-Your Best Friend Or Worst Enemy?

By Kristy L.

It’s your morning energizer, your daily sweet treat, your break between classes, but is coffee healthy for you? What are the side effects? There are those “old wives’ tales” claiming that coffee will stunt your growth, but there are also numerous scientific experiments concerning coffee that contradict each other. Some scientists suggest that coffee is bad for you and advise you to stay away from it, but others argue that coffee can have beneficial effects. So should you keep your daily cup of Joe or stay away from it?

From cancer to diabetes, all types of diseases and conditions have been linked to the consumption of coffee. Some say that coffee could lower the risk of depression because it makes people more productive and focused, but that action wears down transmitters overtime and makes coffee lose its effectiveness. This is why people gradually need to drink more and more coffee.  However, in some people, caffeine speeds up the heart too much and causes blood pressure problems. The claims that argue that coffee is healthy and the claims that argue that coffee is terrible for the body seem to balance each other out.

Keep in mind that when people generally talk about the advantages and disadvantages of coffee, they are usually speaking of the plain kind of coffee that many kids dislike.  Students usually go for the sugar filled drinks from Starbucks and McDonald’s. Guzzling down an entire venti sized Starbucks drink will most likely only have negative effects on your body’s health if you do it daily. [Often, the sugar alone may cause weight gain.]

“It tastes good, but it’s not necessarily good for you,” said Eighth Grader Ninabella G.

Having a treat once in a while won’t do much harm, but you should always remember to balance it out!

In taking caffeine that you don’t need now could cause problems later because you might start depending on it for energy even if you feel fine now. There isn’t a certain amount of caffeine that everybody is limited to because everyone reacts to caffeine differently. If you can not handle large amounts of caffeine, you might want to lower your intake or consider not drinking caffeinated drinks anymore.  If caffeine has no extreme affect on you, don’t misuse it because problems can also develop later in life.

Other caffeinated beverages are similar to coffee such as energy drinks that are now on the market. None of these drinks should be your main energy source. There are plenty of other ways to acquire energy naturally.  Try exercising and eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and proteins to raise energy levels.

You don’t need to give up caffeine completely, just remember to keep everything in moderation!

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