The Highland Echo

Coffee has pros and cons

Jessi Barker, Out and About Editor

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After getting up for school at an ungodly hour, many high school students start the day with a cup of coffee. Teenagers have become reliant on a high intake of caffeine in the morning to keep them going throughout the day. Despite warnings over the years against caffeine, this trend has continued to grow amongst teenagers. The real question is: How is coffee affecting your health?
A study conducted by the American Diabetes Association shows that people who drink coffee regularly actually have an 11% lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes than those who do not drink coffee (Time.com). This study explained that certain ingredients in coffee affect levels of hormones involved in metabolism that prevent the development of Type 2 Diabetes.
The Framingham Heart Study concluded that those who drank at least one cup of coffee a day were at a lower risk of having a stroke. Leading cardiologists also say, due to coffee’s effect on blood vessels, it may also reduce the risk of heart attacks. However, this is only if coffee is consumed in small quantities, no more than a cup a day.
Coffee is also antioxidant-rich, which helps reduce damage in the liver and lower liver cancer risk in regular coffee drinkers.
The caffeine content in coffee can improve one’s mood, reaction time, and general cognitive functioning for a brief period. In a study involving the observation of 1,400 Finnish and Swedish individuals for 20 years, those who drank 3-5 cups of coffee a day have a 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
There are many positive mental health benefits of coffee as well. In a Harvard study from 2011, people who drank coffee were at a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed, and have a 53% lower risk of committing suicide.
Though there are health benefits to drinking coffee, there are a few negative aspects that coffee drinkers need seriously to consider. Coffee can cause severe anxiety and disrupt sleep schedules. Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine, which most coffee contains, may cause jitteriness, heart palpitations, anxiety, and panic attacks. Caffeine can also be addictive, and withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, tiredness, and irritability are likely to occur if one does not reintroduce caffeine after regularly consuming it for extended periods of time. Drinking coffee after 2 pm can greatly disrupt the quality of your sleep, as caffeine is known for its ability to extend one’s waking hours. Drinking more than five cups of coffee a day, may result in some serious bodily consequences.
Though drinking coffee in moderation is linked to good liver health, excessively drinking coffee may hinder your liver’s functions. The high intake of coffee can stimulate the heart and result in shallow breathing, which, as a result, partially prevents the oxygen flow to your brain. This causes your decision-making abilities to be considerably inhibited.
Though there are a litany of pros and cons to drinking coffee, studies have shown that drinking coffee in moderation is, overall, beneficial for your body. Coffee affects everyone differently, and it is important to understand how much of this caffeine-filled drink your body can actually handle.

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Coffee has pros and cons