Health Corner: A Centre coffee addiction?


BY DANA REYNOLDS – STAFF WRITER

To most students, getting through the day without coffee would be very difficult. For me, personally, a day without coffee would be nearly impossible. I know that I tend to overload on coffee and there have been many times when my stomach has not thanked me for this, yet I choose to ignore my sometimes upset stomach, and chug exorbitant amounts of caffeine. But, as an athlete and student, I am curious: is coffee really that bad for you?

First, I decided to determine if coffee addiction is a problem on Centre’s campus. I wanted to get an idea of how many cups of coffee the average Centre College student drinks per day. I interviewed about thirty people, a relatively small sample, by simply asking students within the library. My answers ranged from: “Zero, I don’t drink any coffee” to “Four, I need coffee to make it through the day.”

Sophomore Claire Coleman averaged about three cups per day.

“It helps me focus and get my work done,” she said. “I prefer it with a small amount of creamer. I also like the taste of coffee a lot.”

Surprisingly, I found that Centre students really do not drink that much coffee—averaging about 1.43 cups of coffee each day.

Sophomore Emilie Ducourneau does not like coffee.

“I do not drink coffee” she said. “I just do not like the taste or the smell of it. I also do not want yellow teeth.”

Personally, I was on the upper bound by averaging about three cups a day. I found it hard to believe that with Centre schedules students made it through the day without coffee, so I asked more students and started to find more with similar habits to mine.

“I drink about two cups per day,” first-year Tyler Stephenson said. “It helps me stay awake. I do not typically drink coffee at night, unless I really need it.”

Sophomore Noah Martin added; “I drink about two cups a day with one cream and two sugars. It feels great until the coffee high goes away.”

After doing research regarding caffeine consumption and coffee consumption, I discovered that most studies regarding this topic are inconsistent. In order to insure that I provide an accurate depiction of benefits/costs of drinking too much coffee, the information that I share with you was found in several different locations.

Some negative impacts of coffee include having an upset stomach, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, fast heartbeat, and muscle tremors. In many articles, caffeine addiction was also highlighted—meaning that many people become way too dependent on coffee to get through the day.

Senior Kirsten Larson stated that she would not be able to get through the day without coffee.

“It started about three and a half years ago when I was a tired first-year” she said. “I expanded my horizons and grabbed a pumpkin spice latte from Jazzman’s at the time. I have never looked back. I now average about two cups a day.”

Contrary to many of the rumors spread, I found that coffee does not increase your risk of death from cancer or cardiovascular disease. According to TIME magazine, coffee has actually been linked to lower rates of type-two diabetes and reduced risks of some cancers and diseases—including Parkinson’s disease. It also indicated that coffee can lead to increased memory, mood, and energy levels.

“I drink about a cup and a half a day,” first-year Mitchell Collins said. “It helps me get through the middle of the day when I feel the most tired.”

But wait a second before you start downing pumpkin spice lattes, because this article was referring to black coffee. When you add cream and lots of sugar to your coffee, a once low-calorie drink becomes extremely unhealthy.

From my research this is what I gathered: coffee, like most things, is good in moderation. Drink it and enjoy.


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