Caffeine for Dayzzz, or not

Posted: April 24, 2019 12:00:00 AM CDT

People having coffeeIt’s almost finals week and we know what that means - late night cram sessions fueled by crazy amounts of caffeine! Let’s be real - we probably all consume caffeine in one way or another, whether that be coffee, soda, or energy drinks. Are you aware of how many cups of coffee you drink a day? Or if you don’t like coffee, how many energy drinks? No matter how you get your fix, are you aware of what it’s doing to your body?

Don’t fear! You’re not alone. Nearly 90% of Americans consume caffeine a day. Which makes sense considering there are 30,000+ coffee shops that have popped up in the US over the last 26 years! Every corner you turn, there’s a café or vending machine waiting to draw you in. This wide availability, while convenient, can lead to overconsumption. 

There are several health risks to drinking caffeine excessively. Caffeine is a drug that works to stimulate your central nervous system. By doing this, it increases your heart rate and subsequently your blood pressure. This alone isn’t a big deal, but when you’re doing it on a daily basis (or multiple times a day), it can lead to you being at a higher risk for more severe heart problems. Caffeine is also a diuretic, meaning that drinking too much of it can cause dehydration! This can increase the amount of acid in your stomach which can lead to heartburn and an upset stomach. Don’t worry though, when consumed in moderation caffeine isn’t all bad!

The ideal amount of caffeine to consume for health benefits is around 200 milligrams at a time. This amount can help improve your mood and increase cognitive function without increasing feelings of stress and anxiety. Research has shown, one great benefit for students is that caffeine can enhance your ability to retain memories!

So, feel free to drink up this finals week, but be sure to do it in a way that helps instead of hurts you. Late night cram sessions can be fueled with healthy snacks too, but that’s a topic for another blog.

Resources
https://www.cc-sd.edu/blog/is-caffeine-affecting-your-study-habits
https://www.nature.com/articles/nn.3623

By: Health Education

Category: General, Health Education

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