Caffeine: Discovering the Truth

According to coffee-aficionado blog, My Friends Coffee, an average office worker drinks 3.1 cups of coffee per day. Some they like the taste while others require it to maintain energy throughout the day. At Ursuline, it is common to see a girl walking through the hallway with a coffee cup in their hand, but, is it healthy for so many people to be hooked on caffeine?

Caffeine works by blocking adenosine, a sleep-inducing molecule. By blocking this molecule caffeine boosts dopamine, a chemical that induces positive feelings. Caffeine works by chemically changing the brain. The process also increasing your heart rate, blood pressure, and potentially anxiety.

If someone drinks a cup of coffee every day, they can quickly develop a dependence to caffeine. This is due to the changes in the brain that caffeine induces. According to Addiction Center, “If someone drinks caffeine on a daily basis, he or she will develop a tolerance, just as one would to other drugs or alcohol.” Similar to these substances people who decide to stop drinking caffeine will experience withdrawals. These withdrawals including headaches, fatigue, and irritability. Despite the potential risks of being hooked on caffeine, there are more benefits than just a good drink to help you wake up. 

       Multiple studies show that daily coffee drinkers have an 11% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark found that Cafestol and caffeic acid which are both found in coffee combat diabetes in cells. Coffee is also high in antioxidants. Antioxidants fight the oxidative damage that causes cancer. Which explains why multiple studies show a lower risk of cancer in coffee drinkers. The Nature Medicine also published a journal that outlined that older people with low levels of inflammation all had one thing in common, they were coffee drinkers.

So is coffee good for you? The short answer is yes. In all recent studies caffeine only has positive health benefits in the long run. But as much as that is true, no person should be dependent to any substance. Try seeing if you can go without coffee for a day. How much does it affect you? And see if your daily caffeine intake is a need or a want.

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