A medium vanilla iced coffee with skim milk from Dunkin' Donuts, and only Dunkin' Donuts. After it slides across the counter and into my hands, I immediately put in the straw and mix the coffee around three times to ensure that the ice is evenly dispersed, and the coffee is completely mixed.
Although one might find my coffee habits extremely particular and a maybe even a little unnecessary to mention, it has become a part of my routine, whether I’ve taken complete notice of it or not. There’s also no way I’m alone on this one, otherwise there wouldn't be a coffee shop on almost every corner of New York City.
I have to admit, coffee isn’t only a daily treat for me, but it’s also become a necessary habit. I used to never drink coffee, but as my classes grew more intense and my schedule became more cluttered, I turned to coffee as a solution of ridding myself from the exhaustion. But now that I’ve been in college for a little over a month, I’ve found myself sometimes drinking two or three cups of coffee a day, just to stay on top of my new schedule and routine. What’s even worse is if I were to go too long without a trip to Dunkin' Donuts, I’d have an excruciating headache that would coincidentally disappear the second I had a sip of coffee.
This realization made me wonder, “If coffee can do this much to me, what else can it do?” That’s right, just like any other worried and uninformed college student, I turned to the internet for answers. And there I found eight reasons why even our most favorite cups of coffee should always be consumed in moderation.
1. Your blood pressure goes up.
A study at Carnegie Mellon University found that consuming too much caffeine can raise your blood pressure. High blood pressure causes shallow breathing, which in turn increases the amount of oxygen that reaches your brain… oxygen your brain needs to ensure you make rational and calm choices, instead of blowing your top.
2. Say goodbye to your circadian rhythm.
Your circadian rhythm is the internal clock in your body that heavily influences your sleep cycle. Too much caffeine can alter your rhythm by putting a halt on your ability to sleep when your body needs the rest, therefore ruining your sleep cycle.
3. It interferes with good bone and muscle health.
As discussed on Health Line, the consumption of excessive amounts of caffeine can interfere with your body’s absorption of calcium, heightening your risk for osteoporosis. In addition, too much caffeine can cause your muscles to twitch. In that case, you’re in for a serious round of the jitters.
4. Your brain becomes addicted and you won’t even know it.
Smithsonian Magazine explains how caffeine can seriously alter your brain chemistry, with your brain cells producing more adenosine receptors in an attempt to maintain the equilibrium that you’re unknowingly destroying.
5. Your acidity levels increase.
Coffee has an acid stimulating effect, which means it can hyper-stimulate the secretions of gastric acid. This can cause a number of issues including heartburn, acid re-flux and irritation of stomach ulcers.
6. Headaches, man.
You heard it here first. Although coffee can surely take away a headache, it can also be the reason you’re getting them in the first place. And so the vicious cycle continues.
7. It brings about anxiety.
Because caffeine is a stimulant, it can easily trigger an anxiety attack or just simply make you feel antsy or anxious.
Although not as significantly common as the previous seven, the over consumption of not just coffee but caffeine in general, in a short period of time, can induce cardiac arrest, which could very much lead to death. It has been frequently publicized many times throughout the years, with this being just one instance.
It’s important to remember that coffee is a stimulant drug and just like any other drug, it’s very easy to become addicted without even realizing it. I know it’s hard to not be tempted by the several coffee shops you walk past on the way to class and the extra jolt it gives you to finish that paper in the middle of the night, but it’s essential to your health that you take everything, including your favorite cup of coffee, in moderation.
Trust me, I’m not asking you to give it up entirely, frankly because I’d never be able to do that either. In fact, you know what’s sitting next to me as I’m writing this to you right now? Yep, a medium vanilla iced coffee. But just one, of course. I promised my circadian rhythm I’d be better to it this time around.
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