Ask Andie is back, answering your toughest questions about life, college strugs, and relationships. Today’s post is focused on everything you need to know about coffee; the truth behind caffeine – but if you have a specific question about something else you would like answered, post it in the comments below and you might just see it answered in the weeks coming forward!
This weeks questions are all about:
everything you need to know about coffee
Around 40% of students in the US (ranging ages 18-24) are coffee drinkers; making caffeine America’s favorite and cheapest drug. If your early mornings don’t start with an IV filled with coffee drip, then are you really in college? Us caffeine addicted people of the world seem to think coffee should be its own religion. Although, there a few things we’ve turned a blind eye to when it comes to the liquid drug. That’s why I’m going to be discussing some things you may not know about coffee, and how those previously mentioned IV pumps could possibly be damaging your brain cells and sleep system.
Q: When I don’t have any caffeine in the mornings I get an instant headache. What does this mean?
A: It means you’re physically addicted to caffeine, and if your body doesn’t receive it first thing in the morning, it gets super fussy. Caffeine affects your brain’s electrical system, so it works bright and early when you wake up and have that cup of Joe…or Pepsi (if you’re one of “those” people). It pushes your brain into alert mode, promoting more beta waves (associated with alertness) and less theta waves (associated with drowsiness). If you’re trying to wean yourself off of caffeinated drinks, start slow. Instead of quitting cold turkey, start by decreasing your intake so your system has time to get used to the withdrawal. Starting slow will also reduce your risk of severe headaches/migraines as well.
Q: Why is black coffee so healthy for you? I can’t seem to figure out how people can stand the stuff!
A: If you’re anything like me, you drown your coffee in creamer and hope it tastes nothing similar to black coffee. Although, if you want your coffee to be healthy, you’ve got to drink it black. All the creamer and sugar added to your daily cup results in super high insulin levels, resulting in insulin resistance (accelerating the aging process). Black coffee also leaves you with a healthy liver. It protects it from Cirrhosis, liver cancer, and chronic liver disease.
Q: How much sugar is in caffeinated beverages? And why do I have such a sugar crash after I try to stay up to study?
A: Well it definitely depends on what drink you ingest, but sodas such as Coke and Pepsi have 39-41 grams of sugar, which is a lot in just those 12 oz. cans! I try to stray away from sugary beverages like Monster’s and sodas for all-nighters, and try to go for black coffee instead. If you’re drinking sugary drinks to stay awake, make sure you take about 3-4 study breaks every hour and do physical activity, like a couple jumping jacks or just some stretching. By keeping your body moving you’re preventing insulin spike and the crash associated with it.
Some other things you really need to know about coffee
Coffee reduces a person’s risk of chronic health
A recent study from the American Heart Association found that coffee reduces a person’s risk of chronic health conditions by 9 to 15 percent, leading to a longer life. So it just confirms that coffee is pretty amazing (as if we didn’t already know).
Coffee improves your health
If the coffee is fresh and organic, it ideally improves alertness and may reduce the risk of developing gallstones, kidney stones, and Parkinson’s disease.
Coffee can increase your cholesterol
Caffeine is associated with high cholesterol, so when you drink 2-3 caffeinated drinks on the daily you’re actually shooting your cholesterol through the roof as well as increasing your risk for death. But who really cares about living, am I right??
Coffee is a natural laxative
Having trouble with your colon? Coffee is great for that! It’s known for containing laxatives, which helps get things moving along, if you know what I’m sayin’.
Coffee can cause heartburn
Acid reflex and heartburn are known to be caused by caffeinated beverages, so as long as you keep your caffeine intake to 1-2 cups a day and stop your aiding your addiction around 2 pm, you should be all right.
Coffee can reduce your chances of getting Diabetes
If you consume more than 4 cups/beverages of a caffeinated drink a day, you have a 30% reduction of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
So whether you prefer coffee, tea, or any sort of caffeinated beverage at any time of the day, there are pros and cons to all of them. As long as you drink them in moderation and have fun while doing it there’s no reason to quit caffeine cold turkey. So drink on, my friends.
Featured image source: ok–but–first–coffee.
Andrea is a freshman at Eastern Mennonite University where she is a dual major in Business Administration and Photography. Her hobbies include making music, running her photography business, laughing, and eating ice cream. She absolutely loves anything that has to do with coffee and blogging and is looking forward to her future articles on srTrends.