Coffee is an amazing invention, no doubt. Its benefits are known worldwide, the most well-known of them being the ability to trick your brain into waking up faster. It seems relatively harmless once a day, but some don’t completely know the risks that come with overindulgence. Heart problems and heart failure have been linked to overdoses in caffeine, as have other issues in body function, including withdrawal symptoms or dependence issues. Even your mood can be affected by how much coffee you drink.
The reason for these is that caffeine is similar to a drug, and just like any drug, addiction is a side effect of ingesting too much. When you are tired or sleeping, your brain releases adenosine, a chemical in your nervous system that encourages sleep and decreases your awareness of the world around you. Caffeine, upon entering your bloodstream, binds itself to adenosine receptors and decreases the effect of adenosine, giving you that sharp, alert, awakened feeling. This doesn’t take long; only about ten minutes after you drink do you feel these effects. Sadly, despite caffeine being linked to memory improvement and that “energy high” sensation, it can also cause insomnia, mood swings, the previously mentioned heart problems, and daily headaches for regular drinkers until they get their morning cup.
In short, not healthy, and not what a college student should be worrying about. With everything else in mind, from friendships to finals, what you drink may be the lowest marked problem on your list. Now that you know this, you may be worrying a bit to think about how much coffee you’ve consumed in the past week alone. It’s not time to panic now. Simply relax and breathe, and read over these suggestions that will decrease your caffeine intake while helping you focus on the weeks to come.
An ever-popular drink originating in China, green tea is filled to the brim with benefits. Antioxidants, nutrients, digestive aid, and a soothing taste are all thrown together to make you smile when you taste it. Add in the dramatic increase in brain function, weight loss, and a lowered chance of cancer, and this now seems like the perfect solution. Green tea helps to improve your physicality and ability to move, kills certain bacteria in the teeth, and has been linked to lowering the risks of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s in older age. Even after that, this drink still offers benefits by decreasing the risk of other certain diseases in the body, some which you may be biologically prone to.
Good news- green tea is a relatively inexpensive drink, so not only will it fit smoothly into your budget in place of coffee, but it will also show you much more satisfying results in the long run. Experts suggest three to five cups a day will reap these amazing results fully for the average person, but this may not be the same for you. As we well understand, everybody is different. It may be advisable to speak to a medical professional and figure out exactly what your intake should be like, based on your health and their recommendation. Then, it’s off to the store to grab a box or two!
If you’ve never heard of this drink, it wouldn’t be a surprise. Golden milk is not nearly as well-known as it should be, but since it offers health benefits that are drastically better than coffee, it’s made this list. This beverage is a mix of milk and various spices, ranging from turmeric to black pepper to cinnamon, depending on which variation you like best. Some versions even include vanilla or honey for a little extra sweetness. All of the ingredients are combined to create a beautiful and delicious golden-colored drink.
Include turmeric in this mix, and you have automatically gained an anti-inflammatory bonus. Even if you aren’t able to throw it in or you prefer not to, black pepper will increase your ability to take in curcumin. Curcumin is a chemical compound with scientifically-proven abilities to help prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and various cancers. It also has been linked to improvements of depression and arthritis symptoms. At the very least, little harm comes from the warm beverage, and the results from drinking are infinitely less alarming than anything with caffeine.
If all else fails, hydration is key! Water is the life-giving drink that we as a society seem to have forgotten about. In the end, though, nothing is more refreshing, and nothing is easier to get ahold of. Thankfully, water is such a basic beverage that it can be improved upon in many ways. Fruits, vegetables, and various spices all have a home within it. From the traditional lemon addition to mint-flavored, nearly anything can work with it. I’ve even seen rosemary or ginger added in before.
Stressing the importance of water has never been too necessary, but some of the effects you may not know of. Not only does it lubricate the body joints and allow for easier motion, but it also helps to create salvia and mucus, keep your temperature stable, and form a protective cushion around your spinal cord and various organs. Along with this, it also helps oxygen to flow through your veins, keeps your skin glowing, and helps with weight loss if you put it in place of soda. Whether or not you enjoy it plain, sparkling, or flavored, water has little downfall in your system. It may be time to start considering this as a refreshing morning drink instead of your usual cup of joe.