I have a problem, a pathological dependence. On coffee. Just like 80% of Americans. Sunday was the average weekend morning for any college student like myself. I lazily got out of bed and dragged myself to the Cage for my daily, small All-Day Bolivian Coffee. Honestly, I didn’t need it. A couple of hours of homework (on a morning I slept in until noon) doesn’t really require a cup, or two, or three, of coffee, but I was addicted. Was that so bad?
My incessant need to quench my perpetual thirst for coffee was acceptable, but refilling the all-day cup, twice, thrice, or four times a day, is not the ideal way to live a healthy life. As avid coffee consumers, it is important to know certain things about the drink before permanently staining our teeth yellow in 20 years.
1. Coffee is Good, only when consumed in moderation. According to Mayo Clinic researchers, up to two cups of coffee is permissible, but developing a habit of four cups a day to fuel yourself is unhealthy. Excessive amounts of coffee is associated with an increase in cholesterol levels and high levels of anxiety and fidgeting. But, on the contrary, it has shown to decrease the risk of Parkinson’s, liver cancer, and type 2 Diabetes.
2. Which roast is the best for me? If you are looking for immediate effects in fueling energy, more caffeine=better. Naturally, you might associate dark coffee as the one with the most caffeine content. But, alas, that is false. Lighter roasts provide the most caffeine because similar to alcohol, the longer you brew the coffee, the more caffeine is burned off during the roast!
3. Coffee Stains your teeth. We consume at least 200 mg of coffee a day (confirmed by the hallway between Rolvaag and Buntrock). While the amount is scant in absolute terms, relatively, over the course of only four years, the number adds up to nearly 300,000 mg in our college lives. Coffee erodes dental enamel, allowing for chromogens (the rich substance in coffee that can be converted into a dye or a colored compound) to attach onto the tooth. Thus, for coffee consumers, brushing our teeth more than twice a day is perhaps only the beginning of a life-long journey of dentist visits more than once a year.
4. Coffee can make your workout better! MSNBC released a report conveying that because caffeine is associated with signaling your body’s muscles to ignore exhaustion, it is beneficial before a workout. Usually, even a small coffee intake prior to a workout allows your muscles to contract differently, enhancing their performance during the physical activity.
5. Dependency on anything is bad. I frequently find myself unable to concentrate on work without the usual cup of coffee. Yeah, there are benefits to consuming it in moderation, but pathological dependency on any substance is not recommended.