Most of us are constantly drinking coffee or some derivative of it: lattes, cappuccinos, frappuccinos, espressos, the list goes on. And for many, it’s not a want, but a need.
According to a 2018 study, 92% of college students consume caffeine, often in the form of coffee, and another study found that dependence on caffeinated beverages causes a range of side effects that left one student saying:
“Coffee runs my life.”
And what’s frightening about this statement is how many of us resonate with it. Some schedule their day around when they are able to get coffee next and find it hard to function without it. It can seem like it’s impossible to live life without it.
What we are really craving, comes to no surprise: the caffeine. It makes us feel alert, awake and motivated...in the short term. When caffeine wears off, we can feel fatigued and irritable.
Personally, caffeine is not worth it. When I drink caffeine, especially if it’s in coffee versus tea, which generally has less caffeine, I don’t even feel the supposed great effects. Instead of feeling alert, awake, and motivated, I feel jittery, antsy, and like my heart is beating too fast.
Caffeine seems to affect my adrenaline (which it is proven to do) more so than provide me with a positive, stimulating boost.
And there’s also a couple of other issues I face when consuming caffeine, which are less common, but uncomfortable side effects:
It makes me have to pee. And not in a good way.
For most, this isn’t a terrible side effect, simply an inconvenience at times. However, I have had chronic bladder issues over the past several years, so this diuretic can cause a flare-up that can sometimes be painful.
It gives me a sour stomach.
Coffee is acidic and I am prone to indigestion or “sour stomach”, so acidic foods and drinks are not my friend by definition. Coffee, among other things, can cause sharp pain in my upper abdomen. If you also experience pain or burning feeling in your upper abdomen or stomach after consuming acidic substances (such as coffee), consider that it may be an issue of recurrent indigestion for you as well.
Caffeinated drinks are delicious, but for me, just not worth it most of the time. I like coffee and other related coffee drinks for the taste.
So, naturally, I drink decaffeinated coffee now. And I highly recommend doing the same.
For all the above side effects I named, but also because decaf tastes the exact same! Don’t want to be awake way longer than you should be? Decaf! Don’t want to feel a spike in your blood pressure? Decaf! Don’t want to have to pee all the sudden? Decaf! (Decaf coffee surprisingly has the same effect on your bladder as a glass of water - a very small impact and it can also keep you hydrated!)
The next time you are at Starbucks ordering a latte, considering getting a decaf, especially if you don’t have a ton of work to do. I don’t think you’ll regret it! Great taste, no crappy side effects.