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Coffee, A College Students Best Friend: But How Much Should You Really Be Drinking?

How much coffee should I be drinking and what is it doing for my health? Just like most health related questions, there is no simple answer.

Before coming to college, I was never a coffee drinker. The taste was bitter and unpleasing. (Don’t even get me started on the taste of black coffee. GROSS) I would rather go through my day half asleep than drink a cup of coffee. Now being a sophomore in college, though, I need at least two cups a day to function. I’m sure a lot of us can relate. This is probably due to the fact that we get little sleep, have too much to do with not enough time, and have multiple weeks filled with exams. So what are the health benefits of coffee? Is it healthy to be drinking multiple cups a day?

Nutrition Facts:

  • An 8 oz cup of black coffee has a grand total of 2.4 calories, 0 sugars, 0 fat, 0 cholesterol, 0 carbs, and contains little to no essential nutrients

  • Pros – Coffee consumption can be linked to lowering the risk of certain diseases and it also gives you energy

  • Cons – It can increase blood pressure, decrease our body’s absorption of nutrients, and excess caffeine can lead to seizures & insomnia


So how much should I be drinking?

  • 2-3 8 oz cups a day. This size is about the average size of a small at a coffee shop, or a mug in your dining hall. 2-3 cups is the average appropriate amount of caffeine that is considered “healthy”

  • Try to reduce the amounts of added sugars and cream in your coffee to receive the maximum health benefits and reduce the negatives. Black coffee IS an acquired taste, trust me I know. Try and start by slowly adding less milk and sugar.

If drinking it black just isn’t your thing, here are some alternatives for sweeteners and cream:

Healthier Alternatives:

  • One ingredient everyone has in their kitchen is cinnamon. I swear by adding a sprinkle of cinnamon to my coffee. It may not seem like a lot, but it adds a TON of flavor. Not to mention that cinnamon is great for digestion.

  • Swap cream for skim or a plant-based milk.
  • Another healthy alternative to flavor your coffee is to add a collagen. Collagen has been the rage lately with health gurus all over social media. Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer has 10 grams of protein per serving, 1 gram of sugar, and is great for hair, skin, and nail health.

  • When looking for coffee creamers, always check the added sugars. These artificial sugars and chemicals are difficult for our bodies to break down.


So enjoy your coffee! Remember, instead of drinking 4 cups of day, try and cut back to 2. Another tip is if you find yourself constantly tired, try and drink a glass of water or two before ordering that delicious iced caramel macchiato. You might think you’re tired when in reality your body is telling you it’s thirsty!

Photos: 1,2,3


Madison Bethune

U Mass Amherst '21

Madison is a sophomore at Umass Amherst majoring in Nutrition and Journalism. Some of her interests include health and wellness, art and photography, and she loves going to the beach and spending time with friends. Feel free to follow her Instagram @maddybethune_
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