Health Effects of Coffee

Edited by Avleen Grewal

Consuming highly caffeinated beverages (especially coffee) is essentially an inevitable part of university life, but are we really aware of the side effects of this substance? There is no clear answer as to whether or not coffee is inherently bad, but it is worth examining some of the health impacts associated with it. 

Of course, there are quite a few benefits to drinking coffee, including increased alertness, improved mood, and heightened focus. These are probably some of the main reasons most of us consume coffee, and this is easily justifiable. To make it through those early mornings, getting coffee is sometimes a necessary evil just to get us through the day.

In actuality, coffee is high in antioxidants and can also increase metabolism.These are often under-appreciated benefits, but nonetheless, they are still significant. That said, never forget that adding excessive amounts of cream and sugar to your coffee can almost negate these positive effects, so be careful what you’re putting into your body.

It is also important to note that too much coffee can actually be quite harmful. But how much is too much? Generally, consuming up to 400mg of caffeine, or about 4 cups of coffee, is a healthy amount for the average adult. With this in mind, if consumed in excessive amounts, your body can develop a tolerance to the effects of caffeine, so you need more of the substance to achieve the same effects.

Not only that, but too much caffeine can make you jittery, nervous, and can also cause heart palpitations. It can also severely disrupt sleep patterns, which might actually make you more tired. Too much caffeine is also known to cause elevated blood pressure and an increase in adrenaline. So, if you want to try to avoid these issues, limit your consumption of caffeine as much as you can. Maybe think twice before reaching for that fifth cup. 

From personal experience, I would suggest not drinking coffee late in the day, probably just in the morning to get your day going. That way, you’ll (hopefully) be able to establish a healthy sleep schedule, one of the most important tips for university life. 

As with most indulgences, consume your coffee in moderation. Sometimes you need it in order to get things done, but consider your own body and your own experiences to determine the level that is right for you. There are both benefits and dangers to consuming caffeinated beverages such as coffee, but it is up to you to determine if it’s right for you and to establish a routine that works well for your personal needs.