Coffee: A College Student’s Best Friend…Or Is It?

A lot of students don’t start drinking coffee until they get to college. Staying up late on a consistent basis to study for exams or finish homework assignments eventually proves to be too much without getting an extra boost from caffeine.

However, does caffeine really cause more problems than it actually solves? In this article we’ll review some of the long-term effects that caffeine can have on your overall health and well-being.

It’s Addictive…

Yes, it’s true…caffeine is HIGHLY addictive. For most students, it starts off as just needing one cup of coffee on the days when they’re really tired to needing one cup of coffee every morning just to make it through the day. Once you become addicted to the caffeine in coffee, when you don’t have it every day, you could experience the following side effects: grogginess, irritability, insomnia, and headaches.

Big Burst of Energy, Even Bigger Crash…

After you drink your cup of coffee and get that extra boost of energy you’ll feel great…but it’s only temporary. After a few hours, the caffeine will wear off and you could potentially feel more tired than you were before. This is called a caffeine “crash.” The crash can make it even more difficult to get through the day, which can cause students to seek out even more caffeine to make it through the day – either another cup of coffee, soda, or energy drink.

What This Does To Your Body…

Taking in too much caffeine can have serious health effects on your body. In the most severe cases, students can experience a form of caffeine intoxication when their caffeine intake is too much. Caffeine intoxication can cause irregular heart rates and disorientation. Some longer term effects include damage to sleep cycles, stomach ulcers, heartburn, increased depression and anxiety, and for women, it can also cause the formation of breast cysts.

Only In Moderation…

Like with most things, caffeine is the most useful and least dangerous when you have it in moderation. It’s totally fine to have a cup of coffee when you really need it, but just don’t make it a habit. This way, it won’t hurt your health and you don’t have to worry about becoming addicted to its stimulating effects.

Final Thoughts…

Even with the facts discussed above, there are definitely worst substances other than a cup of coffee that college students can engage in. However, the purpose of this article is to make you aware of some of the side effects that large doses of caffeine can have on your overall health. Be smart. Stay healthy.

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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