Coffee: more than just “bitter” for the body

Isabella Keaton, Reporter, Photographer

Coffee, the main source of caffeine for many, could cause more harmful effects than good. Coffee shops like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts thrive off selling thousands of cups of coffee every morning. Smithsonian states that 80% of adults drink coffee daily, but with every cup of coffee consumed, several detrimental health effects can arise.

Not commonly considered a drug, caffeine creates easy addictions and affects people’s health. Caffeine, a stimulant drug, speeds up the the amount of time messages travel from the body to the brain and quickly becomes a reliant wake up call. Addiction symptoms, although relatively short-term, can include sleep deprivation, fertility problems, migraines, and a multitude of other health issues.

“I am an avid coffee drinker, and I do get headaches all the time. Since I drink so much coffee, I rely on it sometimes because if I skip my morning dose I’ll end up with a killer migraine,” junior Mary Catherine Toth said.

Although coffee will give the individual a boost of energy in the mornings, this can affect one’s sleep schedule at night. According to Popsugar Fitness, drinking coffee close to six hours before bedtime will disrupt one’s sleep. Coffee, a remedy for drowsiness in the mornings, may result in the extreme and not allow sleep to come naturally to an individual at night.

Headaches and migraines, a common problem for coffee consumers, results from the continuous drinking of this caffeinated drink. The Spruce states that caffeine headaches most commonly occur because of caffeine withdrawal. Caffeine withdrawal also causes muscle pains, nausea, and other flu-like symptoms.

Although scientists see no direct correlation between caffeine and fertility problems, some studies show women struggle to conceive after they drink large amounts of coffee. Women who consume more than six ounces of coffee, one serving, may also face issues regarding assisted conception procedures, but experts do not know exactly why this happens.

The one organ that keeps the body ticking, the heart may also deteriorate due to caffeine intake. Everyday Health says that caffeine directly burdens the heart and in high doses can raise the blood’s level of epinephrine, which can lead to high blood pressure and increased heart rates.

To avoid all the harmful effects from coffee, several healthy alternatives can give an individual double the amount of energy than coffee. Fashion designer and beauty insider Lauren Conrad recommends eating an apple everyday for carbs to fuel the body, and the fructose in an apple gives the body the same amount of energy boost as a cup of coffee.

Tea, another common alternative for coffee, comes in many different varieties, such as black, green, and other herbal blends. Most tea tastes sweet naturally, unlike coffee which is better, so do not worry about the double scoop of cream and sugar.

“I do enjoy tea a lot and I would totally switch out my coffee for tea since it can give off the same effect,” Toth said.

Healthy alternatives to coffee that offer more energy do not receive enough appreciation, hence, society relies on their morning cup of joe as their only morning wake up call.

Skip the cup of coffee and brew a pot of tea with a side of apple slices. An apple a day really does keep the doctor away.