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How to consume coffee in a healthy way

Most people cannot imagine college without caffeine. In fact, the two words might as well be synonymous.

275px-A_small_cup_of_coffee.JPG
Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org

For every coffee lover that starts discussing how they should scale back on the amount they drink, there is another advising that some coffee actually has health benefits.

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According to Briana Rogers, a Colorado State University student who works at The Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center, the positive effects of caffeine in the human body are so little that they do not make as much of an impact.

“Beverages that contain caffeine can help you feel more alert, but there is actually very limited evidence that caffeine improves alertness, physical endurance, strength or power,” Rogers said.

While caffeine affects each individual differently, CSU student Britany Wookey said some results can be less than ideal.

“If I drink too much too fast I get a little shaky and dizzy, if I get addicted to it and don’t drink I can get headaches,” Wookey said.

Some people choose to avoid caffeine altogether because of its supposed addicting side effects. However, that does not mean one has to rule out caffeine completely.

It is hard to think as caffeine as the enemy especially during late-night classes or early mornings, and while it is not necessarily bad to consume caffeine, there are some standard suggestions for how adults should consume coffee to avoid an increase in muscle tremors, irritability, nervousness and upset stomachs.

The Mayo Clinic, as referred to by Rogers, has guidelines and suggestions of how much caffeine an adult should consume in one day.

According to The Mayo Clinic, “up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That’s roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two ‘energy shot’ drinks.”

It is not just coffee or energy drinks that can be problematic; some teas and sodas can include caffeine. Although hope is not lost for those relatively dependent on their morning coffee or occasional energy drink.

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“If someone does not consume more than the recommended amount of caffeine every day and avoids drinking caffeine late at night to prevent insomnia, caffeine can be a part of a healthy diet,” Rogers said.

While any preference of caffeine can cause the body to react in problematic ways, caffeine can still be useful and enjoyable if consumed in healthy amounts.

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