Caffeine and your body

Anyone who has tried to grab a soy caramel macchiato with extra whip between classes knows that Radford University students like their morning, afternoon and even nighttime cups of coffee. The line for Starbucks at 9:15 a.m. on a Tuesday morning can take upward of 15 minutes and involve a lot of grouching. Some find it easier to just stock up on Monster cans from the bookstore. However, these practices have serious health risks.

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Caffeine is a drug, believe it or not.
Graphic from vegi-licious.com.

The calories in fancy coffees can be frightening when trying to ward off that freshman 15 (don’t worry freshmen, it isn’t just you—you can look forward to warding it off the next three years of pizza, ramen and partying, too). But the belly bulge is not the only health concern with copious amounts of caffeine.

Just as mothers across America have stated for years, caffeine is a drug. And like any other drug, caffeine can be addictive and can actually lead to an overdose. While the symptoms might not be as severe or immediate as other types, common ones include anxiety, irritability, excessive movement, lack of sleep, headaches and a lack of focus.

Yeah, you read that right. That shot you took that was supposed to be as effective as several cups of coffee? I know you thought it might help you through midterms, but it can actually hurt your GPA.

While focus and getting enough sleep may not be a concern for some frequent consumers, what about gastritis? Caffeine consumption through coffee, soda and energy drinks can often lead to gastrointestinal issues, some of which might be a tad embarrassing and otherwise painful. The acid from your morning coffee can also affect your taste buds in cases of over-consumption, leaving acidic foods such as coffee, red wines, tomato sauce and so forth tasting a bit ripe and altogether undesirable.

Too much of anything can be bad, so it’s important to educate yourself on the health advantages and disadvantages of anything you put in your body. With moderation, however, I know one writer who won’t be giving up her morning pick-me-up.