​How Much Coffee Is Too Much Coffee?​

​How Much Coffee Is Too Much Coffee?​

As a college student, this article can be your best friend


Americans love caffeine. Specifically, college students love caffeine. Nearly 90 percent of Americans consume caffeine each day with coffee as the favored front-runner. In fact, more than 50 percent of our population drinks an average of 3.1 cups of coffee per day, which comes as no surprise after learning that more than 30,000 specialty coffee shops have popped up across the US over the past 26 years.

Though the monumental growth of the coffee industry has undoubtedly impacted our country's economic growth, it's important to understand the health implications behind this caffeine craze. Furthermore, as a current or prospective college student, knowing the pros and cons behind guzzling this proverbial "life blood" can help you make the most of caffeine.

Caffeine is the most widely used drug in the world, with profound effects on brain chemistry that makes it effective and addictive. To understand how caffeine works, it's helpful to break the science down into its effects on two main receptors in the brain: adenosine and dopamine. Adenosine is a chemical compound that's one of four integral bases of the nucleic acids that make life possible. Because this chemical is created in the brain, it's designed to bind to adenosine receptors and slow down nerve cell activity to ultimately cause drowsiness.

Caffeine looks like adenosine to a nerve cell, except that when it binds to the adenosine receptor, it doesn't slow the cell's activity. Instead, caffeine enables the cell to identify adenosine and causes the nerve cells to increase activity. It also causes the blood vessels to constrict, which boosts the firing of neurons and triggers a sense of activity and emergency in the brain's pituitary gland. The brain then releases hormones that prompt the production of adrenaline which has an array of side effects like increased heartbeat and blood pressure, dilated pupils and airways, and a boost of sugar released into the bloodstream for added energy.

Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that prompts feelings of pleasure in the brain, can be easily mimicked by drugs like heroin, cocaine, and, unsurprisingly, caffeine. Though caffeine's effect on dopamine levels is much weaker than heroine, the concept is the same—it's what creates the chemical addiction to caffeine. There are numerous health risks associated with excessive caffeine intake.

While caffeine does temporarily boost blood pressure, the risk comes when this boost occurs over and over again, as researchers have discovered that this could increase your risk of heart disease. Regular consumption of soft drinks could lower bone density in women and can raise the amount of acid in your stomach, causing heartburn and an upset stomach. Because caffeine is also a diuretic, it can cause dehydration and could interfere with the absorption and metabolism of calcium.Whether caffeine is good or bad for your body has been a decades-long debate that seems to be almost settled. In fact, a new study has found that individuals who drink three to five cups of coffee every day have a 15 percent chance of living longer than those who don't drink coffee. Additionally, coffee has been proven to decrease the risk of stroke as well as the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

What's most important for you as a student, however, is that Johns Hopkins researchers have found that caffeine also contains properties that can enhance your memory. While caffeine is proven to have a positive effect on long-term memory, this study found that caffeine can also enhance your ability to retain certain memories for at least 24 hours post-consumption.

Scientists, doctors, and experts across the board recommend that, though caffeine may have several benefits, it should be consumed in moderation. In fact, research shows that drinking or taking more than 400 milligrams of caffeine at a time is too much, and can interfere with your sleep and feelings of stress and anxiety. One particular study11 found that 200 milligrams of caffeine is the ideal amount if you wish to enhance cognitive functioning and improve your mood.

As you now know, there are several benefits of caffeine that can help you succeed in college, especially when it comes to completing course material and studying. Whether you're a parent, working professional, or someone interested in starting a new career, you can now have confidence going to class, knowing caffeine isn't your enemy—it's your friend (but only as long as you drink it in moderation).

Popular Right Now

8 Reasons Girls Who Love Tequila Are Better

Because if she can handle tequila, she can handle you too.

There are all kinds of alcohol stereotypes out there but the one associated with tequila is probably the worst: tequila makes you crazy. But if there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that women who drink tequila are one-of-a-kind.

Whether it's loving or fighting, you'll never find anyone who does it better than a girl who just straight up loves tequila, and here are a few reasons why that is.

1. She's independent

A girl who drinks tequila is probably the same girl who has absolutely no problem telling it like it is. She knows what she wants and goes after it.

2. She doesn't care what you or anyone else thinks

Oh, you have a problem with me taking shots and having a good time? Well, get over it! Bartender, a shot with salt and a lime please!

3. Always dancing

Tequila is an 'upper' so instead of sitting at the bar doing nothing, let's dance! Let's get moving!

4. There is never a dull moment

Speaking of dancing, a girl who drinks tequila is always down for a good time. Whether it's going on an adventure or seeing who can take the most shots, a tequila girl is always down to party.

5. While everyone else is starting to get sleepy, she has all the energy

Like I said, tequila is an 'upper' so while the other girls at the bar are starting to feel groggy and sad, she's all over the place having fun and partying on the dancefloor.

6. She's stronger than the girl crying over a vodka cranberry at the bar.

Sad over a breakup? Don't go for the vodka... Tequila will make you feel better in no time! Plus you can challenge the hot guys at the bar to a shot taking contest.

7. Tequila is healthy for you

Tequila is a probiotic, so some tequila a day keeps the doctor away. Yay for shots!

8. She can hold her own when it comes to alcohol

Any girl who can shoot some shots at the bar all day and night can handle alcohol, which means she can handle herself too. You won't have to deal with her constant breakdowns and mood swings because she will be too busy ordering more shots.

Cover Image Credit: Whiskey Riff

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

5 Things You Need To Know About Thinx Underwear

Those of you with a uterus, listen up.


I first heard about Thinx underwear two years ago while on a subway in Washington DC. I thought the whole idea of leakproof underwear sounded a bit too much like diapers and brushed the product aside. Fast forward two years, my mom states that she is going to buy a pair to try and offered to get me one too. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, I decided to give it a try. I'm sure glad I did!

If you're not familiar with Thinx allow me to explain. It's a company that prides themselves on creating underwear specifically designed for individuals to wear during their periods. Looking at the reviews, everyone seemed to love them, and after trying them out for myself, I must say I like them quite a lot. Here are a few important things to know about Thinx underwear.

1. It doesn’t always replace your pads/tampons

Thinx may not replace tampons, but it can help cut back the amount you use.


I learned this the hard way that if you have a heavy flow, you can't wear Thinx on its own. If you have a light flow, you could get away with only wearing these, but for us poor souls with heavy flows, I recommend making these your new period underwear. You never have to worry about any leaks, even at night!

2. They don't stain

Behold! No bloodstains!


If you leak onto this underwear, fear not. Merely rinse them in the sink and then throw them in the wash like normal and boom! Clean underwear. No more ugly stained underwear to keep in the corner of your drawer.

3. There’s a bunch of cute designs/colors

There's something for everyone!


One thing I must say about Thinx is that they have a wide variety of options. There are several different cuts, and almost all of them come in different colors options as well. They seem to be introducing new colors all the time, so keep an eye out for one you like.

4. They are super comfy!

These feel just like normal underwear.


When I got my pair, I was worried that this underwear would feel like wearing a diaper or something else uncomfortable, but that was not the case at all! This underwear when you're wearing it feels like normal underwear, and while you're washing it, it feels like a swimsuit.

5. They donate to a good cause

Everyone should have access to period products. Period.


For every pair of underwear that you buy, the company donates a pair to someone in need. It seems like most are sent to developing countries where women do not have access to proper menstruation hygiene products. In addition to this, Thinx was designed to help cut back the number of disposable pads entering landfills. They designed this underwear to be a more sustainable alternative for people with periods!

Related Content

Facebook Comments