Caffeine is a mixed bag. There are benefits associated with consuming it, like greater levels of alertness, but there are also drawbacks when it comes to drinking too much of it.
Most of us drink a concerning amount of caffeinated beverages. As a college student, it’s not unusual to drink more than one caffeinated drink a day. With the never-ending pile of responsibilities that we have to juggle, it’s inevitable.
While people don’t usually refer to caffeine as a drug, caffeine is a stimulant drug, which means it speeds up the messages traveling between the brain and the body.
We use caffeine as a pick-me-up when we need one, but large amounts of caffeine can also cause an “overdose.”
According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, consuming too much caffeine can cause tremors; nausea and vomiting; very fast and irregular heart rate; confusion and panic attacks and seizures.
After a certain period of time, caffeine does not give you any more energy than you already have. The large majority of us drink caffeine every day because we need an extra bit of energy. However, after time, our bodies build a tolerance to this. This means that there is no real benefit from drinking caffeinated drinks every day.
Think about the amount of money you spend on caffeinated drinks in a day. For example, a typical Grande Starbucks Latte costs around $3.85 per day. That comes out to about $27 per week–$1,405 per year. You are spending $1,405 per year for little to no effect on your energy in the first place.
Now think about the number of plastic bottles, cans, and cups that have to be produced in order to meet the demand of people’s caffeine addictions.
The amount of caffeine that we consume places a terrible strain on our natural resources.
According to State of the Planet, “Americans discard about 33.6 million tons of plastic each year, but only 6.5 percent of it is recycled and 7.7 percent is combusted in waste-to-energy facilities, which create electricity or heat from garbage.”
The rest of the discarded garbage ends up in landfills, and some things can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.
So should you quit caffeine? You don’t have to stop drinking caffeine altogether, but having it in moderation can help improve your health, as well as the environment.
Did this convince you? Yeah, me neither. Barista, I’ll take an iced caramel macchiato.