The Vista Voice

Does Coffee Actually Wake a Person Up?

Isabella Doolan, Staff writer

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Coffee is a wildly popular drink in America, and about 83 percent of adults drink coffee in the U.S. In California, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of coffee shops, largely consisting of Starbucks, and there are many students at Vista del Lago who consume the beverage on a daily basis.

Still, one has to wonder what are the health benefits and risks of drinking coffee with caffeine, especially on teens. According to WebMD, coffee can cause insomnia, nervousness and restlessness, stomach upset, nausea and vomiting, increased heart and breathing rate, and other side effects.

Another common concern among  coffee drinkers is the possibility of addiction.  Regular use of caffeine does cause mild physical dependence, but it doesn’t threaten someone’s physical, social or economic health the way most other drugs do.

Now, with all these questionable side effects, does coffee actually wake people up? It is said in most studies, more specifically Authority Nutrition, that anywhere from three to five cups of coffee a day is completely safe and contains the benefits most long for. The chemical that causes humans to be tired is known as Adenosine; the reason caffeine in coffee is able to temporarily wake people up  is because chemically, caffeine looks very similar, moleculary, to Adenosine, so it’s difficult to tell the two apart with your brain.

Another study from the University of Bristol shows “…Caffeine eases withdrawal symptoms which build up overnight, but does not make people more alert than normal,” according to BBC News.

However, according to MedicalNewsToday, “The potential health benefits associated with drinking coffee include: protecting against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, liver cancer, and promoting a healthy heart.”

As for Vista coffee lovers,  Olivia Palermo, junior at Vista is an avid coffee drinker of five years. She also believes she is not addicted because she doesn’t drink it excessively.

“I do feel like it wakes me up but it depends on what I drink, and it sometimes makes my stomach upset,”said Palermo.

Then there’s Bailey Floyd, a junior,  who claims to be addicted to her daily dose of caffeine, saying that “it’s essential” to her.

“I think it actually wakes me up. It could be a mind game, but it has caffeine and I think it really does,” said Floyd.

Different types of people experience different effects from drinking coffee. Even though it might have a bad reputation due to the caffeine content and health risks, just like nearly everything else, it has health benefits too when used in moderation.

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Does Coffee Actually Wake a Person Up?