The bean we need (or do we?)

The ups and downs of drinking coffee

Coffee has always been a part of some college students’ lives. From their morning to night classes, caffeine is running through their bodies, pushing them throughout the day. Getting a classic iced coffee can sometimes be a great idea, but the coffee bean has many drawbacks as well. 

According to, there are many benefits to drinking coffee that many don’t think of. Some of those benefits include decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart failure, protecting your liver enzymes, and preventing against breakage in DNA. These benefits, and many others, are why most people drink coffee each morning and throughout the day. They are making themselves stronger in more ways than one, and while doing so, they are getting energy from the caffeine.

“Although many students believe that they need coffee, there are those who do not drink coffee at all due to the health risks.”

Michelle Legatova

Anastassiya Barakhoyeva, a freshman student-athlete, explains how coffee has become a part of her everyday life.  

 “Coffee is honestly my saving grace. I wouldn’t survive without it in high school and even now, with all that I have going on, I need it. I drink it throughout the day and night to help myself stay awake and get through my studies and my practices or games,” Barakhoyeva said.

She also mentioned that the stress of possibly failing her classes is the main reason why she doesn’t sleep, and therefore needs coffee to do her daily duties.

Although many students believe that they need coffee, there are those who do not drink coffee at all due to the health risks.

Mikayla Kennedy, a sophomore student-athlete, is one of those who do not drink coffee due to the risks that it entails. Kennedy stated that when she first tried coffee as a freshman in high school, she noticed that she would almost immediately become jittery and anxious. She recalled sitting through classes, unable to focus due to non-stop movements, which eventually affected her play on the volleyball court.

 “I remember I was unable to focus while I was at practice, I kept doing things out of the ordinary. Yes, I was energized, but it was to a point that I couldn’t control. After that, I knew coffee wasn’t for me,” Kennedy said.

Cheryl Nichols, the nurse at Fresno Pacific University, explained how even professionals don’t agree on coffee. 

 “If you look online, there is a list of 25 reasons to drink caffeine, and then at the bottom it listed other articles and it was 25 reasons not to drink caffeine and some of them contradict themselves,” Nichols said.

She went on to explain that, for college students, it makes sense to drink coffee right before a test to be more alert, but there are alternatives to drinking coffee that are much healthier, such as getting a full night of sleep, exercising, and eating well.

 Nichols stated that doing everything in moderation is key, and that is part of being in college: finding a way to balance all of life’s struggles in a healthy manner.

Although coffee is a great way to get energy to make it through college students’ busy days, there are definitely benefits and downsides to coffee. For some, it’s a necessity to function every day, while for others it has no benefit. There’s also the concept that a good night’s sleep and a healthy diet can give you the energy you need to make it through the day without coffee’s negative side effects. Needless to say, coffee can be beneficial or harmful depending on the person. 

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