In the defense of caffeine 

The benefits of coffee and energy drinks


photo by Zachary Taylor

Red Bull, a popular energy drink among students and staff alike.

Zachary Taylor, Staff Reporter

According to FoodInsight, 85-93% of all Americans drink some form of caffeinated beverage to get going in the morning. Due to this fact, a lot of parents worry about the sale of caffeinated beverages at schools. I’m here to tell you why caffeine is a great addition to one’s routine in moderation as it increases brain activity and mood, enhances exercise performance, and increases metabolism.  

One of the main reasons people worry about caffeine is because it affects the brain. The thing many people don’t know is that in moderation caffeine has a lot more positive benefits than negative ones. The first way it benefits the brain is by blocking adenosine allowing an increased flow of other brain signaling molecules such as dopamine and norepinephrine. The increase in the flow of dopamine leads to an increase in happiness and productivity. Studies from Healthline have also found that people who drink two to three cups of caffeinated beverages tend to have a 45% lower risk of suicidal thoughts and a 13% lower risk of developing depression. The increased flow of norepinephrine allows for increased focus and short-term memory. According to “MedicalNewsToday,” there are also some correlations between caffeine consumption and a lower risk for Alzheimer’s though there are still some tests that need to be done in this area.  

The next reason caffeine is a great substance is that it can enhance one’s exercise performance. Studies have found that caffeine can increase the use of fat as a fuel source for the body. This allows the glucose in the body to maintain a stable level longer creating an increased tolerance to fatigue. This also means that caffeine mixed with proper exercise and diet can lead to increased weight loss and endurance. There are also some studies from Hopkins Medicine that show that it can improve performance in high-intensity team sports and resistance training. It may also reduce the perceived extortion on the body by 5.6%.  

The final reason that caffeine is a good thing is the increased metabolism.  

Due to caffeine’s ability to stimulate the central nervous system, it could lead to increased metabolism in some people. While everyone is different, studies done by Hopkins Medicine and Healthline show that caffeine can lead to increased metabolism which in turn leads to increased fat burning by 11% on its own as well as the body’s ability to process foods by 13%. Consuming at least 300 mg of caffeine allows the body to consume an extra 79 calories a day. This is also backed up by studies by Healthline that show that caffeine drinkers were anywhere between 0.1- 8.1 pounds lighter than their counterparts.  

While much of this sounds good in practice, It should be noted that caffeine’s benefits do not stack and that more is not always better. In order to get these benefits you should only have two to three cups of any caffeinated beverages a day with at least six to eight hours between each cup. As you can see that caffeine in moderation has a lot of great benefits but like any substance, if used without it there are drawbacks.