It is a well-known fact that coffee has taken Britain by storm. Whether it’s taken in the morning, during your lunch break or after dinner, there is no denying that, as a nation, we are addicted to these exotic beans. Every morning I take a cup of strong ground coffee with my breakfast, and, without fail, I enjoy every sip.
Our love for coffee has aided the hospitality industry massively. Popular brands such as Costa, Starbucks and Café Nero can be found dotted along almost every high-street, creating an estimated 210,000 jobs ranging from brewing, transportation and finally selling.
According to the British Coffee Association, it is estimated that 95 million cups of coffee are consumed by the UK daily, with 16% of those buying instant and single serve pods being aged 16-34. Students make up a vast majority of these buyers; we have become hooked. But despite the benefits of drinking coffee for the hard-working student, does this all come at a cost?
The benefits of coffee
The 9am lecture is a source of resentment for every student. When that alarm goes off in its shrilling tones, the last thing you want to do is go and study. The solution to that fuzzy, tired head is caffeine. Since it is a central nervous system stimulant, caffeine can make you feel more alert and awake, kick-starting your desire to be the model student you know you can be.
With such a stimulant igniting your fight or flight instinct, physical performance levels can greatly increase. This is why having a cup of coffee before going to the gym or before an important match is a good idea.
There are also some overall health benefits which can be directly linked to the popular beverage. A study conducted by Healthline actually suggests that coffee can help you to burn fat and lose weight, since caffeine has been found to boost your metabolic rate by 3-11%. This can be a great reassurance to students who, like me, find themselves stress eating near deadline season.
The enemy of success?
Although students are notorious for pulling all-nighters, a lack of sleep can make it very difficult to function the next day, let alone study. Due to the large amount of caffeine that we consume on a daily basis, many of us are suffers of insomnia and sleep deprivation. With sleep being a key factor in aiding memory retention and ability to learn, it is crucial that students get the right amount.
Like everything in life, having something to excess can be bad for your overall health. As stated by Caffeine Informer, caffeine has been found to increase the risk of heart attacks, especially amongst younger people (students), with some studies suggesting that drinking coffee can increase this risk threefold.
However, there is no shame in being a coffee lover, especially if it helps you to stay awake during exam preparations. Having a cup or two of coffee per day is, for many of us, as natural as breathing. As long as you keep an eye on your caffeine intake, there is nothing wrong with using coffee as an aid to the trials and tribulations of student life.