The benefits of coffee

PETER PHAM / Daily Titan

Coffee can be as valuable as money when it comes to students at Cal State Fullerton. With finals preparation, homework and school involvement, sleep is something students rarely get.

The hot, caffeine-riddled beverage usually does the trick when it comes to waking students up and starting off their busy days, but there are also some advantages and disadvantages of coffee that students do not realize.

According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have shown that coffee can protect against Type-2 Diabetes, liver cancer and Parkinson’s disease. It also contains high amounts of antioxidants.

Excessive amounts, however, are known to cause sleeplessness, anxiety, irritability and restlessness.

Daniel Judelson, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of kinesiology, says the amount of caffeine it takes to be productive varies with the individual body that consumes it. “There is evidence that supports small to moderate doses of caffeine are beneficial for physical exercise performance and for cognitive task performances,” said Judelson. “It’s largely based on your body mass.”

According to Judelson, three to six milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body mass is a healthy and productive dose.

“A strongly brewed cup of coffee has about 100 milligrams,” Judelson said. “The caveat, because I said you can drink two to four cups of coffee and get the benefits out of it, is there [are] strong inter-individual differences.”

One person’s response to a given amount of caffeine might be different from another person’s response, Judelson said.

“For some people, 200 milligrams or two cups of coffee may get them in a perfect state to be exercising, may get them in the perfect state to get their work done,” Judelson said. “Others, it may have no effect for and others they may get so hopped up that they can’t sit still and they’re concerned about how they can function.”

In a study conducted by Judelson, eight subjects were tested on their response to purified caffeine.

Small amounts of caffeine enhanced performances, moderate amounts of caffeine yields consistent results and high amounts of caffeine decreases performances, according to the study.

Maria Lourdes Garner, 22, radio-TV-film major, drinks coffee three to five days a week.

Garner needs to drink coffee to get her through the day and wake her mind up.

“You have energy when you wake up after sleeping, but your mind is still in that sleepy mode sometimes,” said Garner. “If you have all these things to do, then coffee is kind of that extra energy boost.”

Some students drink coffee strictly for the purposes of study.

“I drink it more to study and wake up,” said Augustine PhamVu, a 21-year-old liberal studies major in her fourth year at CSUF. PhamVu drinks coffee every day out of a habit to focus on her academics.

PhamVu began her consistent consumption of coffee at the beginning of the fall semester to keep up with her schoolwork. Before this semester, she was a tea drinker.

The amount of coffee it takes to generate productivity in students varies from person to person. It’s just the matter of not overdoing the caffeine intake to the point where too much coffee can be a hinderance.

About Peter Pham

Peter is a print journalism major at Cal State Fullerton in his final semester. He is one of the three fine Copy Editors of the Daily Titan. Before CSUF, Peter was the College Life Editor on the Mt. San Antonio College newspaper: The Mountaineer. On his spare time, he blogs about food, draws cartoons and reads comic books. His love for pizza is rivaled by his love for breakfast foods.