I disagree with people who claim that they’re “addicted to coffee.” I don’t take addictions lightly. That’s why — since I still use that phrase on occasion — I make darned sure that I actually have a debilitating dependence on the stuff. It’s only right.
It’s the morning of your final exam. You studied for the past 24 hours, and are now too tired to recall anything or even accomplish anything except drinking a cup of something. What single substance will energize you, improving your reaction time and just generally save the day?
Yeah, that’s right. You read the title. Caffeine. Caffeine has many benefits, few disadvantages, is legal, and can be managed easily. It is quite literally the best performance-enhancing drug available to you today. Here’s why.
Caffeine has many health benefits.
It’s a performance enhancer. It makes you more alert and shortens reaction time. It also prevents headaches, in small doses. If you drink a lot, I admit that the headaches won’t be helped. But caffeine has been proven to reduce depression. This one makes sense if you think about it. Energy is good. It peps us up and makes us happy. One sign of depression, on the other hand, is feeling helpless and immoveable; apathetic. To top it all off, caffeine also helps your liver and has been known to decrease risk of Parkinson’s.
Caffeine has just a few health disadvantages.
It’s addictive. That’s part of the definition of a drug, though. It’s barely addictive, and a lot better than most drugs you could be on. With the exception of pot, but that’s another argument. My point is, just being addictive alone isn’t a terrible problem. I’m addicted to writing, but that hasn’t hurt my life. It all depends on what other disadvantages pop up to anything when you’re addicted to it.
It’s harmful if you have too much. Ironically, it gives headaches when overused. And usually gives jitters and/or digestive problems, depending on the person. But again, that’s the definition of “too much” – too much of anything is harmful. Water is great for you too, but if you keep drinking it all day, you will eventually die.
Caffeine is legal.
This is always a big plus when dealing with drugs. You don’t want to turn into a criminal! Stick to the straight and narrow. It’s funny when you think about it: athletes are banned from using steroids, but are free to dose up on caffeine before playing, even though it’s been proven to positively affect their performances! If you need a drug to give you that sweet legal energy, caffeine is one of your best options. It’s not like you’re living in the 1800’s, when cocaine was available.
Caffeine can be managed easily.
The stuff loses its power when consumed too often, but it’s possible to reap all the benefits with none of the problems. Try staying under the equivalent of three cups of coffee a day. Admittedly, this is the toughest part. But don’t let the caffeine get the best of you! If you ever stop getting your sweet sweet hit of energy out of your morning cup, try quitting for a week. That’s what I forced myself to do last month. I’ve kept to one or two cups a day since, occasionally skipping an entire day. As a result, the coffee is useful once again. If you’ve already realized the charms of caffeine years or decades ago, you should consider this (drastic) move. Absence makes the
Summary: Caffeine is far more useful and far less harmful than any other performance enhancement out there. Use this to your advantage. Drink up.