As they say, you are what you eat. But you are also what you drink. I’m one of the 80 percent of adults in the United States who consume caffeine on a daily basis. I’ve been guilty of having too much coffee some days, and spending a little too much at Starbucks.
But with good reason. I feel like caffeine keeps me alert throughout the day, especially while studying for the CPA Exam. However, the popular stimulant also has its disadvantages, like causing poor quality sleep.
So whether you get your caffeine from coffee, soda, tea, energy drinks or even caffeine pills, it’s good to be aware of the positive and negative effects of caffeine.
Despite some disagreement among researchers, caffeine is believed to enhance cognitive performance in general. Moderate consumption of caffeine can boost mood, cognitive function and performance. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found that caffeine even has positive effects on memory.
Regardless of how you get caffeine, studies have proven the best way to use caffeine is to consume it is in small doses over extended periods throughout the day. Not only does drinking coffee decrease your fatigue; caffeine is also associated with healthy longevity as it helps in the prevention of diseases like type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The average adult intake of caffeine is roughly 200 milligrams, which is around one cup of strong coffee per day.
Nevertheless, many people don’t stop at just one cup each day. Researchers have said drinking 3 – 4 cups of coffee per day does not pose any health risks, but more than four cups of coffee could lead to physical dependence and other disadvantages. While most people consume caffeine with no negative consequences, drinking too much could cause headaches, muscle twitching, and vomiting.
If you are looking for some healthy alternatives to drinking your normal caffeinated beverage, try some of these options. Many have lower amounts of caffeine, which will prevent the famous “crash” feeling while keeping you hydrated and energized.
• Chai tea
• Lemon water
• Green tea
• Green smoothies
• Peppermint tea
• Fruit and vegetable juices
Drink in moderation
Of course, the key to survival for anything in this life is to have something in moderation and to know your limits. Getting enough sleep and rest if you’re working and studying for the CPA Exam is crucial. So keep your caffeine intake at a healthy dose, and try to stay away from the caffeine that comes with sugary, unhealthy drinks such as sodas and energy drinks.
It's also helpful to know when you need a picker upper. If you're studying early in the morning, on your lunch break, or in the evening after work, take note of how much caffeine you need to intake in order to stay refreshed without overdoing it.
--Shannon Neumeyer, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review