Health · Law School

Green Tea v. Coffee

I never used to drink coffee. To put it simply, I thought it was vile. It tasted like burnt tires, and there was no amount of hazelnut creamers or sugar that could make it taste any better. Then law school happened. It’s not really the coffee that I like so much; it’s really the caffeine. I’m not a huge soda drinker, so I turned to coffee to give me that extra boost. I’m normally dragging by mid-day, and if I have an assignment to work on or reading; well, I’m really dragging. I somehow acquired the taste for coffee during the second semester of my first year in law school, and I have been drinking it at least two or three times a week when I really need a pick me up.  Generally, this is completely different from the regular amount of coffee my fellow peers drink. Around finals, the trash cans are overflowing with empty Starbucks coffee cups.  I’m willing to bet students drink anywhere from 2-5 cups of coffee a day. Granted, I also know people who drink near 10 cups of coffee a day! But, I’ve come to discover that I get splitting headaches if I don’t eat enough and drink coffee on top of an empty stomach.. Or worse, I would drink my cup of coffee too fast and get the jitters. Even if I did eat, sometimes it would still make me feel awful and not human. Then, I normally can’t concentrate in class. It’s an awful feeling. In doing some preliminary research; sure, coffee has its positives, but for the most part, it’s not that great for you. According to health.arizona.edu, coffee has a few major drawbacks:

  • Dehydration is a major drawback of caffeine consumption, and results from the drug’s ability to increase urine production. If you are not careful about replacing fluids with your morning cup of joe, you could end up dehydrated pretty quickly.
  • In addition to dehydration, caffeine causes some people to get jittery stomachs or “coffee stomach” – which can be quite uncomfortable and mask any potential benefits.
  • Some of the biggest drawbacks of caffeine have nothing to do with caffeine itself. For example, some people don’t like black coffee and end up putting cream, sugar, flavoring, etc. into their coffee. A cup of black coffee every day only adds about 10 calories but a cup of joe with all the bells and whistles or a specialty drink like a mochas or lattes can run in the hundreds of calories – not to mention add extra sugar and saturated fat to the diet. For those watching their weight, these coffee habits can be detrimental. Remember, the powdered non dairy creamers have coconut oils, which also have saturated fat. Skim milk and an occasional Equal in place of sugar is a good compromise if plain black coffee doesn’t float your boat.
  • Coffee raises high blood pressure
  • An obvious drawback to any drug is the withdrawal symptoms that accompany its abuse. For caffeine, this includes primarily headache, and nausea and vomiting are more severe side effects of withdrawal.
Every now and then I’ll have a cup of green tea instead, and the side effects of jitteriness and headaches are non-existent for me. Regardless as to how much I’ve eaten. Plus, Revolution (http://www.revolutiontea.com) has this awesome flavor: acai green tea. This particular brand does not ferment its leaves–instead, the leaves are withered and stemmed. Their green teas contain just the right amount of caffeine for me, without the jitters or nausea. I think it’s time for me to make the official switch to green tea. I feel guilty that my cute little coffee maker won’t get much use anymore, but I am tired of feeling awful after coffee. As an aside, I am just dying to try Revolution’s orange chocolate green tea. Sorry coffee, you lose.

 
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