Take a walk through the halls of the Durham College or UOIT campus for about five minutes and witness the number of students holding a Tim Hortons or Country Style cup, mostly likely containing coffee.
This is not a new found secret for years students have relied on coffee to make it through the long hours of class and the grueling work load. But some health officials say it is not a healthy lifestyle.
According to Durham College nutritionist Sylvia Emmorey, she says caffeine is dehydrating and can increase your blood pressure.
But other experts say this is all a myth. According to a recent survey done by Harvard University, there are no real risks to drinking coffee.
A study, which was released in November 2016 by the Harvard School of Public Health shows people who drink two or more cups of coffee a day are less likely to die from premature illness.
Coffee also leads to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the study.
“I need it for waking in the morning and getting through the day,” says Lucas a Durham College student who was making his way through his third cup of coffee in the day.
Despite of all of the good to come from coffee, nutritionist Emmorey says it will increase your blood pressure and lead to insomnia. This could pose a potential problem for college students who need sleep to be able to stay focused and healthy.
“Maybe a cup a day, not too big an issue,” says Emmorey, adding it can become a habit or people can become reliant on that cup of coffee.
Yet, according to other researchers, caffeine has been associated with lower depression rates in women and lower prostate cancer rates in men.
According to the Canadian Coffee Association, coffee is the most consumed drink in Canada, even more than water. Two-thirds of Canadians drink at least one cup of coffee a day.
Emmorey’s advice? Don’t drink too much of something because it may be good for one thing, but could potentially be harmful to something else.
Her solution to not making it a habit?
She suggests maybe having a glass of water in the morning instead of getting a coffee. Water is the number one choice for healthy drinks, after all, according to the same Harvard study.