It is hard to say no to a steaming cup of coffee

Emily D. Coppola

If you are a loyal reader to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph opinion section then you will know that coffee is very important in a newsroom. In a previous column by Lifestyles Editor Emily Rice, she discussed how important coffee is in our office and to journalists everywhere.

At the Bluefield Daily Telegraph office, we have two coffee pots, both of which are constantly being used. My coworkers and I often make trips specifically for coffee making supplies to make sure we have what we need at the office.

The point I’m trying to make is that I drink a lot of coffee. I am a frequent flyer at Appalachian Coffee House in Princeton and I have at least two cups at home a day.

On average, I typically have three to four large cups and if I don’t drink it my body will let me know.

With all of this caffeine intake, it got me wondering, what is coffee doing to our bodies? Personally, I’d say coffee is the oil that keeps the gears of my brain running smoothly, but I’m not so sure it’s that positive.

It’s obvious that coffee contains caffeine, that’s why we get energized and amped up when we drink it.

Caffeine is a stimulant to our nervous systems and is classified as a psychoactive drug. Now don’t freak out, you aren’t going to get charged with possession for having some coffee beans on you.

The classification of a psychoactive drug simply means that the substance results in a change in your brain. In caffeine’s instance, it gets you going in the morning.

This being said, yes, caffeine is addictive. As proof, I and other regular caffeine drinkers can vouch that a day without coffee will result in headaches. There’s nothing worse than having to perform your daily work tasks when you haven’t had your daily dose of coffee.

Interestingly enough, caffeine is classified in the class of methylxanthine. Methylxanthines are used in the treatment of asthma for airway inflammation, reversible airflow obstruction, and airway hyper responsiveness, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information website.

Saying all of this, it is believed that coffee has the ability to boost dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is the chemical in your brain that aids in transmission between brain cells. It deals with motor functions and emotional response, according to the website Scienceforstudents.

Dopamine also plays a part in the chemicals that cause happiness in your brain. Scientists have been trying to decipher whether or not coffee has the ability to aid depression since some types of depression are caused by a lack of dopamine.

I’m not a medical professional but I’d like to think that coffee plays a role in keeping me happy, but that’s just my opinion.

Coffee has also been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Type 2 Diabetes, according to the Healthline website. With all of these pluses, it’s hard to say no to a steaming cup of coffee.

Though I obviously am a coffee advocate, I can’t ignore the negative effects of coffee. These include an increased heart rate.

If you’ve read my columns, you know I have a very minor and common heart condition that causes my heart to sometimes beat too fast and or hard. This combined with my heavy caffeine intake sometimes causes me discomfort, which is totally on me. 

Now that fall is upon us, it’s the perfect time to enjoy a warm cup of coffee. Instead of sipping on iced coffee, now is the perfect time to sit in a coffee shop with rain drizzling on the windows and a toasty cup of coffee.

There’s something so inviting about snuggling into a thick sweater, a chill in the air and a welcoming cup of liquid joy.

Of course, I suggest visiting one of our local coffee shops. There you get a welcoming experience and customer service you can’t get anywhere else.

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be near the coffee pot, dreaming of chilly autumn days.

Emily D. Coppola is a reporter at the Daily Telegraph. Contact her at ecoppola@bdtonline.com. Follow her at @BDTCoppola

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