Drinking coffee has become a ritual for Guelph-Humber students, fuelling them through the exam season and getting them through the day. But many aren’t aware of how it could be affecting their long-term health.

University of Guelph nutrition professor David Ma says two or three cups of coffee per day is not as harmful as most assume, and is acceptable for most young adults.

The university research leadership chair and director of the Guelph Family Health Study says it depends on whether the consumer has a fast or slow metabolism, with slower metabolisms more susceptible to heart problems in the future.

Ma himself drinks one to two cups of coffee each day but says his overall advice would be to take

“everything in moderation in terms of caffeine and coffee.”

He explained that while the effects may not show in the beginning, it could be causing long-term harm to your heart.

The Awake Chocolate bars sold at Guelph-Humber and Humber College raised some concerns with Ma.

The bar boasts that it contains the caffeine equivalent of two cups of coffee. They are currently sold on campus at the GH Café, Java Jazz and the Humber Food Emporium.

Ma cautions that the issue with eating the Awake bars could be the body “consuming too much caffeine too quickly.”

Julia Tran, third year business student and part-time Starbucks barista, says that over 85 per cent of her customers are students, with exam and midterm season being the busiest time of year.

“Students need to stay up and study so they would add more caffeine into their drinks, so instead of two espresso shots they add an extra,” she remarks.

Tran says that there’s one drink in particular that concerns her.

“Sometimes they would want a venti nitro cold brew, and I would have to inform them that we can’t offer a venti because of the amount of caffeine it has.”

Customers would then order a grande, the next size down, says Tran

She finds that she doesn’t need caffeine to function, instead relying on her full eight hours of sleep to get her through the day.

First year media studies student Nicole Panacci is an avid coffee consumer. She says she drinks coffee at least “twice a day, every day.”

Panacci says that coffee is a must for university students.

“Most students rely on coffee to give them energy throughout the day,” says Panacci. “I can’t go a day without coffee, I’ve tried and I got a head ache.”

Marie Ferguson, fourth year interior design student agrees, saying that she also drinks multiple cups of coffee every day.

“It wakes me up and makes me more active for sure so I can focus more on my school work,” Ferguson says. “I feel like my body is so used to it that I’m immune to it, I don’t feel it much but I know I sort of depend on it.”

Ferguson also argued that “it’s more a need than a want” and that a healthy alternative would be better but because of a busy schedule most students turn to coffee as first resort.