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admin December 5, 2019

By Erin Hart & Micki Anderson

As a college student, it is hard work to keep up with all of the responsibilities that come with being a student. Students must keep up their grades, work, and social life, which takes a lot of energy. Most people don’t get enough sleep, so they tend to turn to other alternatives for the energy they need to get through the day, like an immense amount of caffeine daily. Caffeine tricks the brain into feeling alert, well, concentrated, self-confident, social, and motivated. 

Student service specialist Christina Graham said she drinks caffeine in the form of coffee or soda 2-3 times a day. Has she ever thought of cutting back?

“NO,” she said. 

Security specialist Dave Chapline has no plans of cutting back on his coffee intake either.

“I have probably six cups a day, three of them the first thing in the morning,” he said.

Approximately 90% of Americans consume some form of caffeine daily. Student Stanley Portorreal is the exception, having been raised without the dependance, and has coffee about once a week.

“Pretty much, my mother has made a rule in the house that if you’re younger, you’re not able to drink coffee. My grandparents are heavy coffee drinkers, and my mom didn’t want to fall into that trap, so she tried to stay away from it as much as possible,” said Stanley. “Since my stepdad is diabetic, we’re not allowed to have sodas. We mostly drink juice over there, but they’re trying to die down on the juice and drink more water. So that’s my reasoning, I just follow what they’re doing.”

If caffeine is used moderately, the likelihood of becoming addicted decreases. Do not consume more than 8 oz a day to feel more alert and less tired, or you’ll deal with the negative side effects such as anxiety, confusion, irritability, insomnia, changes in appetite, dry mouth, blurred vision, and cold sweats. These effects may seem scary, but you shouldn’t cut caffeine out of your diet cold turkey. Slowly wean yourself off to minimize symptoms of withdrawal like headaches, fatigue, and irritability. 

Finally, drinking coffee won’t help an intoxicated person sober up, only cover up alcohol’s sedative effect, so don’t fall for that old myth and stay hydrated.

Photograph by Micki Anderson