Quarters can get challenging for students here at CSUSB and one quick remedy a lot of students use is caffeine. Caffeine is found in coffee, energy drinks, and even soda. Students may like caffeine because it can be a quick and easy way to boost energy.
The American College Health Association has found that caffeine, stress, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression are the top five threats to students success in academic performance. So while it may seem caffeine is a solution to lack of energy it actually is not. In fact, it’s causing more harm to our body than we think.
Studies show energy drinks contain three-times the amount of caffeine than a regular soda. Because of this, the likelihood of addiction is more prevalent. One of the active ingredients in energy drinks is Taurine, which is an amino acid that assists with neurological development and regulation of water and mineral salt concentrations in the blood.
Students seem to be split with caffeine. Some students feel like it’s really beneficial to their academics while some feel they don’t really need caffeine to survive school.
David Huerta has a Master’s Degree in Accounting and recently graduated from U.C Riverside. Huerta likes to go to Queen Bean Caffe, a coffee shop in Yucaipa, California. There, Huerta likes the variety of caffeinated drinks and likes the vibe it has to be able to study.
“I actually only wound up having caffeine during the most crucial moments during school: midterm and finals week,” says Huerta.
He points out that it’s common for most students to pull-off “all-nighters” and what do they resort to, energy drinks and caffeine.
“My choice of caffeine during all those all-nighters was usually red-bull,” Huerta says.
He points out that the reason why he was pulling all-nighters was that he wasn’t a “proactive student.” Huerta would usually wait until the night before to do his studying for exams or homework due the next day.
“Once I became more proactive with my education, I haven’t really gone through all-nighters, meaning that my caffeine consumption was basically non-existent after those crazy nights,” Huerta said.
Huerta recommends students make school-work their number one priority. Waiting until the last minute, you resort to caffeine to help keep you up., but in the long run, you’re only worsening your chances of failing that test the next day because you’re not giving your body the proper rest it really needs.
Although Huerta doesn’t rely on caffeine anymore, Andrew Hartel, a student at Crafton Hills College believes otherwise.
“I use caffeine for a boost in focus and alertness so I can pay attention in class,” Hartel said.
Many students who actually consume caffeine, consume it every-single-day because it’s a lot easier to than to not to.
” I do it every-day, it really does make it easier to focus and to get those late-night last-minute papers written,” says Hartel.
Hartel points out that he doesn’t intend to give-up caffeine anytime soon, however, if he were too, he would trade it in for a better nights sleep.
Oliver Gonzales is a student here at CSUSB and he has a totally different take on caffeine. Gonzales last consumed a caffeinated beverage more than five years ago.
“I see how dependent everyone is with caffeine, and it turns me away. I also don’t think it helps with grades at all either. I think sleep is a much better alternativ.” Gonzales said.
Gonzales points out sleep is his biggest strength in overcoming the need for an easy-fix like caffeine. Many students are already sleep-deprived and caffeine just makes that worse.
” To avoid getting tired I make sure I get enough sleep the night before. If I don’t get enough sleep I just push through the day by just eating and drinking water,” Gonzales said.
Many Caffeinated drinks are full of sugar that can really mess-up a students diet. Thus, it drives students away from healthy foods that will naturally boost energy. Instead of looking for the easy-way-out, students should look into foods that boost energy or natural juices that aren’t full of sugar.
Caffeine is really an easy way to boost your energy but the long-term effects can be very detrimental. Tools such as napping, eating breakfast, drinking water and eating fruits are all effective alternatives to caffeine. Think twice about your next energy drink.