As a college student with a part-time job, five classes, a sorority to recruit for, and numerous other extracurricular activities, I’m not a stranger to the Starbucks on Garner Street as I trudge slowly to my 10am. In fact, my job is IN a coffee shop. While I heavily rely on a hot cup o’ joe to get me through my lectures, I tend to see even more caffeine junkies when I work as a barista. I usually have to ask my customers to repeat their order back to me, as they slowly mumble their order the first time. This leads me to the question: How much coffee/caffeine is too much? And why do some people need it more than others?
According to this statistic, of people college-age and above, over half of them drink coffee every day. That means around 500 people in your 100 Thomas lecture have already guzzled down a latte or are planning to after class. While coffee has many forms, flavors, and ways of preparation, most all include some type of caffeine, the ingredient in coffee that gives you a buzz.
As the caffeine in your coffee slowly opens your eyes and transforms you from zombie to human, one has to wonder, what actually happens in your body?
In a nutshell, the caffeine obstructs the way of other chemicals. Caffeine is similarly built like the chemical that causes you to be sleepy. So the as caffeine makes its way through your body, it deceives your nerve cells and takes the place of the chemical that usually binds there.
In recent news, there is a new super mo-jo that is claiming to keep consumers lively for a staggering 18 hours. Around 5 grams of caffeine can be found in the coffee, compared to a measly 95mg. So if you ever take your first few sips of latte in the morning and feel a slight buzz that pulls you through your entire day, you may not require the extreme alertness that comes along with the new super coffee. Instead, stick to your cup or two in the morning and lunchtime to stay perfectly aware throughout your lectures and labs. However, if the walk to class feels like it just won’t end and when you finally get to class your eyes won’t stay open, it may be worth a shot to try out a stronger coffee with lots of caffeine.
I feel that coffee drinking is more of a habit and develops with the situation than an actual need among college students. Personally, before living with me, my roommate stuck to lemon water in the morning. Now, almost immediately after I brew a pot in the morning, she’s pouring it in her to-go cup along with half-and-half and a dash of sugar. Also, coffee shops are the epitome of a study space, creating a calming and productive environment, meaning a perfect place to grab a latte with your study group and finish projects, rather than waiting in line for your absolutely-necessary morning cup.