I am sure all of you have heard someone say something along the lines of “I need coffee to wake up” or “I do not function until I have had coffee”. The caffeine phenomenon is sweeping the country and more and more people are relying on this drink a part in their every day routine. According to an article written in USA Today by Karen Fernau, 83% of adults in the U.S. drink coffee. That represents the largest consumer market for the beverage in the world. On average one person has about three cups a day, which amounts to roughly 587 million cups a day. This just covers the adult market. The coffee industry has become a $30 billion-a-year power-house that has become a pivotal part in a lot of people’s lives. Now as someone who is not a coffee drinker I have always been fascinated with the obsession of this drink. One of the main ingredients in coffee as most of you probably know is caffeine. This works as a stimulant in the body which alerts the senses which is the case as to why some many people use it as a wake up technique to start their day.
Now as a college student I am sure that many you have been met with the situation of an all-nighter. You have too much on your plate to afford a couple hours of sleep so instead you most likely brew up a pot of coffee and get to work. While coffee does work to alert the senses it cannot replace sleep. Sleepfoundation.org explains that while we may temporarily feel rejuvenated and awake after consumption, the results are just temporary. The caffeine works to block chemicals within the brain that induce sleep and is also works to increase the production of adrenaline. The effects of this drink can begin in as quickly as 15 short minutes. After it kicks in, the effects are not completely eliminated from the body until roughly six and a half hours later. This means that those attempting to pull late nights working on assignments and then attempt to go to bed within that time frame are still experiencing the after effects of the drink. A ripple affect may begin where uses the drink to stay awake, but than is later not able to fall asleep and then to combat the daytime sleepiness they consume more coffee to begin the cycle all over again. Now there very well may be some confounding variables that contribute to one’s inability to sleep after coffee consumption such as sleep environment and an individual’s biological processes. However better to be careful than to be trapped in an never ending cycle of tiredness and coffee.
For those of you that are frequented with those late night study sessions a test prepping company named Kaplan has formed at list of six healthy drinks that one can consume to help one study that are better than coffee. Now this may come as a surprise to some of you but number one on the list is in fact water. One of the main symptoms that lead to feelings of fatigue is in fact dehydration. So the more hydrated you are the less fatigue one will feel along with the absence of the caffeine crash that accompanies coffee consumption. The next drink on the list came as a surprise to me: Milk. One does not usually think of milk as a study aid, but in fact it contains neurotransmitters that help to improve memory along with providing carbohydrates to supply you with energy. If you wish to learn more about the other four drinks click on the link I have embedded into this paragraph. For future reference there are in fact better and healthier ways to stay awake studying than to give into the caffeine cycle.