Sip smart, study sharp: How caffeine can fuel your academic success

Kaitlyn Peterson, a sophomore population health major from Idaho Falls, Idaho, fuels up on caffeine to power through homework with unwavering focus and determination. Navigating the challenges of academia brings numerous sleepless nights; in these moments, the buzz of caffeine becomes her steadfast companion. Abigail Byington | Sun News

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Your alarm goes off, so you get ready for another long day of classes, and the one thing that gets you out of bed is the thought of a nice cup of joe.

The life of a college student is draining. We have a lot to juggle, so we turn to caffeine for a little boost.

Caffeine gets a bad rap because of its negative side effects when used in large doses. Drinking the right amount of caffeine for your body can help you reap the benefits caffeine has to offer without the negative side effects.

There is a reason that caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive stimulant. Caffeine, when used responsibly, can benefit students by increasing concentration and mental alertness, improving short-term memory and improving mood.

Students have a lot of pressure on them when it comes to studying and keeping up in their classes. Caffeine can help reduce some of that pressure.

Many students have other stressors outside of school such as a job or other responsibilities. All of this creates quite a busy schedule, leaving students exhausted and spread thin. A boost of energy from caffeine could be just the fix.

When a student has no energy left to give, they can turn to caffeine for help.

As a fellow college student, I get it. I once drank four Red Bulls in one night in order to pull an all-nighter and study for a biology test I had the next day. While I’m not saying this would be the best choice for students, I got a good grade on my test thanks to the studying I got done.

Along with benefits like increased energy and improved mood, caffeine also tastes good. We can’t write off drinking caffeine purely for pleasure as a motivation for its consumption. The wide range of flavored coffees and energy drinks out there makes caffeine a mouth-watering sweet treat.

Caffeine intake is personal to everyone. The effects of caffeine are going to be different for everyone. That’s why it’s important to understand your body and its limits when consuming caffeine. Certain people may also have higher risk factors that lead to increased negative side effects when they consume caffeine.

The negative side effects of caffeine are largely due to overconsumption. Side effects such as headaches, irritability, insomnia and increased anxiety might be experienced if you are consuming too much caffeine. The amount of caffeine found in energy drinks and coffee varies. The Food and Drug Administration has cited that consuming up to 400 milligrams of caffeine in a day is an amount that is not generally associated with negative effects in healthy adults. This is equivalent to about four or five cups of coffee.

“Moderation is key” is a motto to live by in so many areas of life, and this includes caffeine consumption. Be responsible. Know your body and its limits in order to consume caffeine and still live a healthy lifestyle.