Caffeine usage is a common occurrence in the United States, especially on college campuses where students are short on time and are laden with school, work and other activities.
According to MayoClinic.com, an average, healthy adult is able to consume 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine a day without harmful side effects. There are about 160 milligrams of caffeine in a 16 fluid ounce Monster Energy drink.
MayoClinic.com says caffeine is able to stimulate the central nervous system, alleviate fatigue, increase wakefulness and improve concentration.
“I usually drink [coffee] in the morning if I’m really tired to wake up,” said Andria Mast, a senior business administration and accounting major.
While some students use caffeine to wake them up, other students drink caffeinated products simply for enjoyment.
“It’s not that I really use [caffeine], because it doesn’t really have much of an effect on me, but I typically just like to have a coffee in the morning,” said Vinny Taddeo, a junior Bible and theology major.
“I never really use [caffeine] to stay awake,” said Tess Schmucker, a freshman psychology major. “I can drink a Monster and go right to sleep. I just like the flavor of coffee and of energy drinks.”
Some people are extra sensitive to caffeine, and even the average person can experience unpleasant side effects if they consume too much caffeine. Some side effects of having too much caffeine, listed by MayoClinic.com, are insomnia, restlessness, irritability, upset stomach and fast heart rate.
“I get so sick when I drink caffeine,” said Keri Johnson, a junior math major. “I just picked up the addiction really fast, so now when I don’t have caffeine I get really sick; it’s kind of like a caffeine hangover. I’m really tired the next day, I have a headache, I don’t want to do anything, and I’m cranky until I get caffeine in my system again, and then I’m totally fine.
“[But] it’s kind of a bad cycle because if I have too much caffeine…I get really sick, so then I try not to drink caffeine, but then I get sick, so I drink more caffeine, and it’s just a never-ending cycle of me being sick either from having caffeine or not having caffeine.”
If you make the choice to join the college caffeine craze, please drink responsibly.