There’s a reason you can get coffee at a ton of different places on campus – college students love their coffee. In fact, a lot of students tend to start drinking coffee when they get to college and need a pick-me-up after a long night of studying in the library. Or, they need a pick-me-up for the night they spend in the library. Coffee is such a staple in the college culture that you may find it surprising that the US is not even one of the highest consumers of coffee, worldwide.
While coffee has a lot of health benefits, like possibly lowering the risk of liver disease and preventing diabetes, it’s also important to keep in mind just how much coffee you’re taking in and what it’s doing to your body – and your sleep schedule.
Keep it to no more than four cups a day.
A lot of research has been done concerning the what exactly a healthy amount of coffee is for your body. Caffeine is good for you in moderation, but it’s not totally inconceivable that too much of a good thing turns into, well, a bad thing.
Most doctors and people who study caffeine consumption tend to agree that around 400 milligrams of caffeine is the most that adults should be drinking. That’s the equivalent to about four cups of coffee, four to five shots of espresso, eight cups of black tea, or ten 12 oz. bottles of Coca-Cola.
But keep in mind – a “cup” is 8 oz. So, a venti latte with an extra shot does not constitute “one cup” just because it’s all contained in one cup.
Choose decaf in the afternoon.
It can be tempting to keep drinking your delicious French roast with lunch, then dinner, and of course with a nice chocolaty dessert. But drinking caffeine too late in the day can seriously disrupt your sleep cycle, and ultimately your sleep schedule. This can get dangerous if you get into a bad habit. And we all know the terrible effects that pulling all-nighters seem to have on students.
Some research shows that drinking caffeine too late in the day, even six hours before bed (which may seem like enough time to get the effects of caffeine out of your system before hitting the hay) can have negative effects on your sleep cycle. So maybe it’s best to skip out on the soda in TDR at dinner.
Be aware of your intake.
Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of awareness. Try to keep tabs on how much caffeine you’ve consumed for the day. And remember that caffeine does not just come in the form of coffee. It’s in that soda that you grabbed between classes, and of course in Red Bull.
If you’re finding that you just cannot seem to get rid of drinking soda, coffee, and 5-hour energy shots at once, take it step by step. Try half-caf coffee and caffeine-free soda. Ease into it.