Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Studying with or without caffeine

A few weeks ago, I got up some free 5-hour energy drinks. The first time I tried the 5-hour energy drink during studying, I downed half the bottle. That didn’t go so well… because I couldn’t focus on one thing. I was opening up a tab that I had just closed, remembering random things I needed to do, and just all out frazzing out.

5-hour energy drinks contain caffeine equivalent to one cup of coffee. And I rarely down half a cup of coffee in one sitting.

2012-12-05 10.37.10

Next time I took little sips throughout my studying session- so much better. But at $3 a bottle with its bitter taste, I just don’t think it’s worth it. I’d much rather sip on a bittersweet latte and enjoy it. And now that I’ve added in a coffee budget for graduate school, I feel better in control of my coffee purchases.

Some tips on how to enjoy the brain-boosting benefits of caffeine without the side effects:

- Keep your caffeine intake down to 200 –300 mg a day. That’s about two to four cups of coffee.

- Watch what you’re adding to your coffee. A cup is only 5 kcal but the sugar and cream can add up. (Lattes often hover above 200 kcal!)

- Don’t sip on your coffee throughout the day. This constant low pH exposure can be harmful for your teeth.

- To make sure you get enough sleep, don’t drink coffee six hours before bedtime.

I’m trying to take better care of my body by watching what I eat including what I drink. Morning coffee does not get a free pass either.

There was a week when I had a lot of dental school stuff. Every other day I would get a free drink (five drinks and you get one free!). The following weekend I cut back to zero cups and was super cranky, along with a killer headache.

And…Frito-Lay will soon be making caffeinated version of Cracker Jack called Cracker Jack’d containing about 2/3 cup of coffee equivalent of caffeine.

How much coffee do you drink a day?
Have you tried similar energy drinks?


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