Today: Jun 25, 2024

America runs on addiction

Caitlin Williamson – Special to the Southern News

        Its 7:55 a.m., you’re already late from convincing yourself those extra five minutes of sleep were absolutely necessary. As you run over the bridge passing Conn Hall one thought runs through your mind, “I need Dunkin!” You shuffle down the stairs bang a left to only see the reflection of 40 zombified students twisted around the Student Center to get their morning fix.

        Why does it seem that almost all college students live off of this magical caffeinated caramel shot potion? Is it all in our minds that in order to make it through our 50-minute morning class we need this nectar of the gods? Does America really need to “run on Dunkin?”

        Reports from show that, in fact, “75mg of caffeine increases both selective attention (focusing on relative stimulus) and sustained attention (maintenance of focused attention over an extended period of time).” However, they also stated that, “higher caffeine intakes do not necessarily result in additional increases in alertness… A fall in performance can occur with both under and over-stimulation.”

        I have spoken to students who on a regular basis consume up to almost three to four cups of coffee a day in a regular school day setting, which is close to 300-400 mg of caffeine intake. Sophomore at SCSU, Jordan Williamson, says “in order to make it through a full day of classes, work, homework, fitness and somewhat of a social life I usually consume close to 2-3 cups a day.” Jordan has been an avid coffee drinker since high school; however, some students report they have never consumed coffee before college.


        Southern’s webpage states a meal plan includes “six anywhere meals” every week for student’s to purchase meals and drinks from our Adanti Student Center, as well as some meal plans offering $150.00 of “food loot” money “for students to purchase drinks and snacks around campus”, according to the Student Life section of Southern’s website. Williamson said, “the majority of my friends spend all their food loot money at Dunkin for coffee. It’s very convenient and easy, I don’t know what I’d do without it, really.”

        So it is factually proven caffeine does increase your attention and memory, but aren’t there alternate options for students who don’t want to have to drink 200 mg of caffeine a day?

        Study cases show a glass of iced cold water when you first wake up can keep you alert and attentive. “Ice cold water first thing in the morning can shock your system into a metabolic furnace that kicks into gear to warm the water put into your system,” says The website suggests mixing the water with a B12 vitamin for enhancing alertness, but just plan old H20 will do the trick as well!

        A second tip from the website shows one of the simplest and most natural ways for a close to caffeine alertness. Stretching and eating an apple. The act of stretching “catapults oxygen metabolism in the blood, sending oxygen rich cells to the muscles and the brain, which sparks an alert and focused body.” The consumption of the apple triggers energy production.

        So before running to Dunkin Donuts for that medium iced caramel coffee with skim milk and three sweet and lows, think of alternate tips for a healthier version of energy!

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