College is exhausting with all the deadlines and exams we have to meet, and coffee has become our best friend through these hard times. One of the reasons we hold it so dear to us is its caffeine component keeping our brains awake after celebrating from the last exam we just had.
However sometimes we just need our own space from coffee. Over consumption of caffiene can lead to detrimental effects such as anxiety and irregular sleeping patterns, which can defeat the purpose of using it to do good in school***.
Since college is a time of experimentation and trying to find deeper meaning within yourself, you can also look into alternatives that can help you get through college found in this list I am providing.
Disclaimer: These are my personal recommendations that I have found personal success with.
1) Green tea
Typically contains less caffeine than coffee, which only has 25 - 29 mg of caffeine in a cup.*** This provides a very mild energy boost that gives you the extra kick to finish up that paper you’ve been procrastinating on. It also contains L-theanine, which has been linked to stress reduction to help calm you down knowing that your paper’s due in a few hours.***
This is one of my favorites drinks while I’m at school because it provides the proper balance you need to stay awake, while avoiding the symptoms of too much caffeine when I used to drink lots of coffee.
2) Coconut water
Wait there’s no caffeine in this why should I bother drinking this!?
Well hear me out first. Coconut water is rich in potassium which is an electrolyte we should be consuming since it is typically lower in western diets. ***Dehydration is one of the causes for low energy levels especially after a night out of drinking beers. Getting the proper amount of electrolytes and fluid is the key to proper hydration levels.*** It still contains sodium and carbohydrates which are beneficial when losing fluids. Also be aware of flavored coconut waters since more sugar is added into them compared to their regular counterparts.***
3) Prebiotic and probiotic drinks
Whoa bacteria can help me with school? There has been research linking positive mood with healthier gut flora.*** These drinks have also shown visible effects for managing energy levels. One of my favorite drinks as a kid was Yakult which is found in these small containers. ***They are rich in probiotics, which are the good bacteria that aid in gut health. Instead of taking shots of alcohol, maybe you can take these instead. A drink I know of that contains prebiotics is Activia.*** Prebiotics can help increase the amount of good bacteria in your gut which means they are basically fuel for microorganisms. It is good to take them both in conjunction with each other since they go hand in hand.***
Can’t go wrong with good ol water. The reason why I am mentioning this despite everyone knowing how crucial this is because a good amount of adults are still dehydrated. ***Water does not contain any additives such as sugar or electrolytes. If you are already receiving adequate nutrients in your diet but still feeling a bit tired then maybe lack of water is one of the culprits.
Is there more I can drink? or is this all that's really offered in terms of boosting energy?
These are what have worked for me personally. You can dive deeper into other options, but using some of the information provided in terms of boosting energy is a tool that may help you find the best fit. Keep track of factors such as caffeine content, electrolytes, fluid intake, and other components such as antioxidants for example to boost your energy levels!
Be like Kermit over here and pick the right drinks to jump start your day!
Coconut water. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2011/08/15/coconut-water-6f51be99d73fb9aacd1358747aea2de85aa4d2ff-s800-c85.jpg
4th picture on the left
Yakult. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://img.pngio.com/yakult-png-yakult-png-1198_1600.png
5th picture on the right
Activia prebiotics. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.activia.us.com/sites/US/files/activia-dailies-prebiotic-drink-lemon-ginger.png
Sleep cycle gif . (n.d.). Retrieved from https://i.gifer.com/UTkZ.gif
Cappelletti, S., Piacentino, D., Sani, G., & Aromatario, M. (2015, January). Caffeine: cognitive and physicalperformanceenhancerorpsychoactivedrug?Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4462044/.
Turnbull, D., Rodricks, J. V., & Mariano, G. F. (2015, December 15). Neurobehavioral hazard identificationandcharacterizationforcaffeine.Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273230015301379.
Caffeine content for coffee, tea, soda and more. (2017, April 14). Retrieved fromhttps://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-2004937
White, D. J., de Klerk, S., Woods, W., Gondalia, S., Noonan, C., & Scholey, A. B. (2016, January 19). Anti-Stress, Behavioural and Magnetoencephalography Effects of an L-Theanine-Based
Nutrient Drink: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728665/.
Ellison, D. H., & Terker, A. S. (2015). Why Your Mother Was Right: How Potassium Intake Reduces Blood Pressure. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4530669/.
Maughan, J, R., Watson, Phillip, Cordery, Walsh, … Philip AA. (2015, December 23). randomized trial to assess the potential of different beverages to affect hydration status: development of a beverage hydration index. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/103/3/717/4564598
Team, V. (2016, February 1). How Coconut Water Stacks Up As a Sports Drink. Retrieved from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/coconut-water-stacks-sports-drink/.
Naidoo, U. (2019, March 27). Gut feelings: How food affects your mood. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/gut-feelings-how-food-affects-your-mood-2018120715548.
Cerdó, T., García-Santos, J. A., G Bermúdez, M., & Campoy, C. (2019, March 15). The Role of Probiotics and Prebiotics in the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6470608/..
Yakult & Yakult Light Product Information: Yakult & Yakult Light: Probiotic Drink. (2017, November 13). Retrieved from https://www.yakultusa.com/products/#what-are-probiotics.
Probiotics:WhatYouNeedKnow.(2019,August22).Retrieved from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction.htm..
Gurry, T., Gibbons, S. M., Nguyen, L. T. T., Kearney, S. M., Ananthakrishnan, A., Jiang, X., … Alm, E. J. (2018, August 23). Predictability and persistence of prebiotic dietary supplementation in a healthy human cohort. Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-30783-1.
Liska, D. A., Mah, E., Brisbois, T., Barrios, P. L., Baker, L. B., & Spriet, L. L. (2019, January 1). Narrative Review of Hydration and Selected Health Outcomes in the General Population. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6356561/.
The Digestible; a site for easy to understand food, nutrition, health, and energy balance information.