MASTERING MONDAY: CAFFEINE OVERLOAD
Whenever you have a big project due or really big test the next day, what is the one thing you use that helps you stay awake? The first thing that may have popped into your mind is coffee or some type of energy drink. What both coffee and energy drinks have in common is caffeine. Caffeine is a lifesaver in almost every adult life- mine included. It’s what helps us wake up and get through the day. We are a society obsessed with caffeine. Whether as an American you run on Dunkin or on Monster, you should consider the negative health effects of these drinks.
The video below delves into how caffeine works within the body. It covers how caffeinated drinks block certain receptors, so that you can have that “get-up-and-go” feeling that everyone desires. The video tours the brain as caffeine infiltrates the human system. The video also touches on some of the things that caffeine is now found in including: energy drinks, gum, and even jerky.
The article below talks about all things caffeine. From how much caffeine you should have on any given day, to what some of the effects that it has on your body, Dr. Harwood says that having coffee and tea are certainly more acceptable than having caffeine pills, energy drinks, or bars, but when over-consumed come with some negative effects, as well. However, both coffee and tea have antioxidants that can help prevent chronic illnesses, while also offering an option with less sugar and calories in them.
If you are really hankering for a pick me up, there are some better, more natural ways to achieve that fully awake feeling. You may be surprised by how effective these tips are at keeping you awake at school and work.
- Go for a walk after lunch: Research has shown that when you feel tired, going for a walk after you eat will not only aid in digestion, but will also help you feel more awake during that three o’clock slump. The reason why this works is because the walk increases your heart rate which in turn makes your energy levels go up and your fatigue to decrease.
- Listen to Music: Experts say that if you listen to music while you are studying and working you will increase your concentration levels for the task at hand. My go-to music choice is classical music or film scores because there are no distracting lyrics, but are still able to have great melodies throughout.
- Drink Water: A reason why you may be feeling fatigued is because you are dehydrated. When you are dehydrated, you feel sluggish and may become tired. If you drink water throughout the day you are less likely to become tired.
- Eat Snacks: Eating small healthy snacks (like trail mix or granola bars) during the day, will help curb your appetite and give you the energy you need. And while eating something sugary like a mini snickers it will give you a sugar rush, it’ll inevitably lead to a crash because of it’s lack of sustainability.
- Stretch: Another helpful tip is stretching. Not only will it help getting knots out of your back and shoulders, but stretching will help get oxygenated blood through your body.
- Avoid the heat: Especially in the winter, being warm is all we want to do, but that will not help us stay awake. If we are in an overly comfortable, warm temperature we are more likely to fall asleep. If we are in a cooler temperature we are more likely to stay awake throughout the day.
Written By: Peer Educator Emily Cooley
Photo Cred: books