Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Coffee Virgin

Bobby loses his coffee virginity for The Stovetop Baristas

Caffeine addiction is prevalent on college campuses

Bobby Waddle had never had coffee. Until today. In fact, Waddle said he never had a need for coffee, which sets him apart on a college campus.

A study done by Loyola University found that four out of five college students consume caffeine on a daily basis to wake up for early morning classes or stay up late to finish school work. Senior Rachel Gillespie is one of those university students at Bowling Green who considers herself a “caffeine addict.”

“I have caffeine at least twice a day,” Gillespie said. “Tea has caffeine in it, and I have that at least once a day.”

Gillespie said she feels as though she has built up a tolerance to caffeine and that it no longer helps her stay awake. She said the only time she remembers really feeling the effects of caffeine was when she drank a 5-Hour Energy in order to make the drive back home to Cincinnati. Gillespie also keeps espresso shots in her pantry to add to her coffee to give her an extra kick in the morning.

When a tolerance begins to build is when an addiction can start, no matter what source the caffeine is contained in, and could have the potential for serious health risks.

Risks of caffeine addiction

For someone who is addicted to caffeine, possible side effects of a caffeine withdrawal could range from headaches and fatigue to irritability and difficulty concentrating. According to an article by U.S. News and World Report, most people experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms that usually set in 12-24 hours after abstaining from caffeine.

"People are hesitant to think of it as a drug of addiction because it doesn't have a lot of the health and adverse social consequences associated with our classic drugs of addiction, yet the basic mechanisms by which it hooks people are very much like our classic drugs of addiction," said Roland Griffiths, a professor in the departments of psychiatry and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins, in the article.

Some students still don't have a need for caffeine

While coffee is often a caffeine quick fix for college students, Waddle isn’t completely alone on campus with his disregard for the beverage. Paul Dalsky is also not fond of coffee, and said he never usually consumes caffeine in any beverage.

“I don’t drink coffee, I don’t like tea and my favorite pops don’t have caffeine,” Dalsky said.

Dalsky said he is wakes up best the mornings when he has to walk to the Student Recreation Center for his 8:30 weight lifting class, and other than that he doesn’t see a need to do anything extra to keep himself awake.

“Once I’m up, I’m up,” Dalsky said. “And once I’m tired, I’m done for.”

Now that Waddle has joined the ranks of college students who have had at least one cup of coffee, he doesn’t think his life will be any different and he certainly doesn’t think he’ll be looking to coffee to keep him awake during finals week.

“Doesn’t feel any different to have had coffee than it did before,” Waddle said.

No comments:

Post a Comment