Make your coffee and sodas count

Posted on July 09 2019

Look, we’d love it if you weren’t reliant on coffee or sodas to study. After all, the key ingredient in those drinks -- caffeine -- has been shown to increase anxiety, insomnia, digestive issues, rapid heat rate and eventual fatigue.
But here at The American Academy, we’re realists. Many of our students use coffee and sodas to stay alert while studying, and we’re not going to change that any time soon. So let’s talk about ways to make that caffeine count.

Take a break
The more caffeine you use, the less impact it has on your body. That’s why it’s important to reset, periodically, by giving your body a break. Try to take each weekend off, or at least work to significantly reduce your intake a few days a week. That way when you feel like you need the boost, it will be there for you.

Take a nap       
Caffeine takes about 20 minutes to really hit your system. Coincidentally, 20 minutes is about the amount of time you need to make a nap worthwhile for re-charging your body and brain. If you’re going to drink coffee anyway, try doing so right before taking a nap. The result -- often called a “coffee nap” and backed by research -- can leave you feeling turbo-charged, and help you not feel the need for as much caffeine overall.

Take note of the time
Caffeine stays in most people’s bodies for four to six hours. And for some people, called “slow metabolizers,” it sticks around even longer than that. That’s why even though a 10 p.m. cup of coffee might sound like a good idea when you still have a few hours of studying to do, it might do more harm, in terms of lost sleep, than good. That’s why it can be helpful to predict your needs -- if you need to stay up late and know you’ll long for some caffeine to help -- drink your coffee or soda earlier in the day knowing that its effects will still be with you when you need it. (For a later night recharge, the sugars in a piece of fruit of small piece of chocolate) can be helpful.