how much is caffeine a factor in your studies?

sike08

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I did a little experiment. I work at Starbucks so coffee is pretty much always available to me and is free lol. But I have noticed that in my two years working there that I have been very dependent on my caffeine medium to get any sort of work done. So I decided that during my current summer session of school, I would lay off the joe to see if I had enough personal drive to get through my studies.

So far..

It has been a tough 3 weeks. First of all it's hard to say no when it is available to me almost all the time, but I have managed to ward off the temptation. During the first week I found it difficult to concentrate and got constant headaches in the morning that lasted almost all day causing me to thwart my efforts of doing homework to losing my head ache. As the second week rolled around doing homework became the bane of my existence and I was doing everything and all things to help curb my head pains. By now (week 3) I'm very irritable when homework comes around and I had enough because I needed to get it done.

So...

I gave in today. I had a glorious small cup of coffee with the tiniest bit of cream and suddenly had the rush of inspiration and relief I had been searching for. I hate that I have to depend on coffee to get things done.

Can anyone relate? I don't need alternative solutions because I know them, but I would just like to hear your stories.
 

penguin24

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Coffee is great, not perfect, but good. It sucks that there are withdrawal Sx's, but hey, all good things have their costs. Its not like I'm out in the streets robbing people to pay for my $1.70 cup of Starbucks.

Coffee really helps me move through volumes of tedious medical information. I could live w/o it (or at least I think I could), but there doesn't seem to be a good reason to give it up.
 
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bunnity

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Unfortunately I had a good reason to give it up... gave me a bunch of PVC's (type of arrhythmia) so I'm only supposed to have it occasionally. Otherwise I'd be caffeinating it up with the rest of you.
 

Compass

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I drink a 20oz. soda on my way to work every day. It's 6AM, and I'm not a fan of hot coffee quenching my thirst :(

When studying, minimize it. Don't drink EXCESSIVELY or you will be going to the bathroom A LOT.
 

Naijaba

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It never made sense to me to drink coffee in the morning (aren't you supposed to be rested from sleep?) I do, however, drink coffee when I'm tired and need to get stuff done.
 

Cunninglinguist

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Coffee is great, not perfect, but good. It sucks that there are withdrawal Sx's, but hey, all good things have their costs. Its not like I'm out in the streets robbing people to pay for my $1.70 cup of Starbucks.

Coffee really helps me move through volumes of tedious medical information. I could live w/o it (or at least I think I could), but there doesn't seem to be a good reason to give it up.


Amen to that.


I hear you, OP. I thought about giving it up as well, but I do most of my studying at the coffee shop and I am worthless without my coffee, so in the end all of my efforts to quit have been fruitless. I limit myself to 40oz of the liquid gold a day though. Some might think that's a lot, but if I didn't have a self imposed restriction I would putting back ~100oz a day.
 

ProteinChemist

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I can totally relate. I get coffee withdraw headaches too. And I admit, I am a much more functional person when I am caffeinated. I get **** done. I always lay off when I start to feel too dependent though. It's probably good to get energy from food and exercise but sometimes you just need those extra bought hours to spend studying.
 

FuturaDocta

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Have you ever tried tea? There is still some caffeine but not nearly as much as drip coffee. Maybe you can psyche your body out and just have decaf for a while. haha

If it is just for the caffeine, then try something else and experiment. You don't have to have that much caffeine everyday unless you feel like a zombie.

Here are several beverages you can look at as far as caffeine consumption. Maybe you can just try different things out.

http://www.wilstar.com/caffeine.htm

Take a look the description below and think about why you may be having headaches because you are dependent on caffeine right now.

http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog...ALDRICH&N5=SEARCH_CONCAT_PNO|BRAND_KEY&F=SPEC
 

Cunninglinguist

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Have you ever tried tea? There is still some caffeine but not nearly as much as drip coffee. Maybe you can psyche your body out and just have decaf for a while. haha

If it is just for the caffeine, then try something else and experiment. You don't have to have that much caffeine everyday unless you feel like a zombie.

Here are several beverages you can look at as far as caffeine consumption. Maybe you can just try different things out.

http://www.wilstar.com/caffeine.htm

Take a look the description below and think about why you may be having headaches because you are dependent on caffeine right now.

http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/ProductDetail.do?lang=en&N4=C53|ALDRICH&N5=SEARCH_CONCAT_PNO|BRAND_KEY&F=SPEC


Tea makes me queasy. I don't know why, but it gives me a stomach ache.
 
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Cunninglinguist

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And just not as yummy as coffee.


True dat! Coffee is a gift from the gods and those who choose to abstain are insulting said gods and will be punished with mood swings, lethargy, chronic headaches, slow cognitive functioning, and general malaise...


... Wait a minute! That sounds like a pregnant woman!


There you have it! Drink coffee or you will become a pregnant woman!
 

red10

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my cousin used to drink coffee in the AM, a red bull on the way to work and then a couple soda's during the day. One day she started shaking and couldn't stop, her heart beat was irregular and she was getting severe headaches. She went to the doc and the told her she had to cut the caffeine immediately. She basically ODed. it was crazy
 

BigChubbyMD

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psipsina

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I didn't drink much coffee in undergrad but as a medstudent have developed full blown dependence. I get hypotension headaches if I don't have one by 3pm (discovered during a hurricane, sucked). I usually do two double soy lattes a day and bump it up to 3 before exams. I got a sweet nespresso machine for my birthday so I only spend about 2.00$ per day on the habit lol.
 
i have been hooked since i was really young...recently ive been getting venti half-caffs so i feel like i'm drinking a ton of coffee but am really only have like a tall and a half.

i usually drink double espressos (up to three in a day sometimes :( ) but they are really easy to over do

edit: i just remembered how as a soph in hs i would drink my double shot in the morning and then have a big can of rock star (that energy drink that = 2 red bulls) before school was out. it was rough actually. i was lazy as hell then in school, too.
 
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Elmnt

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I used to be super dependent. Now I drink on average 2 cups a day. I have stopped for weeks at a time before, usually after a finals week. But caffeine does help especially when you are one of those people who has trouble with fitting sleep into their life.

To the OP, when I was really dependent it took around a solid month before I could get through a day without having any withdraw. But man-o on day 5 or so after quiting cold turkey I could hardly even think straight.
 

Cunninglinguist

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I didn't drink much coffee in undergrad but as a medstudent have developed full blown dependence. I get hypotension headaches if I don't have one by 3pm (discovered during a hurricane, sucked). I usually do two double soy lattes a day and bump it up to 3 before exams. I got a sweet nespresso machine for my birthday so I only spend about 2.00$ per day on the habit lol.


Careful with the soy, unless you want man-boobs... Unless, of course, you are a woman.
 

ParthVader

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Yah, I work part time at a Dunkin Donuts and have coffee available to me all the time too.. But the weird thing is that I don't think caffeine really affects me... Sometimes I have a cup of coffee to start the day, and then I'll go a week without it... I depend more on the rare 5-hour energy I take when I have to pull an all-nighter [like once in a month I take one maybe]... But caffeine really isn't much of a factor in my studies. I'll only drink coffee or tea for late night studying, doesn't affect me much but it gives me that placebo effect I guess.
 
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Steeler7588

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Had Starbucks maybe 4 times in my life. Two of those times I used it for all-nighters, worked well but definitely felt jittery and uncomfortable throughout studying (if you're basically a first time user, don't listen to a friend's advice to get a vanilla latte with two extra shots, especially when the barista asks you "Are you sure?" after ordering).

In fact, this is how I act in coffee places: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBNOB7FkSSM

I try to avoid soda as much as possible, but I do drink it a decent amount. Hot tea and sweet tea every now and then as well.
 

sike08

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ya i usually TRY to drink tea, but it just does not do justice like the golden cup. and i agree with one of the previous posters who said that tea gives them a tummy ache.

Id rather have hot coffee so hot tea is just not my style. cold tea is good but is usually less caffeinated than hot.

im just tired of being dependent on it to get through a study day or even a morning. from what ive been reading though, it will only become more necessary in med school :idea: lol
 

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caffeine is a must. All throughout the semester I drink Monsters and coffee. As long as you get exercise and eat healthy you can consume how ever much caffeine you want to. Try it. It is a phenomenal remedy.
 

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I don't drink coffee except on rare occasions. I can't remember the last time I had a cup. I don't drink caffeinated soft drinks, only usually a Sprite variety or ginger ale. I do eat chocolate, but not in the quantity to have any effect from it.

I don't dose with caffeine. My body doesn't react well and anything caffeine should do, I get accomplished with a nap.
 

Van Chowder

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I don't drink coffee except on rare occasions. I can't remember the last time I had a cup. I don't drink caffeinated soft drinks, only usually a Sprite variety or ginger ale. I do eat chocolate, but not in the quantity to have any effect from it.

I don't dose with caffeine. My body doesn't react well and anything caffeine should do, I get accomplished with a nap.

hmmmmm But whats great about coffee is you can stay AWAKE and do other stuff with it, if I could stay awake and take a nap simultaneously, I would give up coffee this second...
But until then,

im off to make another cup!
 

RavensGal

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It doesn't affect me much anymore. Freshman yr while studying for a final I drank a 20 oz bottle of Diet Coke, a 16 oz coffee, and a monster energy drink in the span of maybe 2 hours. I fell asleep no problem an hour and a half later.
Last semester to make it through certain weeks I averaged 1-2 energy drinks a day, plus I drink Diet Coke like it's my job.
 

witness23

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hmm havent posted in a month but caffeine is a part of my life so

in undergrad i was one of those kids that refused to go to class and study until the night before of the exam. so i would get my sleep in and relax and crank open my book around 1 AM and go until the exam. I would get hopped up on caffeine and just go. For my last final in undergrad, I consumed a gram of caffeine (according to the nutritional facts) in a span of about 10 hours. i dont even remember anything (as if i was drunk and browned out) but i got a hundy on the exam so whatevs. i missed those days.


being in nyc, you get a taste for all different sources of caffeine. i hate the smell of coffee and i dont like warm/hot liquids so i drank a lot of red bull/energy type drinks. some of the sick ones are those green tea carbonated energy drinks (tastes disgusting but works amazing), that energy drink called cocaine (not sold in stores) that hurts your throat, and some other crap that i dont remember. i really wanted to try the cola flavored red bull but that was after my time. shame.

i could never study or concentrate unless i went to the gym or took some caffffeine. i dont think it has gotten better since i started working. hopefully im not too dependent in med school. i will take free coffeine though. or free anything for that matter.
 

vandyam

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I'm another coffee lover, but I've cut back a lot lately. I was drinking so much it was outright unhealthy, so now I can't seem to hang w/ the 'darker roasts' that I used to drink. Now I get really mild stuff. Most of the starbucks coffee is just too pungent for me anymore.

More to the point for the OP, I did see a study done on TV (I believe it was dateline) that was testing the effects of taking away coffee from avid coffee drinkers. At first, similar to your situation, they suffered from headaches, lack of motivation, slower reflexes, etc. However, once the period of withdrawal was over they preformed just as well as they did while having coffee. I guess the bottom line is, if you never start drinking coffee you don't need it. However, once you join the addiction like so many of us here on SDN, you need it to preform as well.
 

texaslily

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Firstly the idea of being addicted to something kinda scares me, but the real reason I don't drink coffee is because I really don't like the taste. As a result of never really having caffeine, I am ridiculously sensitive to it. If I have to pull an all-nighter, a bottle of Coke will do it for me. (and even that gives me anxiety and jitters)
 
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