That time of the year has come around once more, there is a nip in the air, students are all bundled up and sleeping late. No, we are not talking about the holidays and presents, we are talking about finals.
Hell week is over and the time for cramming is amongst us once again. Even though a good amount of students are the over-achievers and have gotten their study on for finals since syllabus week, many others are still finishing down to the eleventh hour. Some students even take the time to not sleep until after their first final is completed. Although this is a very unhealthy practice, sometimes students feel it is necessary. So we are here to help you out with staying awake for your studies.
Caffeine is the magical chemical to help people stay awake for longer periods of time, but sometimes make people crash. Different drinks have different properties with different tastes so we can help find ones that can fit for you.
To kick off this list, we start with good ol’ coffee. You can have it black, you can have it with cream and sugar, you can have it in whatever flavor you like. Coffee comes in a wide variety that can be blended, brewed, instant, and many other ways, but all forms give off plenty of caffeine to keep you awake till the next cup.
Black coffee and espressos will give the strongest kick. Usually bitter in taste, but easiest to grab-and-go if in a rush. To make it sweeter, add milk/half&half, and maybe even some sugar to make it easier to down. Different shops can brew it in different flavors and blend it as an icy drink, or just put it on ice.
- Black Tea
Tea usually comes in two types, Black and Green. Black tea tends to have a stronger taste, kind of like coffee, while green is more mellow. However, the only drawback is that green is not caffeinated. Afternoon tea is a common practice in the UK,and can be relaxing for most tea regulars. Depending on how long you leave the bag in the water, it can help bring more flavor in or make it a bit more bitter. Teas usually go well with honey, sometimes milk or even sugar, it is all about preference.
Examples of good wake up black teas are Earl Grey and English breakfast. Earl Grey gives a bit of a peppery type flavor. It is spiced up and ready to help you wake up and is usually considered a darker more bitter type tea, but filled with fragrance. English Breakfast is an interesting flavor, mixing a sense of spice with a hint of vanilla. It usually come with a hint of an earthy flavor, but can be sweet to the tongue.
Rockstar can be a bit of a kicker when first tried out and same goes for the energy drinks down the rest of the list. Out of the kinds sold on campus, I prefer the red one, Energy + Punch.
Basic Rockstar tends to have a tarty taste to it, as does most other energy drinks, but because of that, it can give a bit of a kick. To dilute the tartness, there are other flavors, notably + Punch. Much like the flavor hints, there is a fruit punch taste to it, giving it a fruity taste and washing away hints of the caffeine.
- Mountain Dew Amp
Unlike the soda counterpart, Amp is the energy drink version. It comes in a variety of flavors, mirroring the soda version alongside a cast of other flavors, but the best part of the flavors’ textures is that it has a slushy pop to it.
For a more citrus flavor, the standard green one would do. Nearly identical in flavor to the soda counterpart, the green Amp has a hard to describe taste, it bears hints of a citrus mix between lemon and lime. The red can, similar to Code Red, bears a cherry-like taste allowing it to flow sweetly.
Amp has just as much carbonation as the soda counterpart, so if you want to stay up, and have a restless stomach, Amp may be for you.
- Mountain Dew Kickstart
Similar to Amp, Kickstart is an energy drink, but more of a pick-me-up rather than a keep-me-awake-all-night ordeal. Kickstart is more akin to energy juice than energy soda. Lightly carbonated, Kickstart comes in just as much variety as the “harder” version.
- Yerba Mate
Newest addition to the caffeine market is Yerba Mate. This is a more natural alternative to the other drinks on this list for those who are more health conscious. Using tea flavors and natural ingredients, Yerba Mate energy drinks have a healthier take on the energy drink route. The flavors tend to be bittersweet, but the energy kicks in gradually and gives a refreshing pick-me-up feel.
- Red Bull
A favorite of adrenaline junkies, extreme sports enthusiasts, and one of the sponsors of the X-games, Red Bull gives you wings. Difficult to describe, but bears a somewhat tarty taste and is very strong, Red Bull’s effects are near instant. There is a lot of power in such a small can.
Unleash the beast with Monster. Also a favorite for extreme sports enthusiasts, Monster is another adrenaline kicker. Usually comes in a few flavors, but the common one is with the green markings. There is a lot of content per can and usually comes in a larger can compared to the rest of the list. Similar to the rest, it has a pungent sour yet satisfying taste to it, presumably also has a limey taste to it.
Water is the most important drink out of all of these. Needed for basic hydration, water may taste bland, but excellent if you are thirsty after a night of studying. It is the healthiest alternative to all the aforementioned drinks, and most importantly it keeps you alive.
These drinks vary in sizes, and tend to have a higher sugar content to complement the caffeine content. Just note that caffeine is addictive, so please manage your intake, and only take when necessary. Caffeine has different effects on different people, so make sure you don’t have allergies, heart conditions, or addictive personalities.
Be safe, and good luck on projects and finals Bobcats.