According to a study done on caffeine consumption by the University of New Hampshire, “Forty percent of 18 to 24 year olds, the ages in which students typically attend college, drink coffee every day.”

In another study from Texas Christian University, it was reported that, “The vast majority of college students consume caffeine, for both academic and personal reasons, with coffee and soda being the most common sources. Though nearly half of the students surveyed reported behavioral or physiological symptoms related to caffeine withdrawal, only 15% believed they were “addicted to caffeine.”


College students are unaware of the amount of caffeine consumed, which results in jittery hands, increased heart rate, dizziness, nervousness, and unknown dependency on caffeine. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, FDA states, “…that caffeine is both a drug and food additive.” Caffeine is used to treat drowsiness and is used to improve the effects of some pain relievers.

Once caffeine is consumed, it will travel through the bloodstream to the brain and block a brain chemical called adenosine. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that supports the basic nervous system communication by carrying signals between neurons. In the body, adenosine acts as a natural painkiller and can help steady an irregular heartbeat. Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors, increasing a brain chemical called epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. The result of increased epinephrine in the brain produces the jitters and frequent trips to the bathroom.

According to the FDA, “Studies suggest that moderate amounts of caffeine are not harmful. How much is moderate? One hundred to 200 mg each day is the limit that some doctors suggest, but each person is a little different.” One hundred to 200 mg each day can be estimated to about two six-ounce cups of coffee per day.

To prevent unwanted physiological symptoms of caffeine, students should regulate the amount of caffeine consumed each day and learn more about the consequences of caffeine consumption.


Picture credit: Serious Eats, How Stuff Works