Winter break is approaching, but we still have finals week ahead of us, a week when college students find themselves sleeping on desks and tables to make sure no one takes their coveted position in the Glenn G. Bartle Library. How do we make it through these sleepless nights without being weighed down by the bags under our eyes?
The answer, for most of us, is Red Bull, Monster or anything with the word “energy” plastered across its aluminum exterior. While we all know the facts about energy drinks, we consume them thinking that they’re better than the dreaded coffee. Coffee is also heavily consumed on campus, but there are a few myths that taint its reputation. An article by Joy Bauer of www.msnbc.com cleared up these falsehoods and backed up statements that we normally believe to be myths.
1. Coffee can help retain memory
While many of us believe this is simply a line rehearsed by the caffeine addicts, it’s actually true. A study where caffeine, equivalent to two cups of coffee, was given to participants revealed through an MRI scan that “brain activity was increased in two locations — the memory-rich frontal lobe and the attention-controlling anterior cingulum.” Coffee can temporarily enhance your focus and memory. So before you go and tackle that giant orgo final, make sure to pick up a cup or two of this grade-boosting beverage.
2. Energy drinks have more caffeine than coffee
People reach for these shiny cans more and more, believing that boring old coffee won’t keep them awake and alert. Well, the statement that energy drinks — which boast that their 10 tons of caffeine are more potent — are more effective than a good old cup of Joe is false. While Red Bull might give you wings, it also only gives you 80 milligrams of caffeine in the 8-ounce can, while the average cup of coffee will give you 100 milligrams.
3. Coffee can enhance your workout
Let’s face facts — sitting in the library all day can turn anyone into a vegetable. The best way to shake it off is to hit the gym. Instead of reaching for sugary drinks like Gatorade to amp you up for a workout, try a cup of coffee. Research has shown that a small burst of caffeine, about 100 milligrams worth, will “signal your muscles to ignore fatigue and contract differently.”
While coffee might not be as flashy as energy drinks, it has more benefits than they do. So before you drown yourself in sour-tasting sugar the next time you need a boost, try grabbing a cup of coffee instead.