Mark Reinis, a Barista at the Starbucks near the LBCC campus makes an iced coffee. This Starbucks is very popular among LBCC students as a place to study or do there homework here. (Photo by Presley Swearingen/Viking)

Story by Presley Swearing/Viking News/@pres711

College students are constantly drinking caffeine in coffee, soda, energy drinks, and other beverages that contain the addictive drug.

Jessica Zepeda, 22, a barista at the Nordic Cup, the coffee shop located in LBCC’s food court said, “People usually get drinks with caffeine in them rather than decaf.  I see people drink coffee for exams and studying rather than just because they like it.”

In the LBCC food court, the choices for a caffeinated beverage are almost endless with fridges full of energy drinks, iced coffees, teas, and sodas.

According to LiveScience.com, “One cup of coffee usually has about 100 to 200 mg of caffeine, a cup of tea usually has no more than 70 mg and most sodas have less than 50 mg.”

The website goes on to mention, “Caffeine is absorbed into the blood and tissues within about 45 minutes of being consumed. But it takes much longer than that for the body to break it down and clear it from a person’s system”.

“The half-life of caffeine, or the time it takes to eliminate one-half of the caffeine people have in their bodies, is about 4 hours.”

Caffeine for many students, isn’t just a tool to help them stay awake, but a part of their social life.

Many young adults go to coffee shops to do their homework or just hang out.

For Sheyla Juarez, 23, an English Major, caffeine plays a vital role in her life, she says, “I think every college student drinks caffeine at some point, I do homework at Starbucks a lot and I feel coffee is a big portion of a student’s life”.

But what risks are involved in drinking this much caffeine?

Dr. Travis Bradberry explains the side effects that caffeine has on people in his article “4 Ways Caffeine Keeps You From Realizing Your Potential”, which include irritability, anxiety, rapid and/or irregular heartbeat, and trembling.

According to mayoclinic.org, “Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That’s roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two “energy shot” drinks.”

A study done in 2008 at the University of Kentucky revealed that over 78 percent of college freshman consume more than the recommended amount of caffeine one should drink each day.

For some students caffeine is used for waking up and staying awake to study, for many others there is a social aspect to it, and a few students don’t believe in drinking caffeine.

Tristan Gillete, 18, undecided major, says, “I don’t have time to drink caffeine, and it’s too expensive…I don’t need it to stay awake, if I wanted to stay awake I would eat a chocolate bar.”

A lot of people don’t have the same view of caffeine, but for many it’s a liquid lifeline.