Caffeine craving during finals week: good or bad?

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Thousands of students started the week of finals on Monday, and many of them are relying on caffeine to make it through.

"Every time we ask them how they're doing, they're always talking about how tired they are," said Doreen Crawford, supervisor at Jazzman's Cafe, "and they're dying for their cup of coffee."

The on-campus coffee shop sees a flood of students throughout the semester, but that number increases the week of finals. Meanwhile, others find their pick-me-up through energy drinks.

"They do make a huge difference in a lot of people's lives, including myself," said Christopher Rupinski, rep for Red Bull. "In the morning, you don't really want to get going, and you don't want to rely on coffee all the time, so it's always good to have a sweet alternative."

But before taking in that caffeine, know when to draw the line.

"They should maybe not overdo them, try only to have a few a day," said Kelley McClain, clinical dietitian with the Community Hospital. "It depends on your tolerance to caffeine, how much you're used to it."

For some, one cup is the limit, but for others, they could go all day. Health experts say caffeine consumption should be limited to 200-300 mg of caffeine per day - the equivalent of two to three cups of coffee. Anything over can cause serious health risks over time.

And because of the crash that caffeine can give, time your energy boosts carefully and be on the lookout for caffeine alternatives.

"You can have kind of a crash, as they say, and then just be more tired," said McClain. "They want to make sure they don't get that during their final, so they kind of have to time it right I guess."

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