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A Caffeine Fix Deep Dive

As the heat of midterm exam stress begins to come to a boil, I can safely assume that a lot of us tired and routine-devoid students will be running to any source of caffeine as a means to make up for the lack of sleep. Whether it be the comfort of freshly brewed coffee or the intoxicatingly sugary hit of a Red Bull, there are plenty of in-betweens for those of us choosing to live a little on the edge.

Starbucks seems to have us all sorted during the festive period as expected; between the new Eggnog, Gingerbread, or Caramel Waffle lattes, there’s now an array of craving-quenching choices for any sweet tooth out there looking to get in the festive swing. I can’t pretend I’m not in awe of these glorious commercial offerings by any means; an eggnog latte serving up a mug of nutmeggy, custardy goodness and warmth, poured over a shot of hot coffee – certainly worth considering in times of a need for cosiness. Starbucks will always win me over when it comes to sheer variety and customisability, whether you want your drink iced, bubbling hot, or stacked with whipped cream, I know they’ve got me covered.

The tamest route to go will always be with a good cup of tea; either stowed away in a flask or freshly brewed, with the many herbal options on top of the traditional English breakfast kind, you really cannot go wrong. For your herbal fix, I would recommend The New Amphion Cafe in Teviot Row for an array of on-the-go options ranging from peppermint to chamomile. 

Then there will always be Red Bull: the arch nemesis of the previously mentioned herbal teas of comforting warmth. At 3am in the main library, with only the glowing lights of a vending machine to support you, it’s no wonder we all seem to keep coming back to the old faithful elixir of life which is the energy drink. And there’s always the sugar-free option if you’re not looking to get that double hit of caffeine and pure golden syrup. I mean, the fact you need ID now to buy these things should have us all concerned!

It’s easy to forget the endless list of soft drinks like tea, sodas, kombuchas, and even cocoa-derived beverages are often surprisingly high in caffeine content too – something worth knowing for when we’re actually trying to steer clear of caffeine altogether. In the example of Coca-Cola, the company states that per can of coke you can expect 34mg of caffeine whilst diet coke will get you 46mg – with the contents of the same sized coffee hitting you with 140mg.

To end, there really is a great selection out there for when we need that little wake up, though it is worth mentioning that sleep… is sometimes a good idea too.

Photo Credit: photo provided to the The Student by Eden Kersse, used with permission.