The Daily Eastern News

Coffee: A love affair

Logan Raschke, Staff Reporter

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Jessica Knell, a senior theatre major who works at Starbucks, said caffeine has been a blessing and a curse for her.

She said she drinks coffee daily and has developed an addiction to it.

“If I don’t drink caffeine I have the most severe withdrawal symptoms,” she said. “Caffeine has been the bane of my existence.”

Knell said she drinks coffee because it is readily available at her barista job at Starbucks. She also said she thinks a cup of coffee is a pleasant way to start her mornings.

“(Coffee) sort of gets me ready for the day,” she said. “I have time to get up and make coffee at my house and I feel like a real adult.”

Even though Knell said she enjoys drinking coffee every day, she understands that she has to limit her caffeine intake or her health could be in serious trouble.

“I’m very susceptible to having a caffeine overdose, which has definitely happened a couple times,” she said. “If I start to drink too much (coffee) … my fingers start to tingle and I just feel too energized to the point where I’m jittery.”

Knell said in her past experiences having these caffeine overdoses, she has had to drink water and calm herself in order for her symptoms to die down.

“Caffeine overdose is a real thing,” she said. “I can definitely tell you from experience you can have too much caffeine.”

Other students on campus have different reactions to caffeine, ranging from psychological dependence to no reaction at all.

Mark Grubb, a senior history education major, said he feels like he needs coffee to perform well at school. He said he drinks coffee about five times a week on average and drinks even more when he has homework.

“If I’m doing a lot of schoolwork, I need at least two cups of coffee to keep me focused,” he said.

Grubb said he thinks he has become dependent on coffee to help him get through his schoolwork. Juan Nevarez, a grad student majoring in political science who is roommates with Grubb, said he also drinks coffee and other caffeinated beverages often to help him get through school.

He said he has sleeping problems, and to prevent himself from being groggy throughout the day, he drinks coffee.

Nevarez also said his regular coffee drinking has made detoxing grueling for him. Detoxing, or completely eliminating caffeinated beverages for weeks, is important to him because it helps to limit his caffeine intake, he said.

“If you take (caffeine) for working out, your body gets used to the amount and you need more,” he said.

The process of detoxing can be a healthy weaning process for affluent coffee drinkers who need to reduce the amount of caffeine they feel they need in order to get through each day, he said.   

Matt Severino, a sophomore business marketing major, said he hardly ever drinks coffee or any caffeinated beverages.”

“I like coffee, but I get too jittery,” he said. “I have no caffeine tolerance.”

Severino said a healthy alternative to frequent coffee drinking is getting good sleep being on a good diet.

“Just get good sleep and you’ll be alright,” he said. “You need food for energy. Carbs give you energy.”

Nevarez said amino energy is another alternative for students looking for a boost without the harmful side effects of some mainstream caffeinated beverages.

“Amino energy has the caffeine, but to me it’s not like having coffee. It’s not like having Monster because you don’t get all the sugar in it,” he said. “There’s no extra sugar, chemicals, or calories.”

Knell said she recommends people addicted to coffee to slowly limit how much they drink every day until they do not depend on it any longer.

“(Weaning) yourself off of (coffee) is a good start,” she said. “Caffeine is a drug, and the addiction is real.”

Knell said she suggests drinking water often, getting good sleep, eating properly, and exercising daily to resist the urge to drink more caffeinated beverages and remain energized without them.

Logan Raschke can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].

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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.
Coffee: A love affair