“How much caffeine is safe for law students to drink?”
This is one of the questions that I, myself, wonder. In this blog post, I enumerated some facts and experiences I had in relation to this topic.
I mentioned in my first ever Youtube vlog about my love for coffee, and how it amazingly pumps up my mood every morning. However, in that video, I didn’t have the opportunity to mention my experience with too much caffeine and what I’ve learned after bingeing on it for quite some time.
Taking lots of caffeinated drinks (especially coffee) was fun in the beginning. But little did I know that doing so would take a toll not just on my law studies, but on my health.
Knowing how much caffeine is safe for law students to drink — the hard way
I can still remember vividly what happened. It was one of those sleepless nights when I was preparing for my criminal law recitation for the next day. It was that night when, for the first time in my life, I called my parents for help.
My heart rate was so fast and I felt as if my heart’s going to jump out my rib cage.
I was having serious palpitations.
Earlier that day, I drank two cups of coffee and a large bottled energy drink.
The next thing I knew, I skipped my Criminal Law class the next day to get myself checked by our family doctor. Good thing, with divine intervention, our prosecutor-professor gave us a free cut on the same day.
This incident was a wake up call for me. While I’d love to infuse my body intravenously with caffeine, it couldn’t be more obvious that my system can only take in as much.
I knew it was bad to binge on caffeine. However, given all the tasks I needed to accomplish back then (at work and law school), I was left with no choice.
Or so I thought…
No need to binge, caffeine can be taken in regulated quantities
After the palpitation incident, I vowed to know how much caffeine is safe for law students to drink. This way, I can take care of myself better and share what I know with my fellow law students.
Studies reveal that caffeine intake of 400 to 600 milligrams “are not associated with adverse effects for most people.” Meanwhile, some reports tell that our maximum intake should not go beyond 400 milligrams each day.
Just to be on the “safer” side, I prefer to abide by the 400-milligram caffeine limit.
Caffeine content varies depending on the beverage you ingest. But to give you an idea, an average 237-ml coffee cup contains roughly 95 milligrams of caffeine.
So, following the 400-milligram caffeine limit per day, you should consume NOT more than four (4) cups of coffee a day.
If you’re into colas, the recommended caffeine intake limit should not be equivalent to more than 10 cans of cola. As for energy drinks, 400 milligrams of caffeine is the same as having two (2) “energy shots”.
Bad things happen when you drink more than enough
Caffeine is a “feel good” substance. The reason why I (and, perhaps, the rest of you) love it, is because it makes me more attentive, alert, and energized.
It is so good that you don’t feel like stopping from drinking or consuming it any time soon.
Been there, done that.
Like those who consume more than our human bodies can tolerate, I also experienced most of these symptoms in my early years of law-school-coffee-bingeing:
- stomach upset (I get this A LOT.);
- vomiting; and
- increased heart rate and breathing rate (Remember my wake-up call incident I stated above?)
- muscle tremors; and
But the majority of us, law students and coffee junkies, turn from coffee enthusiasts to ADDICTS. Addiction is one of the chronic caffeine-related symptoms that a caffeine-dependent law student faces.
After knowing how much caffeine is safe for law students to drink, look for alternatives
For law students or professionals who drink coffee or energy drinks like water, I’m so sorry to be the bearer of this bad news. But for all it’s worth, it’s relieving to know that caffeine intake per se is not bad for our health.
It is EXCESSIVE caffeine intake that is.
Nonetheless, it won’t hurt if law students would look for other alternatives to increase their endurance and keep themselves energized and motivated in law school without resorting to coffee-bingeing or caffeine-dependence. There are other ways that they could try like regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and establishing a reliable and consistent bedtime routine. These alternatives did not just keep my cardiovascular health safe, they also made me more focused and productive throughout the day.
Right after my “palpitation incident” happened, I vowed to live healthier as a law student in the days to come. Though it wasn’t easy at all, I did my best to cut down my caffeine intake to just 2-3 cups of coffee (4 cups during exam weeks) or one bottle of energy drink each day. I also corrected my erratic sleep-wake cycle.
Knowing how much caffeine is safe for law students to drink everyday
Knowing how much caffeine is safe for law students to drink is the first step to busting caffeine bingeing and dependence. It may be difficult to deal with at first, but you can sure cut down your intake to minimum and safe levels.
What I thought before as impossible, because of my lifestyle as working law student, was actually doable. It just needs patience, determination, and discipline.
If I did it, so can you.