Are you addicted to soda or coffee? Can’t get through the day without your caffeine or sugar fix? Like many college students, you may consuming exorbitant amounts of caffeine and sugar each day with the drinks you pound.
Whether you enjoy coffee, soda, energy drinks or some other sugary alternative, you should be aware of how much sugar you are consuming and how you can choose better, healthier alternatives that will benefit you in the end.
The Soda Addict
You go to the store and buy boxes or cases of soda. You drink at least one can/bottle a day and typically you will purchase one or more while out around campus or before class.
You may think drinking diet soda is better for you so perhaps that is your newest drink of choice.
You always have a bottle with you whether you are going to class or watching television in your dorm.
You need the rush of caffeine and sugar to stay awake and you like the feeling of being alert/focused.
Soda health facts
Soda packs anywhere from 150-200 calories and 40 grams of sugar in a can/bottle so if you are drinking more than one a day, that really adds up (even one a day is a lot).
To give you an idea of how much sugar you are consuming, one packet of sugar contains 4 grams of sugar.
That means every time you consume that soft drink you are drinking 10 packets of sugar.
These sugary drinks are sure to give you a boost of energy at first, but they have also been known to give you a crash after drinking them.
- Water with fruit in it: strawberries, a squeeze of orange/lime/lemon juice, raspberries, watermelon, a few pomegranate seeds.
- Flavored seltzer water: Polar makes the best flavored seltzer waters, they are just as good as soda without the caffeine, sugar or calories!
- Peppermint, chamomile or green tea: all are light, tasty and can easily be turned into iced tea.
- Juice and seltzer water: add flavored seltzer water and some fresh juice for an energizing, healthy alternative.
- Tonic water and a twist of fruit: squeeze in some fresh lemon, orange or lime.
The Coffee Addict
To put it simply, you are obsessed with coffee. You drink it in the morning, at lunch, before the gym, after the gym, in class, between class and even at night.
You love Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts and you can’t get enough of either. Often times if you don’t get your coffee fix, you become irritable or get a headache.
You need your caffeine whether it’s the morning or the afternoon and you drink several cups a day.
You probably have your own Starbucks travel mug, a credit or gift card to the store and you know every drink on the menu.
You are probably one of those people who goes into Starbucks (is known by name) and list off about 10 things you want in and done to your coffee (“can I get a non-fat, half skim-milk half soy milk, skinny, frothy, latte with 2 and half packets of Splenda?).
Knowing your coffee addiction, you probably have a coffee maker in your dorm or apartment and several bags of coffee in the freezer waiting to be used. You may or may not still get the rush from the sugar/caffeine, but either way, you need your coffee on a daily basis and you have been known to freak out if you don’t get it.
Coffee health facts
While coffee can of course have health benefits (if consumed black without adding any sugar or milk), but most college students drink their coffee with plenty of sugar and milk or cream.
As stated previously, one packet of sugar packs 4 grams of sugar; if you are adding 2 or more to your coffee, that is 8+ grams of sugar each time you drink a cup.
There is also a lot of fat and sugar in both cream and milk so every time you add a splash, you are adding a bunch of calories and fat to your morning/afternoon drink.
- Homemade iced tea: white tea, green tea, plain tea.
- Hot tea: Lipton is a cheap, great alternative to coffee; it still packs a ton of caffeine, but if you don’t add milk or sugar it is a lighter, tastier option than black coffee.
- Fruit smoothie: full of vitamins and will give you a burst of energy. Because it is thicker, it will last longer and take you a while to drink (much like a specialty drink from Starbucks).
- Fresh juice: also packed with vitamins and will give you a natural boost of energy. The health benefits are endless, great for protecting your immune system!