2009 - 2010 Undergraduate Research in Nutrition and Food Science
Caffeine is the most widely used stimulant among Americans. It can be found in products such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, and some medications. Research has shown that caffeine intake can increase alertness, improve mood, and enhance cognitive performance. Increased alertness and concentration allows for easier retention and understanding of material and can ultimately affect a college student's academic success.
Objective: Determine the relationship between caffeine consumption and a student's GPA.
Subjects and Methods: The relationship between caffeine consumption and grade point average (GPA) was examined in 209 undergraduate students at the University of Kentucky. Participants included 40 males (average age 21.57 ± 3.15 years) and 169 females (average age 20.04 ± 2.77 years). Subjects completed surveys regarding their caffeine consumption, frequency, study habits and grade point averages.
Results: The average cumulative grade point for female students was 3.36 ± 0.44, with an average grade point average of 3.38 ± 0.49 for the 2009 fall semester. The overall grade point for male students was 3.12 ± 0.45, with an average grade point average of 3.15 ± 0.44 for the 2009 fall semester. 88% of the students reported consuming caffeine on a regular basis and 48.3% reported consuming at least five to seven caffeine beverages per week. The most common sources of caffeine were coffee and caffeinated soda.
It was found that students who did consume caffeine (88.03% ± 0.33% Yes vs. 11.96% ± 0.25% No) had a higher grade point average than those students who did not. The results were also statistically significant (p= 0.04) and there was a direct relationship between caffeine consumptions a student's GPA. However, many students reported that they believed there was no correlation between their caffeine intake and their performance on an exam.
Conclusions: While caffeine was shown in this sample to have a positive effect on a student's overall GPA, college students would benefit from being more informed about caffeine's effects on the human body and potential side effects to over-use.