2007 -2009 Undergraduate Research in Nutrition and Food Science
Introduction: Caffeine is the most widely consumed stimulant among Americans. It can be found in coffee, soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate, and supplement pills. Research has shown that caffeine consumption improves concentration by making its consumers more alert.
Objective: To determine the relationship between caffeine consumption and the study habits and grades in college students.
Design: Survey Study
Setting: University of Kentucky
Subjects: 203 undergraduate and graduate students. Participants included 140 females and 63 males.
Method: Surveys were distributed in undergraduate lecture classes at the University of Kentucky. The questions in the survey asked basic information like age, gender, weight, and height. It also asked questions about their study habits, caffeine consumption while studying, and GPA.
Results: The average age for females was 20 +/- 4.41 years, and the average age for males was 21 +/- 4.79 years. The average body mass index for females was 22 +/- 2.86 kg/m2 and for males was 22 +/- 3.15 kg/m2, both falling in the “normal” range for healthy young adults. Eighty-three percent of students reported consuming caffeine on a regular basis. The most common sources of caffeine were coffee and soda. It was found that students who consumed caffeine had a higher grade point average and spent more time studying than students who did not consume caffeine.
Conclusion: While caffeine was shown in this sample to have a positive effect on study habits, college students need to be better educated about both the benefits and potential side-effects from caffeine consumption, particularly from highly caffeinated energy drinks.