9 AM lectures can be a tough thing to face. Sitting in a crowded, warm room with a person talking to you for an hour is enough to send anyone back to sleep. Throughout this, you’ll probably be clutching a drink to try and perk you up and help you concentrate. We take a look at the most popular student morning drinks and what they say about their consumer.
The coffee drinker is probably a night owl and may have been up late studying or binging on Netflix. They need this beloved drink to get through the morning. Coffee comes in all different styles. Whether yours is a black filter or you prefer a latte macchiato, they all contain one favoured ingredient – caffeine. Drinking coffee is a great way to perk you up, and makes you more alert after just 20 minutes. This is due to a release of adrenaline, according to the Telegraph. They say, ‘Don’t rush to grab that first cup when you wake up in the morning, as your cortisol levels are high then and will keep you going for a while’. They advise waiting an hour before drinking it. That should be about the time you get to your lecture!
Good alternative – Matcha green tea
This Japanese tea is made from whole powdered tea leaves. It contains caffeine which will give the same effect as coffee, but that won’t give you a ‘caffeine crash’ by midday. It is also rich in antioxidants called polyphenols which have been linked to protection against heart disease and cancer.
Good old English Breakfast tea is a firm favourite for a breakfast beverage. The tea drinkers in the lecture hall are probably the sensible ones who came prepared, armed with a notebook, pen and even laptop. Tea does contain caffeine, but not as much as coffee. Research has shown that drinking three to eight cups of tea per day can lead to increased mental stimulation. It also contains antioxidants, although these can be diluted by the addition of milk.
Good alternative – Green tea
This tea has been hailed a ‘super food’ and has tonnes of health benefits. It is rich in catechins which are special antioxidants that fight and help to prevent cell damage. Studies have also shown links to improved memory from green tea drinkers, which is perfect for studying!
There’s always that one person who bounces into the lecture hall, full of beans and carrying a healthy fruit smoothie. This person has probably already been for a run, made a week’s worth of food and eaten a super healthy breakfast. You may be jealous of how awake this person is, but their smoothie may be just as sugary as a fizzy drink. Prevention says that ‘some can pack as many grammes of the sweet stuff as are in two cans of Coke’. This may be natural sugar, but it can still spike your blood sugar levels which can be dangerous.
Good alternative – Fruit and veg smoothie
Instead of relying on bananas to bulk your smoothie, use avocado. They are high in potassium, fibre and healthy fats. Dark green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach are an amazing addition as they are crammed full of antioxidants. Use fruits lower in sugar like berries and only small amounts of banana, mango and pineapple.
After student night, each week, you’ll probably be sat amidst a few people clutching energy drinks. You might even be one of them. Energy drinks use sugar, caffeine and taurine (amino acid) to boost your energy and make you feel more awake. However, the NHS warns against them, stating they carry risks such as heart palpitations, type 2 diabetes, poor dental health and more. It’s OK to have an energy drink once in a while, but it’s important not to drink them all the time.
Good alternative – Coconut water
Coconut water is nature’s energy drink. Hangovers are usually caused mostly by dehydration, and coconut water contains electrolytes which allow the body to replace fluids more effectively. Top 10 Home Remedies says, ‘the antioxidants in this revitalising health drink fight oxidative stress caused by indulging in too much alcohol. It will also help settle an acid stomach.’
What’s your morning lecture drink? Let us know in the comments!