Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The all night cocktail – Adderall/Caffeine/Energy Drinks

There is no way around it, if you are in college you are probably going to do some  studying  to avoid failing a class, or to pass those dreaded finals to graduate.  Of course, the best method is a consistent nightly routine dedicated to specific classes and projects.  That would allow you to avoid cramming and make adequate time for rest (especially needed by collegiate athletes). From my personal experiences however, I know that “some” people may procrastinate and wait to study until the last minute before an exam.

What we know

College students cram for academic finals and student-athletes cram for academic and sport finals, but student-athletes have a great deal to lose when cramming.  Students and student-athletes alike are turning to caffeine (pill form), energy drinks (beverages that contain modest to relatively high levels and concentrations of caffeine; range: 50-505 mg caffeine/serving; 2.5-35.7 mg caffeine/oz) and Adderall to stay awake.  A scary trend is the combination of all three (more is not better…) to get the “best” effect.  It is estimated that 34% of students have used Adderall not prescribed to them to aid their studying.  A University of Kentucky study revealed that an estimated 75 % of students know someone who takes Adderall without a prescription.  All three include or are central nervous system stimulants and carry individual adverse reactions that increase in severity when combined.

Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)

·         Can be habit-forming
·         If you are taking other drugs (prescribed or not) or supplements you should consult your doctor before taking Adderall.
·         Overusing Adderal may cause sudden death or serious heart problems such as heart attack or stroke.
·         Bottom line if you don’t have a prescription, don’t take the drug.

Energy drinks and caffeine

·         Caffeine has been clearly associated with adverse health effects in susceptible individuals.
·         Energy drinks frequently contain high and unregulated amounts of caffeine
·         Energy drinks have no therapeutic benefit and many ingredients are understudied and not regulated
Adverse reactions

Increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, insomnia and nervousness, headaches and tremors, and GI distress.

Easy Study Tools
Plan ahead and try to avoid cramming for your finals!!!  If that doesn’t work keep these tips handy for increased productivity.

·         Location - Avoid your couch, bed, dimly lit rooms, bean bags, etc...You want a good firm chair, strong lighting and a desk for all those books. 
·         Hydration - You are an athlete and this should be a staple in your daily routine.
·         Fuel – Just like you feed the body for on field/court workouts your mental workouts require that you fuel your body for success.  Avoid the junk food and try an apple or cereal to give you energy.
·         Breaks - Short 10-15 minutes, watch TV, text or talk on the phone, music, get creative.
·         Exercise - The last thing an athlete wants to hear I know…so try dancing, or take a short walk and after hop in the shower for some additional alertness!
If you can’t keep your eyes open no matter what you do, then it is time to go to bed.  Remember, your body recovers while you sleep and without sleep your muscles will not fully recover for your next workout or competition.


·         Mayo Clinic (accessed 5/5/2011) Energy Drinks Can Have a Variety of Adverse Effects on the Body http://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-edge-newspaper-2009/may-29b.html

·         Arria, A PhD; O’Brien, M, The “High” risk of Energy Drinks The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). 2011; 305(6): 600-601(accessed online 5/5/2011)

·         Juliano, L, Griffiths, R, A critical review of caffeine withdrawal: empirical validation of symptoms and signs incidence, severity, and associated features. (2004) Psychopharmacology; 176: 1-29

·         Pubmed Health (accessed 5/5/2011) Dextroamphetamin and Amphetamine http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000166/

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