Benefits of Drinking Coffee Before a Test or Exam
Wake Up Juice
Coffee is well known to be a stimulant to the central nervous system. Many people rely on coffee to help with motivation and waking up in the morning, sometimes referred to as “Wake Up Juice”. Social media has made comedy out of the overwhelming need for coffee many people experience. A common phrase that can be heard around the world is, “I haven’t had my coffee yet” when something goes awry. When students are faced with preparing for an exam, they tend to study into the early morning hours. The benefits from drinking coffee may be the answer to their early morning exam.
Coffee: More Than Just A Stimulant
A student’s diet, specifically college students, tend to be on the not-so-healthy side. They are generally going to school full time and don’t have time for a job. If they do have a job, it is a part-time job that doesn’t pay very well. This causes them to buy the cheaper food items, which aren’t always the healthy items. Most times, they’re just looking for something to subside the hunger so they can get back to studying or class. Or in some cases, the next party! They aren’t shopping for fruits and vegetables. They are grabbing the closest bag of chips and soda.
However, when it comes to exam time, this less than healthy diet can cause some major focusing issues. Aside form correcting their diet, adding some caffeine to their routine may be an option. Though coffee does not have the highest levels of caffeine when it comes to beverages, it does have a good reputation of being at the top of the list for ways to wake up.
The majority of coffee drinkers don’t drink it because they enjoy the taste. Though many grow to tolerate the taste and even enjoy it eventually, most drink coffee for the benefits it provides. Coffee has been known to increase focus and productivity and improve mood and memory (bebrainfit.com). These are obviously beneficial to the student about to take an exam. When considering changing a diet and adding coffee, make sure experimentation begins well before an exam, not the day of the exam.
Caffeine works incredibly fast and efficiently. When consumed, it passes through the blood-brain barrier and prevents adenosine receptors from doing their job (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). These receptors are located throughout the body, including the brain. Adenosine receptors regulate epileptic seizures. It essentially restores the balance between excitement and inhibition (sciencedirect.com). By blocking these receptors, caffeine is allowing the brain to run fast forward and increase alertness, attention and reaction time. Thus, drinking coffee before an exam would amp up and stimulate the brain to increase focus.
When considering the benefits of drinking coffee and consuming caffeine, one also needs to consider the drawbacks. Caffeine can also cause dehydration and anxiety if consumed in unusually large servings. If a person does not normally drink coffee and they decide to start drinking it before an exam, they may find themselves chewing their nails more than they are focusing on the questions before them. Like alcohol, when coffee is added to any diet, it should be done responsibly. For example, a parent would probably not want to begin serving their elementary or middle school aged child coffee before school. Otherwise, they are likely to get a call from the school informing them that their student has been unable to sit still all day!
On the flip side, when a person drinks coffee daily and decides to skip a day, they may find themselves unable to focus, sluggish, clumsy, grumpy and having a difficult time remembering important things. Some folks even experience headaches which can contribute to lack of focus during the exam. If a person normally drinks coffee, they should not skip that cup of coffee if they have a big exam. By doing so, they are assisting in their own lowered performance.
Coffee Offers Sharpened Focus
Coffee has many benefits when considering important events such as focusing on an exam. If one does not normally drink coffee and decide they want to begin drinking it for the exam, they should add it to their diet gradually well before exam day. This will prevent the individual from having the jitters and resulting in the opposite affect of being able to focus. Though coffee may not be the first drink choice for some folks, it does provide some rewards that many find beneficial. The increased focus alone can be the difference between pass or fail on an exam.