Are UNF students addicted to coffee?

Nathan Turoff, Features Editor

Most college students face similar struggles—late-night studying and early morning classes—causing many to use caffeine to boost their energy levels faltering from a lackluster sleep schedule, but do University of North Florida (UNF) students also fall into the stereotype of the coffee-addicted college student?

Caffeine, despite a similar phoneme, is not the same as coffee. Caffeine is the name of the stimulant chemical that increases activity in the brain and nervous system. It can make the body feel more alert and awake, which is what makes it so desirable for the sleep-deprived. Caffeine can be extracted from plants, or even made artificially. Coffee is a type of drink that gets caffeine from coffee beans. Other popular beverages containing caffeine are energy drinks and tea.

Caffeine addiction can be a problem though. Studies suggest that moderate amounts of regular caffeine are beneficial for the body. However, this benefit is lost when sugar and creamer are added en masse, such as with Starbucks coffee. 

Starbucks is one of the most popular coffee spots in the world, with tens of thousands of Starbucks stores across several countries, which has only increased in recent years. One of those is located at UNF, right next to the library. Its central campus location, in addition to being adjacent to a popular study spot, makes it a very popular destination for coffee lovers at UNF. 

Drinking coffee has become an extremely common practice in the modern-day work environment, which is why places like Starbucks have increased in popularity over the years. 

How widespread is the consumption of coffee among UNF students in particular? When asked over Instagram, nearly 250 students responded to a poll about their individual coffee habits. 

Visualization of poll data compiled by Nathan Turoff.

Amount of Coffee preferred by UNF students. 82 voted for no coffee. 94 voted for 1 cup. 47 voted for 2 cups. 23 voted for 3 or more cups.
Visualization of poll data compiled by Nathan Turoff.

Approximately one-third of those responding said they didn’t drink coffee at all. The remaining two-thirds do drink some level of coffee but in varying amounts. Forty percent said they drink one cup of coffee each day, with around twenty percent saying they drink two cups per day, with ten percent saying they drink three or more cups of coffee every day. 

Clearly, more UNF students drink coffee than don’t, although the degree to which they do can (and does) vary. This poll only asked students about their coffee habits, so it doesn’t account for other caffeinated beverages, so the actual caffeine usage by UNF students will likely be very different. 

Coffee addiction clearly isn’t a big deal with all UNF students, but any and all students should keep a watchful eye on how much caffeine they’re drinking. 


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