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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

    Caffeine banned in trainers’ room

    Energy drinks are easy to get at convenience store, but they are not always the most healthy for student athletes. Photo by Colin Clark

    Caffeine is the miracle drug taking the world by storm and the most common medium, energy drinks, were recently banned in the trainers’ room at Gonzaga. The reason: students have been using caffeine irresponsibly, and trainers felt a more aggressive approach was needed to curb a possible detriment to students’ lives. 

    Assistant Athletic Trainer and Health Teacher Kevin Reilly said “it was a joint decision” between himself and Athletic Trainer Ms. Penny Lynch in an effort to protect students. Mr. Reilly made a specific note of the British Journal of Sports Medicine’s recent article regarding the effects caffeine had on sleep duration and efficiency after ingestion, both of which decreased the night energy drinks were consumed. 

    “[It will] hurt your sleep, which means it’s going to affect recovery and if you actively go to the gym a lot it will hurt recovery,” said Mr. Marcus Taylor, strength and conditioning coach. 

    For athletes, that will impact recovery after practices, too. The most important message  is to protect student wellness rather than a dislike of caffeine. 

    “I would love for you guys to understand and learn for yourself,” Mr. Reilly said.

    Until then, a strict regimen will be created. The reason popular energy drinks have been banned is because of the difference between recommended dosage and the observed amount in each product. Bang, Reign, C4 and other prominent brands all have 300mg or more of caffeine per serving in addition to other supplements and flavoring that most people would not be able to pronounce. The recommended daily serving is approximately 1 mg per pound coming out to roughly 150-200 mg for students. The prominent brands have nearly one and a half increase. 

    “The more things on the back of the can, the worse it probably is,” Coach Taylor said.

    However, there is hope. A morning coffee can be a healthy start to the day if a few guidelines are followed. Ideally, coffee is meant to be consumed three or more hours after waking in order to avoid the coffee crash. However, caffeine is not a replacement for poor sleep. It disadvantages you the next time you go to bed. Adenosine, a neurotransmitter that contributes to sleepiness congregates throughout the day in the brain creating the familiar tired feeling. Caffeine inhibits adenosine receptors creating an alert state without any dissipation of adenosine causing the afternoon crash. If students were to wait two hours before ingestion, they would likely dodge the afternoon energy crash. 

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