Sun. Jan 16th, 2022

College life can rarely leave time for the recommended eight hours of sleep a night to properly function through a day of classes, activities, exams and part-time jobs. In these cases, some students need a little jolt, or even a shock to stay awake all day. A new product, SHOCK Coffee, is now on the market to make students wired enough to last through an all-nighter at the library, classes the next day and work at night without even thinking about a minute of shut-eye.

SHOCK Coffee products are pumped with about 50 percent more caffeine than other gourmet coffees. When the SHOCK products appeared on the “Today Show,” Katie Couric pointed out the differences between this new form of coffee and other high-energy drinks. SHOCK’s 8 oz can of Triple Latte contains 800 milligrams of caffeine while one can of Red Bull has only 80 milligrams, an 8 oz can of Green Tea contains only 15 mg and a 12 oz can of Mountain Dew only contains 55 milligrams. A regular cup of coffee contains about 125 milligrams of caffeine while a cup of SHOCK Coffee contains about 200 milligrams.

This new product also sells a candy form of coffee. SHOCK-a-lots are chocolate covered SHOCK coffee beans, which are sold in small bags that, if eaten in one serving, contain the same amount of caffeine as about 2 cups of regular coffee.

SHOCK products are not sold in all stores yet, but tend to show up more often in college bookstores than in large supermarkets. Who better to gear a hyper-caffeinated product towards, than college students? SHOCK admits that it gears its marketing straight to college students in their press release ,stating “SHOCK’s extra caffeine gives students a fast, easy way to beat wake-up weariness and study-time snoozing. “Caffeine has recently been proven to not only improve alertness, but also boost memory function, reaction time, attention and logical reasoning by increasing blood flow to the brain.”

These statements give the impression that this much caffeine is safe, healthy and beneficial to the body overall. But when Stuff Magazine’s Paul Ulane decided to experiment with the new product, he found that his heart rate while working at his computer was at 76 beats per minute. After chugging one of the SHOCK Triple Lattes, his heart rate jumped to 150 beats per minute.

SHOCK representatives state, “With the catchphrase, “Sleep is Overrated,” SHOCK Coffee just might make those after-class naps a college artifact.”

According to kidshealth.org, caffeine is categorized as a drug because it stimulates the central nervous system, causing increased heart rate and alertness. Caffeine is also addictive, but can be helpful if taken in moderate amounts. Doctors recommend that people should consume no more than about 100 milligrams (mg) of caffeine daily.

“When I drink coffee, I get heart palpitations and sometimes my hands start to shake,” says WCU senior, Jamie Nardiello, “but I drink it anyway because I need to stay awake to finish my school work.”

“Caffeine is addictive and may cause withdrawal symptoms for those who abruptly stop consuming it. These include severe headaches, muscle aches, temporary, depression and irritability,” states Barbara P. Homeier MD on kidshealth.org.

“Lately I wake up craving a cup of coffee,” says WCU senior, Stacy Kirk as she explained that she continuously drank coffee throughout the summer to get through long work hours. “Now I have a cup every morning before class,” says Kirk.

Some studies, according to healthscout.com, show that caffeine can cause a physical dependence if someone takes the equivalent of four or more cups of coffee per day. Caffeine intoxication can also be mistaken for manic episodes or panic attacks.

There are no studies showing that SHOCK products are unhealthy, but it is necessary to take all caffeine in moderate doses, including hyper-caffeinated products.

Although SHOCK products have yet to hit West Chester’s campus, the product’s Web site shows that it’s making its way through Pennsylvania mini-marts and college bookstores.

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