April 6, 2004

Caffeine intake: the physics student's perspective

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at April 6, 2004 2:51 PM

Brad DeLong posted yesterday on the coffee habits of academics. My reactions:

  1. Good Lord, that's a lot of coffee.
  2. Maybe the reason I'm always falling asleep in seminars is that I don't ingest grams of caffeine on a daily basis.
  3. On the other hand, I'd need to go to the bathroom about every three minutes, so maybe I shouldn't adjust my intake.
  4. Prof. DeLong apparently hangs out at Nefeli. This is a cafe just north of campus, where I am a sufficiently regular customer that the staff will begin making my double cappuccino when they see me walk in the door.
  5. Berkeley economics grad students are apparently either hungrier or more punctual than physics grad students, since cookies still remain at physics department tea by 4:03 or even 4:04.

My own caffeine consumption has these days been restricted to the aforementioned double cappuccino after lunch; I gave up the morning pot of coffee when I started regularly running in the morning, and have also eliminated department tea and 90% of the soda I used to drink. The net effect of all these adjustments on my alertness has apparently been negligible.
A relevant link: the caffeine faq on overdoses.

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Comments

Falling asleep in seminars before you have received tenure is a no-no...

Posted by: Brad DeLong | April 6, 2004 7:32 PM

Someone should investigate the effect of receiving tenure on caffeine consumption.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | April 7, 2004 10:08 AM

I like to abuse caffeine when it is appropriate to do so, and seminars (often) count. In fact, I like to take a big flask (I've got a geeky Erlenmeyer flask coffee mug from ACS) with me as little less than 500mL of hot java in the crotch will stir be back to life during an "Ode to what I scraped out of a flask one Midsummer's Morn" seminar. On the whole though, my intake has really mellowed since people have been buying that the spec/comp is working fine on it's own routine.:)

Posted by: Mylanda | April 7, 2004 12:24 PM

Hey, M! Yeah, measurement automation has significantly reduced my need for caffeine. But some people insist that I stick around late at night to make sure my Labview programs are working, just because said programs have a long history of manifesting new and interesting bugs during overnight data acquisitions...

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | April 7, 2004 1:50 PM

Mmm, caffiene... Well, I still guzzle dr pepper like mad, though perhaps not as much as I used to. (2 liters actually last in the fridge longer than a day, sometimes 2). Anyone know how bad sodas are compared to coffee/etc? Maybe I should cut back more. "... there's a lot of decaffienated brands on the market that are just as tasty as the real thing." Hmm, maybe green tea... Ok! Time to stop rambling and go back to preparing the poster.

Posted by: Zifnab | April 7, 2004 5:59 PM

Caffeine is the nectar of life...

I _love_ good iced espresso drinks, as you well know...

The people at the Starbucks a block from my home know me so well that they not only prepare my drink when I walk in the door, but they even gave me my drink for free on Thanksgiving last year... [Editor's note: I wish I had a really cool local coffee place a block away from me, but I have to venture a bit farther for such places, which kick the living crap out of Starbucks. This Starbucks does have the advantage of comfortable furniture...]

Posted by: Mason Porter | April 20, 2004 5:50 PM
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