Scouting Out a Balance in Coffee Consumption

Scout Coffee Company provides fuel for college students to get through their busy days filled of hours of studying, classes, and every day to-dos. Its Foothill location is close to off-campus housing and Cal Poly’s campus, making it an easy to get to study spot for many students.


Scout employee makes customers’ coffees and other orders.

Scout has a special charm to it because of the floral wall decor, light colors, and abundance of plants that fill the space.

There is a lot of seating, but all of the seats are almost always filled up, and the tables are covered with coffee, books, and laptops.

“[I order coffee] every time [I am at Scout] because it’s obligatory to order something if I am using the space to study here,”said Scout-loving Cal Poly student Molly Adcox.

She comes to Scout about twice a week because “everyone is so studious here, so it motivates me,” said Adcox.


Adcox, a biology major, comes to Scout often to study distraction free.

Along with many other college students, Adcox drinks on average three cups of coffee per day.

According to Doris Derelian, a professor in the Food Science and Nutrition Department at Cal Poly, two to three cups of average caffeinated coffee per day between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. can be beneficial by keeping a college student’s brain active.

Many students, like Adcox, drink multiple cups of coffee per day, but don’t realize that in addition to being a tasty, energy boosting drink, it could also be affecting their sleep.

Some college students drink coffee around 10 p.m. in order to gain a few more hours of study time. Derelian suggests to not do this because the student will either not be able to fall asleep, or will not be able to stay asleep, therefore leading to a miserable morning the next day.

“As a college student, you don’t want to use caffeine to increase small amounts of study time because going to sleep, which is highly needed for successful academic performance the next day, will be interrupted.” —Doris Derelian

Derelian acknowledged, though, that each individual is affected by caffeine in different ways, so she recommends to write down how different amounts of caffeine consumption affects you.

This way you will know what is too much for you, and what is just right for you so you can reach your highest productivity potential during the day while still getting an uninterrupted sleep.

“Most individuals find that caffeine is a stimulant, both in terms of physical metabolism and mental acuity. But there is a threshold at which the benefit is then decreased by the overload, and for everyone that might be something different,” said Derelian.

A study published in Nutrition in December 2016 also discusses the effects of caffeine causing sleep deprivation. The study says:

“In addition to the generation or aggravation of sleep continuity problems, consumption of coffee and other caffeinated drinks has been associated with insufficient duration of sleep or short sleep duration.”

Part of the study also focuses on college-aged coffee consumers: “In college students, a mean caffeine consumption of three to five cups of coffee per day was associated with habitual sleep duration of less than or equal to six hours a night.”

Depending on how caffeine affects you, a cup of Honey Co. Coffee from Scout could help you regain focus after a long class or for a study session before an exam. Just make sure you are still getting sufficient sleep.


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