Dear 100 Hour Board,
Dining Services is now allowing caffeinated soft drinks on campus! Would you provide some guidelines for safe and sane use of this formerly verboten potable? I don't really want to loose sleep experimenting with how long it will take to wear off, but there are days.........
-Unfocused and fatigued Molly
Dear Ultrasonic Force Microscopy,
DRINK ALL OF IT
Keep it real,
Sherpa Dave (does not actually condone drinking large amounts of caffeine but thinks that it's pretty great that caffeine is allowed on campus but also agrees with the other writers who warn against its negative effects you should be healthy kids)
In the alternate, keep avoiding it if you think that's best for you: just because you can doesn't mean you must. If you need to consume a stimulant in order to function appropriately, I think it's also appropriate to evaluate whether your priorities are set properly and whether you've got too much on your plate. Also, consider your personality: some people may be able to honestly keep caffeine as a "yeah, I really only do this twice a semester, and it's usually before a midterm or a final for a specific jolt after a long night of studying" but I think there are also people who start out that way and end up "needing" their caffeine much more frequently than they initially intended: which type are you likely to end up being?
Also, BYU's change in vending policy isn't a change in Church Doctrine. Caffeine wasn't specifically addressed by the word of wisdom before this alteration and it is also not specifically addressed by the word of wisdom now. So just make decisions about what you put in your body that will encourage and allow you to function in healthy, sustainable ways.
Whatever you do, remember that caffeine acts by blocking adenosine receptors in your brain, not by inhibiting its production. So while you're awake and alert thanks to that delicious soft drink, all that adenosine is building up in your brain, and when the caffeine wears off it could hit you pretty hard all at once. On top of that, sugar crashes are real, so the effect could be compounded.