The Freshman Fifteen: All Nighter Survival

Red Bull LogoThe “Freshman Fifteen” is a well established reference to the weight gain endured by incoming freshman.  The stress and culture shock of a new environment where personal responsibility takes on life long implications is often dealt with by making poor eating choices – poor food choices and poor food timing.

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence for weight gain in the first year of college but there’s no real scientific basis to support inevitable weight gain.  The Huffington Post’s Why The Freshman 15 Is A Lie doesn’t give freshman carte blance in the dining halls. Weight gain is still a likely result, maybe just not as much as fifteen pounds.

Another reference to the freshman fifteen is from a list of Fifteen Tips To All-nighter Survival, a ritual of college life for the chronically addicted to cramming approach to learning.  Yeah you’re young, but a body is designed to handle only so much Red Bull.  Here’s the list courtesy of UC Riverside’s Highlander.

1. Space out the caffeine intake.

-Three Red Bulls won’t make you three times as productive, but it will make you crash three times as hard.


2. Avoid Youtube.

-Sure you can take time out for one four-minute video. But then it becomes twenty videos, and then you’re in “that” part of Youtube. And then Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will never be the same for you.


3. Don’t start Facebook chats.

-3 a.m. is not the time to reconnect to that one dude from your 10th grade English class.


4. Get a timer for your breaks.

-Undisciplined breaks can eat chunks of time; no breaks will kill your brain. Be smart and avoid this deadly “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t” dilemma.


5. Don’t take naps.

-You’ve made a commitment. Sleep is just what the weak use to dream.


6. Don’t get comfortable.

-Your bed and pajamas are cruel temptresses. Keep your boots on, soldier!


7. Only listen to music without lyrics.

-It’s impossible to not sing along past 2 a.m. You could write a whole paragraph in the time it takes to perform “Bohemian Rhapsody.”


8. Stand up.

-No, really. It’s easier to keep your body awake when it’s on its feet. That way you can also prevent your roommate from taking pictures of you drooling on your textbook.


9. Bring snacks.

-Trust us, you’ll get hungry. Try to avoid foods that taste good but hurt you later. (Lookin’ at you, Jack-In-The-Box)


10. Don’t crush up and snort the caffeine pills you can buy from Scotty’s.

-Just don’t.


11. Read how many percentage points the test or essay is worth on the syllabus.

-It will terrify, err, motivate you into putting in your best effort.


12. Write out your game plan in the beginning while your mind is still fresh.

-Your focus will go at 1 a.m. We guarantee it.


13. Get a bit of exercise.

-Get that blood flowing! Take a late-night jog! Fight off would-be assailants!


14. Don’t give up.

-It’s easy to deem your cause hopeless, but after taking such a plunge, you might as well just see it through.


15. Don’t do one in the first place.

-Study ahead of time. Go through with the sleepless nights with our advice purely as a last resort. Because the all-nighter is only half the battle. Slogging through the following day will be even worse.


The Wild World Of Caffeinated Snacks

The elements to good health – eating, food, nutrition and health has taken a divergent route. The introduction of additives and nutrients won’t necessarily lead to good health.  However, you might fool your body for a while with some of these snacks that border on food porn.  Clearly, these are not essential but they sure might make you feel lit up.  In the meantime, you can sign up for a healing circle for your adrenal glands in a neighborhood near you.

With the myriad of caffeinated products on store shelves these days, there’s hardly any need for coffee. Everything from jerky and sunflower seeds to waffles and ice cream is offering a buzz. We decided to take a look at some of the products currently providing consumers with a caffeine kick.

Because of this influx of new products and their potential appeal to children, the Food and Drug Administration is evaluating their safety and how to best regulate the changing market.

While it does so, we thought we’d share this quick review from Hella Wella and take a closer look at some of the products currently providing consumers with a caffeine kick. Watch out Starbucks!


Arma Energy Snx Potato Chips & Granola

“It’s not your mom’s granola,” says Arma Energy Snx’s website. The company makes kettle-cooked potato chips, granola, fruit mix and trail mix — all “energy-infused” with caffeine, taurine and B vitamins. One 2-ounce package of BBQ kettle-cooked chips contains 290 calories and 70 milligrams of caffeine — that’s slightly less than a shot of espresso.


Bang! Ice Cream

Even your dessert can bring a buzz. And in the case of Bang! ice cream, you might want to have dessert toward the beginning of the day since one serving dishes out 125 milligrams of caffeine — roughly equivalent to a cup of coffee. The ice cream comes in four flavors: Peanut Butta, Heaps of Gold, Iced Latte-Da and Cooky Mint.


Blue Diamond Roasted Coffee Almonds

Blue Diamond jumped on the bandwagon with its roasted coffee-flavored almonds, which contain 25 milligrams of caffeine per serving. Keep in mind, though, that there are four servings per package, so if you plan on chowing down all of it, you’re looking at the same amount of caffeine that’s in some energy shots.


Cracker Jack’d

Frito Lay made headlines last November when it announced its new line of snacks: Cracker Jack’D. Unlike the famous Cracker Jacks snack that came before it, Cracker Jack’D comes with 70 milligrams of caffeine — about what you’d get from a shot of espresso. The 2-ounce snack mix comes in flavors like zesty queso, PB & chocolate, berry yogurt and cheddar BBQ.


Crackheads2 Gourmet Chocolate Coffee Caffeine

Crackheads2 (squared) makes no apologies for its extreme caffeine content. In fact, it boasts it wherever it can. One box of the candy- and chocolate-coated coffee beans contains 600 milligrams of caffeine — the equivalent of six cups of coffee, 7.5 cans of Red Bull and 11 cans of Mountain Dew, according to the company’s website. Good luck sleeping!


Jelly Belly Sport Beans

You (hopefully) won’t find these jellybeans in a kid’s Easter basket. Jelly Belly’s Extreme Sport Beans are advertised as “quick energy for sports performance.” The website recommends popping the beans 30 minutes before your workout and says they’re “loaded with carbs for fuel, electrolytes to help maintain fluid balance and vitamins to optimize energy release and protect cells against oxidative damage.” A single 1-ounce package packs 100 calories, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 17 grams of sugar and 50 milligrams of caffeine — a little more of a jolt than you’d get from a can of Diet Coke.


Perky Jerky

Perky Jerky found its way onto the market after its creators accidentally drenched their beef jerky in an energy drink and ate it, only to find it boosted their energy as they skied. The brand is advertised as “all natural, ultra premium jerky” that’s made with a seven-ingredient marinade that includes guarana (the stuff you’ll find in energy drinks). One 1-ounce package offers 150 milligrams of caffeine — about what you’d find in a Monster energy drink.



Apparently even sunflower seeds are capable of being infused with caffeine. Sumseeds come in flavors like dill pickle, honey BBQ, ranch, and salt and pepper — in addition to the original flavor — and pack 140 milligrams of caffeine into a single 1.75-ounce bag.


Wired Waffles

You won’t need coffee with this breakfast. Wired Waffles are exactly what they sound like: waffles — even maple syrup — with caffeine. With 200 milligrams per waffle and about 48 milligrams per serving of syrup, you’re looking at a buzz stronger than what you’d get from most energy drinks.



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