As a college student, you’ve probably abused drugs. No, not the illegal kind; I mean caffeine. As students, we tend to use caffeine to get ourselves moving in the morning, through our 1-2 pm class right after lunch, and even to stay up late into the night studying. Then to get moving again in the morning… rinse and repeat.

Get out of this vicious cycle and use the magical powers of caffeine to help you achieve your New Year’s resolution to get in shape! With a few simple tricks, you can get more motivation and better workouts with the awesome stimulating abilities of caffeine.

Choose a good drink

No need for the additional additives like taurine and such found in expensive energy drinks when all you need is a bit of caffeine. Naturally caffeinated teas or coffees make a great simple drink. I personally enjoy Crystal Light’s “On the Go Energy” Grape flavored packets in a bottle of water, especially since Amazon sells a bulk package of 40 packets for $12. The key is to find something that tastes great and is water-based to get in some pre-workout hydration.

Drink during a natural upswing

Even with caffeine, you’re not going to feel much like hitting the gym during the crash an hour after a meal. Instead, picture your energy levels on a graph, plummeting briefly after meals but then swinging back up to normal after about two hours. Embrace your body rather than fighting it: drink your caffeinated drink at this second hour after breakfast or lunch and ride the wave. The caffeine will accelerate and enhance your natural increase in energy and you’ll get a very pleasant surge in about an hour.

Even if you didn’t feel like hitting the gym an hour ago, this natural cycle will put you in workout mode whether you like it or not! Drink the caffeine even if you don’t think you have the motivation to work out that day, because an hour after, you’ll discover you had more energy than you realized.

Enjoy a great workout

Caffeine doesn’t differentiate between sustained workout or sprints. It gave you the motivation to get in the gym, and it won’t abandon you there. Running, sprinting, lifting weights, or any other workout you decide to try will feel much easier. Push yourself!

Cherish the aftermath

If you followed my advice of drinking during your natural energy upswing, you’ll feel good after the caffeine wears off because your natural energy levels will still be pretty high. The post-workout endorphins will give you a great buzz and a strong focus. This is the perfect time to work on that challenging homework problem or essay.

A note about health

Large amounts of caffeine can have negative health consequences. Frequent use can also lead to addiction and tolerance.

However, a cup of tea/coffee or a packet of Crystal Light once a day or every other day for a great workout is not excess use according to the Mayo Clinic, and certainly much better than your previous habit of drinking it three times a day just to make it through the day!

If you’d like to make your own conclusions about its safety, please enjoy these LiveStrong and Mayo Clinic articles:

About the Author: Taylor Kline is a junior college student in Information Technology. He is also in the Army Reserves as a court reporter currently deployed to cover the Afghanistan and Kuwait region in the Middle East. He enjoys writing about his love of technology on his blog at http://streamingfreebies.com/