LDS Business College recently began selling caffeinated soda, joining the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on Temple Square.
However, BYU — also an entity of the Church — still does not sell caffeinated sodas on campus.
BYU communications professor Robert Walz said one argument commonly given to explain not having caffeine on campus is a lack of demand.
BYU alumnus Spencer Casperson and his wife, BYU computer science major Katelyn Casperson, don’t drink caffeine regularly, but said they vividly remember many late nights of studying and completing assignments fueled solely by the energy boost of Mountain Dew.
“We don’t drink caffeine regularly but would be content if it were on campus for the times we need our fix,” Katelyn said.
BYU student Wesley Monahan, also known as “the caffeine dealer,” owns Caffeine Corner. The company delivers cold cans of caffeinated sodas to students and staff on campus within minutes of receiving an order via text.
“Most people actually give me praise,” Monahan said. “I even have a lot of staff members who make purchases and wish me well.”
Communications professor Robert Walz said he was raised in a home where caffeine was forbidden, and he is now making up for lost years.
“Caffeine is not against the Word of Wisdom and never has been,” Walz said. “No studies say that it’s a hazard to health unless it’s in large quantities.”
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints maintain the standards listed in the Word of Wisdom, some of which pertain to what substances members should refrain from partaking.
Both the Word of Wisdom and the BYU Honor Code mandate abstinence from “alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee and substance abuse.”
BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said BYU has a contract with Coca-Cola, which says BYU will only sell Coca-Cola soft drinks on campus, except for in certain places such as the BYU Creamery, which sells caffeine-free Dr. Pepper.
“BYU has simply chosen not to sell caffeinated beverages on campus,” Jenkins said in an email.
Jenkins said Coca-Cola does not produce caffeine-free products just for BYU.
Katie Whiteside, head manager at the Nauvoo Café in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, said she sees workers from the LDS Church office “stop in with their soda fountain punch cards each day and fill up.”
She said Diet Coke seems to be the favorite choice amongst church headquarters employees.