Caffeine Boost Could Be Harmful

At school, many students stay awake for their early morning classes by drinking their daily dose of caffeine, whether that’s through a cup of coffee, energy drink, or even a soda. But there are some things that aren’t so healthy about this little boost of energy.

Some people like senior Derek Ruhl said, “I don’t drink coffee because I am aware of what the side effects are which is a turn off as well as I don’t really like the bitter taste of coffee”.

Caffeine is usually safe, with effects like energy and wakefulness for teens who do not consume more than 300 mg a day, or the amount found in up to four cups of regular coffee. Anything more than 400 to 600 mg is too much and could cause physical problems, like upset stomach, increased heart rate, anxiety, and even muscular tremors according to

Senior Riley Kimbrough said she drinks coffee not only because it tastes good, but because she’s tired and needs a pick-me up.

Teens who try to mix caffeine, like coffees and colas, or people who use many energy shots or beverages may also have these same effects.

But the desired effect of staying awake becomes harmful for teenagers who rely on the drug for wakefulness, when they should be sleeping.

Teens should get at least eight hours of sleep every night to be properly alert for the next day. Those who regularly consume caffeine at night tend to fall asleep during school and other daytime activities.

A 2009 study by Dr. Christina Calamaro of Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions showed teens typically rely on caffeine or energy drinks to help them stay up late, but have impaired functioning the next day. Most teens in the study only used the amount of caffeine found in a cup or two of coffee, but more than 11 percent of teens took in more than 400 mg, enough to trigger bad physical effects.

So next time you decide to stop by Starbucks for that Caramel Frappe with an extra shot of espresso, take into consideration the risks and ask yourself if it’s really worth it.