By Julianna Tassi
As the end of the school year approaches, stress levels rise in students. Staying up to work past midnight becomes typically necessary in order to finish assignments. Oftentimes in these late hours, kids will turn to caffeine in order to keep themselves awake and alert. Then in the morning, they will wake up and consume even more caffeine so they don’t fall asleep during the school day. This intake of caffeine is potentially dangerous to both the mental and physical health of these teens. These kids who drink energy drinks and coffee aren’t aware of what the caffeine in them does to their bodily systems.
Caffeine has many negative effects on the body and mind of those who drink it. Mary L. Gavin’s review on KidsHeath.com tells us that symptoms of drinking too much caffeine include the jitters, nervousness, headaches, anxiety, upset stomach, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, trouble sleeping, and a higher blood pressure. It greatly interferes with healthy sleep habits.
“Caffeine can aggravate certain heart problems. It also may interact with some medicines or supplements. If you are stressed or anxious, caffeine can make these feelings worse,” Gavin also said in her article.
Many of these teens in stress consume well over the healthy amount of caffeine each day for their age group.
“Adolescents ages 12 to 18 should cap daily caffeine intake at 100 mg,” said Kevin Joy, editor of Michigan Health Lab.
To put this into perspective, one grande iced coffee from Starbucks contains 190 mg of caffeine and one monster energy drink has 160 mg, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. So when somebody within that age range drinks just one of those, they are already greatly exceeding the enforced daily limit.
Many people overlook these points and focus on the fact that caffeine gives them extreme energy and causes alertness. They think it benefits their attention span and makes it easier to concentrate.
“I drink coffee because I feel like I need to rely on it to stay awake throughout the day,” said Batavia High School student Mary Shields.
She has been consuming caffeine every morning and afternoon for years and has definitely realized its negative effect.
“When I drink coffee a lot, I feel really shaky and stressed throughout the day. And when I don’t, I feel much more relaxed and focused at school,” Shields said.
Though caffeine does give you a surge of energy and adrenaline, this also comes with anxiety and jitters. The short-term and long-term effects of this is not worth it.
It is clear that caffeine has more negative results than positive. It is important to know the effects something has on your body before you take it in. Next time you’re overwhelmed with school work and are having trouble staying awake, remember that there are much healthier options to help you than caffeine.