Most teens today are self-proclaimed night owls. Students are staying up late, whether it is due to homework, watching Netflix, social media, social events, extracurriculars or racing thoughts. The next morning, they struggle to get out of bed and rely on caffeine for an extra jolt of energy. For some, caffeine in the morning is an easy cure after a long night with little sleep. Some teens begin to depend on caffeine as the only way to begin their day. Junior Kiran Marla drinks a cup of coffee every day, “On days that I don’t drink coffee I get headaches and I feel like I need to be energized in order to focus at school.”
In 2014 a study ran by the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that 73% of adolescents consume caffeine daily. When one is addicted to something, they experience withdrawals after some time without the thing they crave. Caffeine is no different. If a student has caffeine every morning, but doesn’t drink it the next, they automatically feel the consequences of not having their morning caffeine intake. Psychology Today states that “adult consumption should be between 300-400 mg (that’s equivalent to 3-4 cups of coffee) and teens be around 100 mg.”
According to Healthline, the stimulating effects of caffeine enhance alertness and get rid of drowsiness fairly quickly after consumption. Studies have also shown that caffeine enhances the mood in a person, as they are more alert and awake. In moderation, caffeine is not so detrimental to health. However, caffeine has many negative effects if over consumption occurs. Healthline also states that too much caffeine intake can cause heartburn, headaches, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and jittery behavior, especially for those who are not used to excessive amounts of caffeine.
When a person drinks caffeine daily, there are long term effects. Healthline states that “caffeine prevents calcium absorption in the bones, increasing your risk of osteoporosis. As you get older, your bones may break more easily”. If a person doesn’t get their morning dose of caffeine, withdrawals can arise. Aching bones and increased drowsiness are common symptoms of caffeine withdrawals.
While caffeine is not the worst substance that teens could consume, certain types of caffeine can be detrimental to health — Energy drinks contain much more caffeine than other common energy boosters like coffee or soda.