Caffeine affects teens positively, not negatively

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Caffeine affects teens positively, not negatively

Junior Caroline Hampton enjoys a cup of coffee during her first block Spanish class on Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Junior Caroline Hampton enjoys a cup of coffee during her first block Spanish class on Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Junior Caroline Hampton enjoys a cup of coffee during her first block Spanish class on Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Junior Caroline Hampton enjoys a cup of coffee during her first block Spanish class on Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Jackson Bracknell, Staff Writer

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Mainstream media demonizes caffeine as a drug that could kill teenagers and ruin health. That philosophy, however, is highly generalized and false.

Caffeine, a major ingredient in coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks, is a legal stimulant drug. This means that it blocks adenosine, a chemical that makes the brain lethargic, and gives more motivation to complete sports, rehearsals, work, and hobbies.

“Caffeine is very important to me because it gets me going everyday for school or work,” said junior Liam Arsenault.

Many respected doctors say that caffeine should not be consumed by anyone under the age of 18; however, many teens need an extra boost to get them through their various activities.

More and more responsibilities are being put on teenagers plate these days. With everything on our plates, it is hard to get the nine suggested hours of sleep each night.

Doctors and parents are worrisome about their children consuming caffeine because of cases where teens have died because of over consumption of caffeine.

Most of these lethal cases come from first time caffeine consumers who do not know how much their body can handle.

It is important for beginners to start slowly and increase when their body becomes more tolerant. Teens today are engaged in more and more activities. Though consuming large amounts of caffeine everyday could build a dependence, it helps energy and production levels.

“I drink it so I can stay awake because I don’t get enough sleep at night,” said freshman Nyjah Williams. “I don’t drink a ton of it though.”

According to a random poll of 100 people on Healthline.com, 90 percent of adults drink coffee, while another poll at Ocean Lakes High School revealed that 40 percent of teens consume caffeine every day, and 30 percent consume caffeine sometimes.

“Monster does help me get through the day if I am really tired,” said junior Natalie Pietrzack. “My favorite is Monster, because it really gives me that kick.”

Aside from mental benefits, caffeine also has several physical benefits.

Also, according to Healthline.com, caffeine raises metabolism and increases the oxidation of fatty acids, which increases athletic and metabolism performance.

“Caffeine is a heck of a drug,” said junior track star Will Spollen. “Coffee helps me stay optimistic, run better, and helps me focus on my studies.”

On top of that, according to Medical News Today, drinking three cups of coffee a day could reduce the risk of liver cancer by 50 percent, while drinking four cups of coffee a day could also reduce the risk of throat and mouth cancer by 50 percent.

So don’t let the mainstream media fool you. Caffeine can help have a better life, mentally and physically.  All in all, it is not dangerous to consume caffeine as a teen. It is just important to consume it in moderation.

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