Teens increased caffeine consumption brings concern

After playing in the boys soccer quarterfinal game on Oct. 25, senior Rayce Johnson and junior Nick Purdie finish off the game and celebrate their win with a Nos energy drink.

Photo by Marie Lecuyer

After playing in the boys soccer quarterfinal game on Oct. 25, senior Rayce Johnson and junior Nick Purdie finish off the game and celebrate their win with a Nos energy drink.

Marie Lecuyer, Copy Editor

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Young adults are experiencing health drawbacks of consuming caffeine daily starting at such a young age. This generation especially is turning to caffeine to resolve stress and exhaustion. Students are also using caffeine to improve their athletic performances. Adults are becoming increasingly concerned with kids relying on caffeine because of recent studies.

Although students do not see the bad effects of caffeine right after consumption, they are not aware of how it is going to affect their future health. There are also many short-term effects that come along with many energy drinks.

“Having proper nutrition, good sleep and just a good diet is really important, and when you fill it with drinks that have empty calories or extra caffeine, it can increase anxiety and decrease sleep which is not good for your overall health,” said Doctor Andrea Saterbak.

Drinking caffeinated drinks at a young age can be very harmful to teens mental and physical health,  and they do not know it. For example, caffeine stunts children growth.

“Caffeine may stunt children’s development. A study in PLOS One found that young rats who consumed the rat-sized equivalent of the caffeine in three or four cups of coffee experienced reduced deep sleep and delayed brain development,” said Amy Morin, a writer for Verywell Health.

Athletes often look to caffeinated beverages to improve their performance. On occasion, the boy’s varsity soccer team drinks a Nos energy drink before games. This tradition is referred to by the team as “Nos seas.”

Some people are just more sensitive to caffeine then others and just a small amount may produce unwanted effects, the most common include insomnia, restlessness, fast heartbeat, nervousness, muscle tremors and an upset stomach.”

— Amy Morin

“I don’t think it actually helps us perform better, I think [drinking Nos drinks] mentally gets us ready for the game and its a way of celebrating game day,” said junior Nick Purdie.

Students are drinking caffeine due to stress from overwhelming schedules with no time to catch up. A full day at school, extracurricular activities and homework lead to teens staying up late and turning to caffeine in the morning.

“I started drinking Kickstarts my sophomore year,” said junior Andrew Langenberger. After discussing what it would be like not drinking one for a day, he said, “I feel like if I did not drink one, I would be less energetic and I would just lay around all day.”

Short-term effects from caffeine are also very prevalent in teens including a racing heartbeat and sometimes a stomach ache.

According to Morin, “Some people are just more sensitive to caffeine then others and just a small amount may produce unwanted effects, the most common include insomnia, restlessness, fast heartbeat, nervousness, muscle tremors and an upset stomach.”

Although teens get stressed out, there is another solution besides energy drinks. Instead of drinking an energy drink, teens need to manage their time better and eat healthier foods so their body can create its own energy. Teens should not allow themselves to become dependent on an unhealthy drink that causes their body to be even more stressed out. Instead, they need to choose the healthy route before they start to see the short term and long term effects of caffeine.

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