Should Students be Drinking Coffee?

Waking up to a hot cup of coffee is always nice, but is it good for you?

Waking up to a hot cup of coffee is always nice, but is it good for you?

Many highschool students have become accustomed to their busy schedule: school, extracurriculars, work, homework, and finally sleep. Days often seem never ending. One way students try to compensate for their sleep deprivation is with coffee. This caffeinated beverage helps wash away the sleepiness from the night before, or give students an extra kick of energy after school. However, is coffee good for teenagers to be consuming? And at a daily rate?

  According to Nemours Teen Health, it is acceptable for teens to have at most 100 mg of caffeine a day. This would be about one standard 8oz cup of coffee, or two cans of soda. However, there can be consequences to the consummation of caffeine; stomach aches, anxiety, and trouble sleeping can all occur from drinking coffee. It is also easy to form a dependency on caffeine. Drinking soda or coffee five days a week for school could turn into drinking it on the weekend too, and eventually teenagers could be unable to quit drinking without getting a headache. 

  To see how Eastern students incorporate caffeine into their everyday lives, a google form was sent out. The results of the questions goes as followed:

How many days a week do you drink coffee?

  • 32% of students drink caffeine 1-3 days a week
  • 25% 4-5 days a week 
  • 23% don’t drink caffeine at all.
  • 9.7% every day of the week, multiple times per day

 As for a dependence on caffeine, the results are close. 

  • 45% do not rely on caffeine
  • 38% rely on caffeine

  The 38% of students who reported a dependency on caffeine leads to the question: can caffeine become an addiction?

  Despite symptoms that can come from drinking caffeine, or not drinking it, caffeine is not an addiction. While caffeine does increase dopamine signaling in the brain, the same as addictive drugs, it does not increase dopamine levels high enough to be considered addictive. 

  So, what’s the bottom line? High School students are safe to drink caffeine, if they do so in normal dosages. A cup of coffee before school, or a soda at lunch are perfectly safe, and seeing the results from the poll, many students seem to be doing so.