Are Teenagers Drinking Too Much Caffeine?


Caleb Chacon, Writer

Caffeine is the fuel that keeps the world alive throughout the day. Whether it be a morning coffee, energy drink, or even pre-workout, all types of people use it to keep them going.

It’s incredibly popular, and rightfully so as well. Caffeine brings that much-needed energy at crucial times. Its powers help push through large amounts of work, exercise, or grueling mornings.

However, as our relationship with caffeine deepens, it can become a dependence. We can over rely on it, which can often cause more harm than good.

While it may boost your alertness, reaction time, and focus, caffeine comes with some drawbacks. It is an incredibly addicting chemical and stimulant that can harm your body in various ways. Too much can cause restlessness and insomnia, and withdrawal can load you with headaches and intense irritability. 

This is especially troubling given the amount of caffeine consumers that are teenagers. Everyone needs good sleep to properly focus and learn, which can sever the health of students. 

It is also important to know that caffeine doesn’t actually give you energy, but rather mimics the adenosine in your brain and prevents the feeling of sleepiness. Although that original drink might feel great while it affects you, it makes the approaching crash even worse as you feel the impact of all the lost sleep hit at once. 

Adults can weigh these odds and make the choice themselves, but the line for fellow caffeine lovers has been getting younger. According to the National Coffee Association, teenage use (13-18 years old) of coffee has gone up from 29% in 2015 to 33% in 2019.

Those early teenage years really shouldn’t be ignored. Drinking caffeine has been impacting students even before high school.

“I was probably in sixth or seventh grade when I started drinking it on a regular basis,” junior Leo Steger said. 

A busy schedule can often demand the use of coffee or other forms of caffeine, which makes the problem all the more deeper. Once it cements itself in your life, it can become quite the crutch.

“I definitely need more to keep me awake for a long period of time,” Steger said. “Over the summer, I ended up, I had two jobs that were going from 6:45 to 7:30 at night. So, I would have to drink like a Red Bull and a Monster or two Monsters a day, and that’s like a lot.”

As people grow into their busy lives, it can be easy to use caffeine to keep you going. But we should be wary of how much power we give it in our lives, especially when it affects the minds of the future.