Relying on caffeine to stay awake

Health experts warn abut excessive consumption

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Mariam Ibrahimi, Staff Writer

Many students use caffeine as a way to stay awake in the morning, but what many do not realize is that a large intake of caffeine may be more harmful than helpful.

According to the school nurses, a moderate amount of caffeine may not affect a student’s health, but a large intake of caffeine can affect the biological rhythms in a person’s body.

“The stimulant effect can’t be sustained forever,” school nurse Justine Fishman said. “It’s a balance; if you use a stimulant in order to increase your alertness, it’s going to wear off and often times as a rebound effect, leave you feeling much worse.”

“High-schoolers are more prone to have negative effects from caffeine. It can get you really hyper which can cause bad effects.””

— Freshman Veronika Jaster

Many students are seen drinking coffee throughout the day.  According to Health Day’s 2014 article “Energy Drinks, Coffee Increasing Sources of Caffeine for Kids, CDC Says,” about 73 percent of children consume some sort of caffeine each day as of 2010.

A cup of coffee may not affect a person’s health, but according to school nurse Sheree Caron, it is not ideal to depend on caffeine to perform at one’s optimal level.

“[After consuming caffeine] you’re really really revved up and your heart’s racing, and you’re not at your optimal level,” Caron said. “You might feel nice and alert but your health might not be optimal right then.”

Caffeine may affect students in a different way than it might some adults because it makes a difference as to who consumes caffeine as well.

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“High-schoolers are more prone to have negative effects from caffeine,” freshman Veronika Jaster said. “It can get you really hyper which can cause bad effects.”

According to Coffee and Health’s 2015 article “Caffeine,” while large intakes of caffeine are not recommended for anyone, caffeine affects adolescents in a greater way because their minds and bodies are still developing and have yet to reach their maximum growth.  

Many don’t consider caffeine to be something possibly harmful, and don’t realize the importance of drinking it in moderation.

According to CBS media website CNET’s 2014 article “This is What Caffeine Does to Your Brain,” when caffeine is consumed, the brain’s adenosine receptors bind with caffeine, which makes the person less tired. As more caffeine is consumed, however, the brain develops more adenosine receptors, resulting in the body needing more caffeine to help stay awake.  

“Psychologically, you become dependent on caffeine,” Fishman said.