Caffeine, The Plague No One Saw Coming

Bethany Fluck, Student Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

A pounding heart mimics the pounding beat that seems to be getting louder inside your head.
You’re sitting in class almost falling asleep, knowing the only way to fix your headache and
drowsy persona is to down your morning cup of coffee.

Teens’ caffeine consumption has increased drastically with 82.3 percent of teens regularly consuming caffeine, according to the Medical News Today. Pennridge is not immune to this growing epidemic. The increase in caffeinated beverages in the cafeteria and the newly constructed Dunkin’ Donuts across the street has only encouraged the overconsumption of caffeine by teenagers. Excessively consuming caffeine has proven to be detrimental to the health of teens and adult alike. The most obvious negative effect on teens is that caffeine disrupts the timing of the body clock. According to Sleep Education “Consuming caffeine 6 hours before bedtime reduces total sleep time by 1 hour.” Other negative effects can include: diarrhea, sweating, nausea, increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, and muscle tremors. The truth is, caffeine is a drug that can only give temporary relief while also causing such negative effects like the ones described before. Coffee and caffeine can give energy, but the
risk of becoming dependent on caffeine may outweigh the short-term energy it provides. One Pennridge senior, Chloe Smith, understands this challenge. She recently said, “I live off of coffee. I drink it all day. It is really the only thing that keeps me going during school and work.” The overall negative health effects and the growing addiction rate with caffeine is proof enough that this movement of caffeine dependence is an epidemic.

Many people may want to quit caffeine, but the withdrawal symptoms are real and harsh. According to Sleep Education the withdrawal symptoms of caffeine can include: headaches, sleepiness, low energy levels, and bad moods. These symptoms can make it hard for anyone to stop, but luckily there are methods to help. Cutting back on caffeine slowly is a great step to eventually quit. You can drink caffeine free teas, water, get more sleep, or take walks. All of these methods are greats alternatives to drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages. Mr.Branch, a security officer at Pennridge High School, is a great example that shows that caffeine addiction can be stopped. Mr. Branch used to drink 12 cups of coffee in the morning and slowly diminished down to four. Now that he stopped drinking so much coffee he said, “I feel a thousand percent better.” Quitting or cutting back on caffeine may be hard, but the overall effects on health are well worth the struggle.

Life without caffeine may sound miserable for anyone who is dependent on coffee or any type of caffeine. Good news is that life can still be full and happy without it. Mrs. West, a math teacher at Pennridge High School, only drinks water and does not need any caffeine to get through her day. She purely sleeps to gain energy and she said, “ I feel healthy and I never feel like I need something to keep me going. I get a good night's sleep and that way I don’t need caffeine.” Mrs. West is very happy and perky in class and she says she is pretty energetic throughout the rest of
her day. Mrs.West is proof that caffeine is not needed for a happy and energetic life. Caffeine can seem like a wonder to those who are constantly tired and groggy, but the truth is, caffeine is addictive and can cause dependence. A life with minimal or no caffeine is definitely the healthier option for both teens and adults alike.

About the Writer
Bethany Fluck, Student Writer

Bethany is a senior who enjoys drag race on the weekends, as well as reading. She wants to be a medical examiner in the future.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

Caffeine, The Plague No One Saw Coming