Caffeine Is It Worth The Headache?

Meera Forespring, Staff Writer

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Teenagers all drink beverages that contain high amounts or see people consuming them daily.

Whether it be needing to stay up studying for finals, wake up in after a late night, or just being fond of the taste. Caffeinated beverages are seen as a teenager or adults best friend.

Caffeinated beverages are seen to give a slight improvement in mood and increased alertness for a temporary amount of time. Coffee also contains antioxidants that can be good for health.

But often ignored by teens are the negative effects of consuming these beverages.

About 400mg of caffeine per day is seen to be safe for most healthy adults.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends teen’s caffeine consumption be limited to no more than 100mg of caffeine per day and that children ages twelve and below do not consume any caffeine at all.

Energy drinks contain an average of about 500 mg of caffeine, which is 5 times the maximum safe amount for a teenager to consume. Not to mention the ridiculous amounts of sugar added to energy drinks as well.

A majority of reports for overdosing on caffeine have been from teens or young adults. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports more than 13,000 emergency room visits in 2009 were associated with energy drinks.

Sometimes, caffeine toxicity is even fatal.

16 year old Davis Crepe from South Carolina had downed a whole latte, a 20 oz Mountain Dew, and another energy drink during his schools lunch break. When he returned to his classes he died from a heart attack caused by the extremely high amounts of caffeine in his bloodstream.

From 2009 to 2012, 5-hour Energy drinks may have killed 13 people and sent an additional 33 to the hospital. Dr. Sean Patrick Nord, USC director of the Section of Toxicology, has compared drinking several energy shots per day to consuming 30–40 cups of coffee.

The company that makes 5-hour Energy shots refuses to acknowledge that their drinks caused people’s caffeine overdoses and has refused to change the formulas of their products. Their founder and CEO Manoj Bhargava compared the toxicity of 5 hour energy to water in an interview with the press. Bhargava said, “If you have too much [water], you drown.”

Other more common side effects of caffeine are:

Insomnia
Restlessness
Irritability
Fast heartbeat
Muscle tremors
Nervousness
Stomach upset
Headaches
Difficulty concentrating
Increased blood pressure

With the facts stated, try to reconsider the amount of caffeine that you consume on a day to day basis for the sake of keeping you mind, body, and emotional state healthy.

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