Caffeine: just brew it

Ella Gage, News Editor

Your alarm starts ringing. It is a Tuesday morning, 4:30, and you still have a CRO to write and a Spanish test to study for. You’re running on a solid three hours of sleep. It’s too early, you’re too tired, and you have too much to do in too small of a time frame. You have to wake up. Fast. Your solution: caffeine.
Caffeine consumption is becoming more and more common. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior indicated that 83.2 percent of teenagers consume caffeinated beverages regularly, and at least 96 percent of teens consume them occasionally. The average American teen will consume 100 milligrams of caffeine daily. That’s the equivalent of one cup of coffee. In an increasingly caffeinated nation, these stats are only rising.
However, this isn’t necessarily negative. Caffeine can be beneficial, as long as students limit their intake. Helpful, even. Schedules packed with AP classes, extra-curriculars, quizzes, tests, and multitasking sometimes need a kick-start to get going. Luckily, caffeine is the best friend of the overwhelmed, sleep-deprived student.
With that being said, caffeine isn’t without side effects. Caffeine consumers can be jumpy and anxious, with elevated blood pressure and blood sugar, insomnia, and headaches—things to be aware of before you start drinking caffeine.
Regardless, most students can testify that the side effects are worth it. The ability to focus isn’t something to take for granted anymore. Since sleep deprivation is pretty much a given, as long as you don’t drink too much caffeine, it is a beneficial way to wake up and stay awake. A National Institute of Health records “significant improvement in reaction time with caffeine” in comparison to reaction time without caffeine. Who doesn’t need a boost in reaction time on bleary early mornings?
So maybe you’ve grown up thinking that drinking coffee as a teenager is a kind of taboo thing. But in reality, as long as you don’t go overboard with daily caffeine intake, what better way is there to think clearly as you’re writing a CRO at 4:30 on a Tuesday morning?