Caffeine Awareness Month


Aubrey Anne Richards, Contributor

March is Caffeine Awareness Month! Thirty-one days of people trying to tell you why caffeine is so bad for you. Well, I am yet another. In this essay, I will… no, but in all seriousness, I am going to present the facts and dangers of caffeine. Do what you will with this information, but as long as you are informed, my job is done.
Let’s get into the medical side of this issue first, the reason caffeine gives you such a high is because of the pressure put on the adrenal gland which is located on top of the kidneys. The adrenal glands naturally secrete hormones into your body during stressful situations to trigger a survival response. When caffeine is ingested this process becomes constant and after time the gland becomes burnt out. The stress hormone, cortisol, becomes a constant in the body. Soon the body will only be able to produce it artificially (caffeine) and after that other side effects will take place. Raised blood pressure, insomnia, skin aging, and headaches are just a few effects when it comes to overconsumption of caffeine. When attempting to stop drinking caffeine, you might develop withdrawals from it. If you choose to stop, you want to slowly wean yourself off, not quit cold turkey.
How much caffeine can you drink safely? Well, for teens it is 100mg, but like most of you, I do not know what that means so I have a list below of the most popular drinks and their caffeine levels so you can compare easily!
Can of Coke: 21mg
Bottle of Coke: 32mg
Cup of Coffee: 62mg
Redbull: 80mg
Tall Iced Coffee: 90mg
Monster: 160mg
Yikes, most of you are probably thinking the same thing. According to my survey ,students at Bob Jones started drinking caffeinated drinks between the ages of seven and nine, but most say they are not affected negatively by caffeine at all. Even though most of these kids are drinking multiple drinks a day or at least once a week, they see no problem with their sleep, mood, or focus.
One person even praised the effects of caffeine: “Caffeine makes me energetic and helps me to be able to focus on tasks,” and multiple others agreeing with this statement. Are the effects of caffeine even real? Well, citing a varying viewpoint on this topic, one student said, “I think caffeine makes me feel awful constantly. I get headaches practically every day and I’m always tired, no matter how much sleep I get.”
If you’re going to drink caffeinated drinks, please consume them safely.