Over Caffeinated

Daily caffeine habit can have positive effects, but too much is not good


Gracie Comer

Senior Grant Chapman walks through the halls carrying his Monster energy drink.

Whether it’s coffee, soda, or energy drinks, beverages containing caffeine are something that most high school students consume regularly and some say they are addicted to it – but this might not be a bad thing.
In a recent survey of 65 students, nearly half of the students surveyed say they are addicted to caffeine. Out of the 65 students surveyed, 29 classify themselves as an addict and 36 say they are not.
Caffeine has quite a few positive effects.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (archives.drugabuse.gov), caffeine enhances dopamine in the brain which controls movement, emotions, and motivation. This being said, dopamine makes a person feel more awake and alert. It is categorized as a stimulant.
“I drink Bangs every football game that we have. I usually buy Cameron Taylor and myself one for before the game and then one for us both at half time,” senior Gaven Cunningham said.
“I drink caffeine in the mornings to help my body wake up,” freshman Keira Mostaffa said. “Caffeine has a positive effect on me. It makes me happy and makes my day go better.”
“I will have at least one drink that contains caffeine a day, whether it’s soda, tea, coffee, or energy drinks,” senior Grant Chapman said. “It gets me going when I am tired so it’s positive to me,”
However, as the saying goes, too much of anything is bad.
An article from US News and World Report, “Are Energy Drinks Really That Bad?” reports that experts believe it’s safe for most healthy adults to consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day – the equivalent of four eight-ounce cups of coffee or 10 cans of cola. But more than that can result in headaches, elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, anxiety, irritability, digestive issues and dehydration.
According to the website “Caffeine Content,” (caffeine-content.com) the average amount of caffeine from a 250 ml energy drink contains 80 mg, but energy drinks usually contain anywhere from 80-360mg of caffeine. In addition, many energy drinks, sodas and specialty coffees contain sugar or sugar substitutes. Also, those who consume large amounts of caffeine might not be getting enough water.
According to the survey of 65 students, soda (17) was the most popular caffeinated beverage, followed by coffee (9) and energy drinks (9).
Negative effects from caffeine vary from person to person.
“Whenever I drink too much during the day I stay awake all night,” sophomore Randi Buchholz said.
“Caffeine only has a negative effect on me. It makes me extremely tense and makes me get unfocused,” freshman Haylee Cobb said.
“If I drink too much caffeine I get super shaky making it hard for me to function,” sophomore Olivia Strange said.
Many students feel that they are not addicted and use it in moderation only.
“I don’t really consider myself a caffeine addict because I really only drink tea,” senior Jackie Esser said
“I consider myself not addicted because I can live without it,” senior Jacklyn Goddard said. Some don’t even consume caffeine at all.
“I honestly just prefer water more than drinks containing caffeine,” senior Brea Jolliff said.
“My parents don’t allow me to drink caffeine because they don’t want me to become too reliant on it,” junior Lilia Jensen said.