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Should Teens Drink Coffee?

Andrew M., Contributor

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Coffee is one of America’s favorite beverages, and recent data from the National Coffee Association states that 54 percent of adults are regular coffee drinkers; and their average serving comes out to around three 8-ounce cups per day. Therefore, American adults drink about 382 million cups of coffee every day.

One of the reasons why coffee is so popular is caffeine. Caffeine is a drug that is naturally produced in the leaves and seeds of many plants. It’s also produced artificially and added to certain foods and beverages. The reason why caffeine is classified as a drug is because it stimulates the central nervous system, causing increased alertness. Caffeine gives most people a temporary energy boost and elevates their mood. Due to how easily caffeine is made, naturally or artificially it is found in various foods and beverages, including tea, chocolate, coffee, many soft drinks, pain relievers and other medications. To make matters worse, caffeine is highly addictive.

Coffee addictions are affecting more and more coffee drinkers daily. Plus, many others have started drinking coffee, most of them being teenagers. It makes sense; the caffeine would help them stay up at night so they can finish their homework, and it would help them wake up in the morning. However, the real question is; if drinking lots of coffee is addictive, is it healthy for teens?

Studies show that drinking coffee as a teen can cause:

* Jitteriness and nervousness

* Upset stomach

* Headaches

* Difficulty concentrating

* Increased heart rate

* Increased blood pressure

* Dehydration

*Increased anxiety levels

Most websites say teens can drink coffee, but they should definitely limit how much they have in order to stay healthy. The TeensHealth website recommends that teenagers limit their coffee intake so they do not consume more than one cup of brewed coffee per day. Drinking more than that amount puts them at risk of caffeine addiction.

Sources:

  • http://www.childmags.com.au/child/health/6172-should-teenagers-drink-coffee
  • kidshealth.org

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