Writer: Catherine S.
Visual: Jasmine R.
Editor: James Y.
As the first quarter comes to an end, coursework and extracurriculars have begun to accumulate for students and faculty members alike. In order to maximize their time devoted for productivity, many Bearcats have turned to reducing their sleep hours or even pulling all nighters. Consequently, the next day, it becomes more difficult to focus in class with heavy eyes trying to fall asleep. Sleep deprivation is becoming an epidemic in our generation. According to the National Sleep Foundation, although 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night is recommended, only 15% reported to sleep 8 1⁄2 hours of sleep on weekdays. Sleep deprivation raises many dire issues toward teenagers’ emotional and physical wellbeing, with a common concern being rising student dependency on caffeine.
Caffeine dependence refers to high reliance on caffeine, with common symptoms of withdrawal such as fatigue, anxiety, and lack of concentration. According to Mayo Clinic, the maximum daily caffeine intake for adolescents age 12 to 18 is 100 mg – equivalent to approximately one cup of coffee, one or two cups of tea, or two to three cans of soda. There are numerous sources of caffeine, which this article will examine today.
Coffee is one of the most popular caffeinated beverages in teens. A cup of ‘Americano’ typically contains 77 mg of caffeine. In worry of such content, many may turn to decaf coffee to reduce their caffeine intake. However, contrary to the popular belief that decaffeinated coffee has zero caffeine, experts warn that decaffeinated coffee still contains some extent of caffeine. Although the decaffeination process removes approximately 97% of caffeine, all decaf coffee drinks still contain 7 mg of caffeine per cup.
According to a study conducted by the Hong Kong government on Taiwanese milk tea, it contains the highest caffeine content for tea-based drink. Surprisingly, one serving of boba milk tea contained an average of 130 mg of caffeine! While some students may believe that they are not consuming caffeine by not drinking coffee, drinking milk tea will make them consume more caffeine than coffee.
Being in a hot weather, many of us may choose to enjoy a cold drink of soda to relieve the heat. However, soda contains more than the cold sparkle. 1 can of cola contains approximately 29.4 mg of caffeine, which is almost 30% of the recommended daily caffeine intake for teenagers. Next time when choosing to drink soft drinks, make sure to consider its caffeine content!
Extreme consumption of caffeine is found to cause side effects of anxiety, insomnia, rapid heartbeat, digestive problems, and much more. Although an optimal consumption of caffeine can help energize the day and aid in better productivity, it is important to maintain a healthy balance. If you are wondering about your daily caffeine consumption, you can check the caffeine content of a food or drink by searching on https://www.caffeineinformer.com/.
- Goodson, Amy. “How Much Caffeine Is in Decaf Coffee?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 15 Sept. 2018, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/caffeine-in-decaf.
- Joy, Kevin. “Parents, Perk Up to the Dangers of Caffeine for Teens.” Caffeine and Teens: How Much Caffeine Can A Teenager Have?, Michigan Medicine, 31 May 2017, https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/childrens-health/parents-perk-up-to-dangers-of-caffeine-for-teens.
- Richter, Ruthann. “Among Teens, Sleep Deprivation an Epidemic.” News Center, Stanford Medicine, https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2015/10/among-teens-sleep-deprivation-an-epidemic.html.
- “Sleep for Teenagers.” National Sleep Foundation, National Sleep Foundation, https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/teens-and-sleep.
- Spritzler, Franziska. “9 Side Effects of Too Much Caffeine.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 14 Aug. 2017, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/caffeine-side-effects#section3.
- Caffeine Informer. “Taiwanese Milk Tea.” Caffeine Informer, https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-content/taiwanese-milk-tea.
- “Teenagers and Sleep: How Much Sleep Is Enough?” Johns Hopkins Medicine, John Hopkins Medicine School, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/teenagers-and-sleep-how-much-sleep-is-enough.