The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

What You Need to Know About Caffeine

April 13, 2023

Coffee, energy drinks, and soda are all incredibly popular drinks today, so much so that it seems like few teens don’t drink them, at least some of the time. But what do all these drinks have in common? They all contain caffeine, a nervous system stimulant that can have both positive and negative side effects.

On the positive side, caffeine can make you feel more awake and alert, and for some people, increase your ability to concentrate. It can make you feel happier and as if you have a higher energy level.

According to Healthline, it may even help you process food better and help you lose weight, noting that “because of its ability to stimulate the central nervous system, caffeine may increase metabolism by up to 11% and fat burning by up to 13%.”

Drinking caffeinated drinks can give you a nice energy and mood boost, with relatively few side effects. Consuming caffeine does have its disadvantages, however, particularly if you have pre-existing health conditions. Caffeine can cause an increase in anxiety for those who have a disposition to anxiety, as make mood disorders, like bipolar, worse. Caffeine can cause irregular heartbeats in some people, interact with some drugs, and even negatively affect how diabetics process sugar.

According to, another drawback of caffeine is that your body can develop a dependency to it. Caffeine does not stimulate the same parts of the brain as addictive drugs, but it does create an influx of dopamine, although not so much as to overload the system and create an imbalance after the effects wear off. Having said that, many regular caffeine users report that they get headaches when they have not had their regular caffeine fix.

WebMD notes that 400 mg of caffeine in a day can induce sleepnesses, increase anxiety or restlessness, and even result in nausea, heart rate increases, and headaches. The average cup of coffee is 95 miligrams of caffeine, but most coffee drinks teens drink on a regular basis may have far more. For example, a large 20 oz. cup of Dunkin Donuts iced coffee has 260 mg in it. So if you drink two of those in a day, you will be more likely to experience negative effects of caffeine than someone who only drinks one 8 oz. cup of coffee.

Be aware that the later in the day that you drink caffeine, the more likely it is to disrupt your sleep cycle.

Generally, the consensus on drinking caffeinated beverages is that you should try to limit them, not only because too much caffeine is bad fro you, but also because such drinks often have significant amounts of sugar in them. Like any drug or stimulant, it is easy to use too much.

As the Mayo Clinic notes, “If you’re like most adults, caffeine is a part of your daily routine. Usually, it won’t pose a health problem. But be mindful of caffeine’s possible side effects and be ready to cut back if necessary.”

You can learn more about caffeine, as well as its pros and cons, at these links:

What Is Caffeine, and Is It Good or Bad for Health?
CAFFEINE: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews
Caffeine Addiction And Abuse – Addiction Center

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About the Contributor
Photo of Beck Martin
Beck Martin, Assistant Editor

Beck is a junior. Her main hobby is digital art but she also enjoys video editing and animating. She has a lizard named Cas after Castiel from Supernatural....

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