How Much Coffee Is Too Much For A Teenager?
Coffee is one of the beverages that contains caffeine. Caffeine is a drug, widely used and legally acceptable psychoactive substance. Just like any other common beverages, coffee has caffeine that can be drank by anyone of any age and one of these are the teenagers.
How much coffee is too much for a teenager? Should we be worried on how does caffeine intake affect teenagers’ minds and bodies?
Scientifically, caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant to increase alertness and make feel less worn-out. It has been statistically found that teenagers are the fastest-growing population of caffeine consumers. Studies revealed that 82.2% of teenagers drink beverages with caffeine regularly and at least 96% drink occasionally.
Caffeine consumption among teenagers primarily affects their concentration and ability to sleep, slowing their brain’s maturing process. According to experts, due to their smaller body weight, caffeine has more than twice the impact on children than it does on adults. An adolescent brain is more vulnerable to stress and addiction due to their wired developing brain. During adolescence, when the brain has the most neural connections, caffeine may make the network less efficient. So, children and young adolescents are more susceptible to caffeine symptoms like insomnia and anxiety.
It has been advised that children under the age of 12 should avoid caffeine but it’s not just coffee that contains caffeine there are many foods that contain such like chocolates and tea. These are the most concentrated and dangerous forms of caffeinated products in the lives of children.
But how much coffee is too much for a teenager? Is there a certain amount right for their age?
The recommended caffeine intake a day for children older than 12 is 85-100 mg. According to Mayo Clinic, a daily consumption of 400 mg of caffeine is considered safe for healthy adults. It is approximately four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two shots of caffeinated energy drink. If it exceeds to 400 mg it will already be considered as heavy caffeine consumption. With too much of caffeine consumption may lead to some side effects such as nervousness, jitteriness, sleep problems, increased heart rate and even death. For children or adolescents, moderate doses of 100-400 can still feel those abovementioned side effects. It has been reported that quite a number of adolescents are consuming 60-800 mg of caffeine per day. Thus, expert suggested a maximum of 100 mg of caffeine a day for adolescents and none for younger ones.
How Much Coffee Is Too Much For A Teenager?
There was a study conducted to find out the caffeine consumption of young people and it was found that 44.6% drank caffeinated drinks one to six times per week, 11.4% every day and 4.8% don’t drink caffeinated beverages. It has been noted that their main reasons of drinking caffeinated beverages was to feel more alert for them to study and concentrate better.
On the other hand, teenagers preferred to drink caffeinated beverages due to easy accessibility. Like a student can directly purchase it to nearby store from their school. And also most of them consumed because it is commonly present in soft drinks which they mostly drink.
The practice of drinking coffee could also be an influence form parents where they commonly drink coffee very morning and even offer it to their children as it happens to be safe and suits for them. Also, media and advertising is effective in encouraging more consumption. Sometimes they consumed too much caffeine and they’re not conscious about it.
Though there was a high awareness of the overall negative health effects of caffeine but still unsure of the caffeine content of what they’re drinking. With this, researchers concluded that further information dissemination to young people to make better decision about their caffeine intake. They even suggested and promoted alternative ways to boost energy like healthy diet and getting enough sleep.
Again, caffeine is an addicting substance, like the more you drink the more you need and want to have it. When you don’t have it you could get a headache or jittery. You can also feel symptoms of withdrawal same as when you are on drugs but symptoms vary for each drinkers. Just like a drug addict they keep going for more drugs because without it they feel terrible and the only solution is to take more of it.
It’s the same with caffeine. It is a stimulant that will keep your brain and body awake. A morning cup of coffee won’t bother your sleep at night but an afternoon consumption could. It can take you longer to fall asleep and even interrupts your good night’s sleep and teens need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. If a teen is not getting the right amount of sleep, there’s a tendency that her grades will be affected and even mood swings.
If the amount of caffeine from coffee exceeds the upper limits, coffee can have negative health effects on your health. It is also observed that caffeine intake may disturb the child’s ability to absorb calcium.
Drinking coffee is a daily routine for so many so it’s not a surprise that teenagers are starting to take part in drinking coffee as well.
Nutritionists advised that adolescents under 14 should avoid caffeine as much possible and teenagers between 14 and 17 years old should limit their intake to 100 mg or less a day. This is how much coffee is too much for a teenager.