A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Caffeine Crazy

Late nights from work and homework, plus early mornings for school add up to lost sleep; this means exhaustion and loss of focus. What’s the easiest solution? Caffeine. It can be found in many foods and drinks including coffee, tea, pop, chocolate and energy drinks.

Senior Lizzy Miller admits to consuming many of these in a day, especially coffee. “I never drank coffee until I started high school,” said Miller. Now she drinks 4-5 cups a day; at 95 mg of caffeine each cup, her daily intake is between 380 and 475 mg, more than twice the recommended daily consumption of 200 mg for teenagers.

Like a lot of other people Miller has experienced a loss of sensitivity towards caffeine and its effects; this means that she needs to consume more now than she did when she was a freshman to achieve the same effect. While this easy solution and quick boost of energy is so handy, it also has its setbacks. Some side effects include dizziness, headaches, anxiety and dehydration, according to kidshealth.org. Miller says, “I get dizzy all the time, and if I have headaches, a cup of coffee

usually fixes it.”  If you become dependant on caffeine, you can experience withdrawal symptoms, such as migraines and fatigue.

In order to prevent negative effects, you should consume caffeinated drinks and foods carefully, staying below or around the suggested limit, and drink water so your body does not become dehydrated. If your mornings seem to be the worst part of the day, try going to bed an hour early. The extra sixty minutes makes a difference.