By Brandon Laveau
“Caffeine.” The word brings familiar feelings of energy, happiness, and vitality. Jam-packed into energy drinks, caffeine is everywhere. So it comes down to the burning question: will consuming these potent doses of productivity harm my health?
Due to its benefits and desirable effects, caffeine has become the second most widely used recreational drug in the world.
“Daily? I drink a slew of energy drinks and coffee, topped off with Mountain Dew throughout the day,” senior Jared Posedenti said.
And he isn’t alone. A study has shown that 41% of teens 12-17 use caffeine daily. The problem lies not in caffeine use, but abuse. Caffeine is a drug of tolerance, meaning the more you consume regularly the lesser the effects.
It is agreed upon by the medical community that 200-300 mg is the limit most adults should consume daily, which is in stark contrast to the many teenagers who consume energy drinks with 400mg of caffeine a piece.
According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, overconsumption of caffeine can lead to nausea, seizures, cardiac arrest, and in extreme cases, death.
A rampant problem with caffeine is addiction. Although one may never see a caffeine addict on A&E’s intervention, they do exist, and it is a problem. Caffeine addiction is not life-ruining, which is often why it goes unspoken of. Withdrawal from caffeine can occur within 24-48 hours and is characterized by sharp, painful headaches. Since caffeine is a legal drug available to anyone of any age, it is the consumer’s job to decide on whether to consume this drug responsibly, with understanding, or to put their life at risk by walking the boundary between a quick pick me up and an even faster put you down.
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