The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

Addressing The Caffeine Craze And How To Overcome Caffeine Addiction

Students and teachers at Woodbridge High continue to consume high amounts of caffeine which can have many detrimental health effects
An illustration that depicts the various forms of drinks that have caffeine in them. This image demonstrates the idea that caffeine is present in many forms of drinks, meaning that a person may not even know they are consuming caffeine without properly checking the nutritional info. When trying to avoid these heavily caffeinated drinks, people often face issues of not having easy sources of energy whenever they need it. This can be battled with herbal teas, which consist of chamomile, a herb that relaxes the nerves. Even if taste were to be a problem from avoiding these caffeinated drinks, people have found success in switching to decaf alternatives.

At Woodbridge High, students and faculty consume caffeine every morning or throughout their day from sources like coffee shops or energy drinks because it can help people feel more alert, focused, and energetic.

Caffeine is the most popular stimulant worldwide. According to a 2014 PubMed study, the average daily caffeine intake in the U.S. is 165 milligrams for all ages. The National Poll on Children’s Health based in the University of Michigan states that nearly one-quarter of parents say their teen consumes caffeine most or all days of the week.

The main reason for this massive consumption is because of caffeine’s aid in combating fatigue and drowsiness, replacing those feelings for alertness and energy. Therefore, people develop caffeine dependencies to function and become productive throughout their day. However, caffeine in high doses or repetitive use has negative effects on health.

For instance, according to WebMD, “Caffeine is possibly unsafe when used for a long time or in doses over 400 mg daily. Caffeine can cause insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, nausea, increased heart rate, and other side effects.”

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Additionally, “…it can affect someone’s sleep and sleep is what determines your mood and if you don’t get enough sleep your more moody the next day creating a cycle of bad days,” Woodbridge High sophomore Roman Hoang stated.

Aside from health effects, constant consumption can lead to addiction and a caffeine dependency that leads to chemical changes in the brain which can cause cravings and withdrawal symptoms. When caffeine no longer becomes available, individuals with cravings can experience negative withdrawal symptoms and also lack cognitive function throughout their day, affecting their productivity and quality of life.

Although caffeine consumption is often looked down upon, we often forget to look at how controlled doses of caffeine can be beneficial. For students, caffeine has been proven to be beneficial when kept to a good amount.

According to The British Journal of Child Health, “…students consume caffeine to increase wakefulness, overcome fatigue, cope with stress, and overall improve their cognitive performance.”

The need for this becomes especially crucial during exam season. For students who also have to juggle with athletics, caffeine is a resource they can turn to to keep up during practices and games and also enhance performance. The British Journal of Child Health further stated, “66.4% of consumers in their study would use caffeine because it enhances workouts, 56.5% said that they exercise longer with caffeine, and 73.1% said it improves athletic performance.”

As for teachers, caffeine intake during specific times of the day can help them prevent fatigue or drowsiness they might experience at the start of the day or build up throughout the day.

“…the combination of me usually being more focused in the morning plus feeling a bit caffeinated helps me to be more productive,” Woodbridge High math teacher Ian Garrovillas, who consumes caffeine in the morning, stated.

Many people start to drink coffee for many different reasons, whether that is to improve their day-to-day performance or get rid of a daily mid-day exhortation and drowsiness. Regardless though, at a certain point coffee intake can do more harm than good especially if you tend to start relying on it too much.

According to the National Library of Medicine, “Withdrawal from caffeine causes mild to clinically significant distress and impairment of normal functioning.” This explains how completely cutting off caffeine can make individuals’ day-to-day lives more of a struggle because they are so used to relying on caffeine to fuel them through the day. Even though caffeine can seem like an addiction, there are also solutions to this issue.

“I think some healthier alternatives to caffeine are doing a hobby you enjoy to keep yourself occupied throughout the day. if you still need that caffeine, tea is a healthy alternative because it has more health benefits than coffee, and still contains that needed caffeine,” student Aoi Namba stated.

Many doctors have advised that you cut back on your intake of caffeine gradually and slowly so you do not feel the withdrawal symptoms on yourself as hard as you would if you suddenly stopped the intake all at once.

There are also alternatives to caffeine, Sutter talks about how you can look into different options that can replace your caffeine intake. “A few examples of healthy herbal teas include chamomile, which relaxes the nerves; peppermint, which helps with intestinal problems.” Drinking different types of teas can make you realize that you do not need caffeine as your only energy source and that there are better and healthier ways to fuel your mind.

Caffeine addiction is not something anyone should have to put up with, putting your health at risk just to avoid tiredness. There are many other ways to help stop this addiction such as finding alternatives to caffeine like tea and better food. Another solution can be to have a good sleeping schedule so you do not feel as tired throughout the day.

We should promote better and healthier solutions such as distracting ourselves with hobbies we enjoy, healthier meal options
that give you energy throughout the day, and different types of teas that are an alternative to caffeine and healthier.

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