Should You Let Your Teenager Drink Caffeine?

Should You Let Your Teenager Drink Caffeine?

June 25, 2018

Caffeine consumption is at an all-time high and the consumption among teenagers continues to rise. According to one research publication, the amount of caffeine children and teenagers consume has increased 70% in the last thirty years. Thus, it can be difficult to keep your teenagers away from caffeine. Further, the numerous foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as chocolate, coffee, soda, and energy drinks, make it especially hard. So, should you let your teens consume caffeine? To determine this, see below for the list of beneficial and harmful effects caffeine may have on your teenagers.

 


Beneficial Effects:

 

  • Improves mental alertness and focus
    • Caffeine, in moderation, can stimulate your teenagers’ brain just enough to be optimally awake and alert.

 

  • Improves social well-being
    • Drinking coffee is widely a social activity. It often serves as a way for friends, co-workers, and business people to catch up, socialize, and communicate about professional matters.

 

  • Improves memory
    • Caffeine, in moderation, can enhance the functioning of your teenagers’ memory.

 

  • Contains antioxidants
    • Antioxidants are thought to decrease cancer and other health diseases.

 

Harmful Effects:

 

  • Decreases quality and quantity of sleep
    • Caffeine is a stimulant; thus, it increases alertness and essentially helps to wake you up. Consuming caffeine can interfere with the quantity and quality of sleep your teenager gets, especially when it is too close to bedtime.

 

  • Can lead to addiction
    • Caffeine is an addictive drug, and too much of it on a regular basis can lead to an addiction. Worse, the withdrawal symptoms, which include headaches, nausea, and irritability, can last for up to ten days.

 

  • Can lead to heart palpitations, hyperactivity, anxiety, and other health problems
    • Caffeine induces a physiological response in the body by increasing stress hormones, which affects your teenagers’ central nervous system.


As you can see, caffeine has a wide range of both beneficial and harmful effects. It is, however, important to note that even the benefits of consuming caffeine only come with it in moderation. So, should you let your teenagers drink caffeine? The answer is only in moderation. Although caffeine can have benefits for a teenagers’ social well-being, physical health, and mental performance and alertness, too much of it can lead to addiction, low sleep quality, and health issues.

 

 

 

 

References

 

Nefer, Barb. The Benefits of Coffee for Teenagers. Livestrong. October 2017. https://www.livestrong.com/article/529293-can-energy-drinks-cause-kidney-stones/

 

Sandoval, Melissa. What’s the Right Age: Drinking Coffee. How Stuff Works. June 2010. https://lifestyle.howstuffworks.com/family/parenting/tweens-teens/right-age-drinking-coffee.htm

  

Should Teenagers Drink Coffee? Child Mags. February 2009. http://www.childmags.com.au/should-teenagers-drink-coffee/

 

Whiteson, Jonathan. Generation C: Is Caffeine the Next Kids’ Health Crisis? Health. January 2013. http://www.health.com/nutrition/generation-c-is-caffeine-the-next-kids-health-crisis