Caffeine: The Epidemic

by Andrew Read

(Image from PrincetonInnovation.org)

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that a morning without a cup of coffee sounds like a terrible idea, and this holds true for adults and teenagers alike. The question becomes, is that a good thing?

More and more often you see students walking the halls holding all too familiar cups from Dunkin Donuts or HoneyDew. If you listen closely at the beginning of a semester, it’s safe to assume that you’ll hear at least one conversation about which teachers allow coffee in their rooms.

When asked what he thought about coffee, senior Joey Baltadonis said, “I love coffee. even if I’m running late to school I have to seriously debate not stopping to get some.”

But is that necessarily a bad thing? After all, it’s a widely known fact that caffeine increases your alertness, which is undoubtedly beneficial, especially in a school setting.

Like most things, coffee is best in moderation. When asked to weigh in on the subject, senior John Thompson replied, “I rarely drink coffee. I can’t imagine having it every day, but I don’t judge the people who do.”

After a while, the body will build up a tolerance to caffeine, requiring more and more to achieve the same effect. And if you want to stop drinking coffee, you had better be prepared to go through withdrawal. Caffeine withdrawal can include symptoms from irritability to splitting headaches.

That’s not to say that there are no good effects, however. According to medicinenet.com, consumption of coffee and tea has actually been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease in the elderly. So if you’re happy to keep paying for it every day, by all means keep drinking it.

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