Coffee consumption a growing epidemic among teens

Senior Terrence Murrell prefers drinking coffee a few times a week.

Senior Terrence Murrell prefers drinking coffee a few times a week.

Brittany Welsch, Staff Writer

As caffeine becomes the “brain-fuel” of our culture, teenagers are now commonly found with a cup of coffee in their hands.

Nearly 75 percent of American children and teenagers consume caffeine on a daily basis; however, less of the caffeine intake is coming from soda and more from coffee.

What most Millenials do not realize is that caffeine containing beverages, like coffee, are reported to be connected with reduced bone mass and an increased fracture risk in people. It has also been found that the consumption of caffeine lowers the heart rate of young adults after puberty by three to eight beats per minute.

Many Becton students, unknowing of such side effects, are commonly found walking around before school begins with either a Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts cup in their hands so they could make it through their morning classes.

Fourteen year old freshman Jessica Colman said, “I usually drink coffee every morning before going to school and almost every night after basketball practice. It helps me stay up to get my homework finished.”

Senior John Zierold, 17, mentioned, “I drink coffee up to 4 times a week at all different times throughout the day.”

Some students do not necessarily like the way coffee tastes, yet they’ll still drink it to give them the energy boost they sometimes need. One example of this is Junior Dekyi Tenzin who drinks coffee around once a week yet dislikes the flavor.

Dr. John Higgins, a cardiologist from the University of Texas Health Science Center, recommends that teenagers not have more than 100 milligrams of caffeine in a day. That is the amount in a normal size cup of coffee, yet teenagers could be found consuming more than a single cup a day taking in more than the recommended amount.

Junior Cordell Greer, 17, said, “Sometimes I even drink coffee twice a day. Between school, play practice, and watching my little sister for my parents, I could really use the energy. It’s not an everyday thing, but it does help.”

Although it does not eliminate caffeine completely, replacing at least one of the daily cups of coffee with a cup of decaffeinated coffee could help. It tastes just as good, but has 97 percent of caffeine removed, which helps keep toward the 100 milligram recommended amount.