Drink with Caution, Too Much Caffeine Poses Health Threats

Caffeine seems to be a staple in the daily life of most college students. Whether students manage to drag on through the rest of their busy day with some help from coffee, energy drinks, or soda, they find themselves drinking at least one of these a day.

But how often should kids drink caffeinated drinks?

According to Caffeineinformer.com, caffeine can interfere with children’s sleep, which can possibly hinder their brain development . However consuming caffeine for children 12 and under isn’t recommended, an occasional soda isn’t a threat to their health as long as they keep their caffeine intake to around 45 mg per day.

In South Carolina, a 16-year old teen died of heart failure due to an overdose of caffeinated beverages. The teen had drank a  diet Mountain Dew which he then followed with a coffee, and finished off with an energy drink.

The older one gets the more caffeine they can consume. Caffeine intake tolerance varies for everyone since it has to do with how much one weighs and how old they are.

For children ages 12 and up, they find it more common to have caffeine as part of their daily routine. It’s not uncommon to find a high schooler strolling late into class with a large Starbucks cup in their grasp, or for a middle schooler to have a large can of Monster energy drink to go with their lunch.

“When I was eight I used to drink three cans of Coca Cola or half a case worth of Snapple,” said Jessica Beavers, a barista at Pop’s Espresso Bar. “I just really enjoyed sugar.”

One 12 fl.oz can of Coca Cola has 34 mg of caffeine. A 16 fl.oz bottle of Snapple contains 37 mg. While both beverages don’t have a very high caffeine count, it gets more worrying when more than one can or bottle is consumed.

And a 16 fl.oz can of Monster contains 160 mg of caffeine, which is 0.60 mg more than the recommended for developing teens. It is recommended for developing teens to have no more than 100 mg of caffeine a day due to sleep and their brain development.

“When I was in high school, I used to go to the bodega and buy like six cans of Monster.” said Mynor Martinez, a former WCC student. “My friend and I would chug a can  and stay up all night. We enjoyed the rush it gave us though we knew it was pretty stupid to drink so much of it so quickly, but we did it anyway because it was fun.”

A South Carolinian representative is pushing for regulation of caffeine drinks, hoping to treat them more like alcoholic products.

“I feel like putting a regulation on caffeinated beverages would be more of a hassle than what it’s worth,” said Beavers. “Kids will manage to figure out a way to acquire their drinks somehow.”

“I’m less likely to chug a bunch of Monster now, but if I needed to get an extra boost to keep up with school then I’d probably grab a few cans of Monster or a few shots of espresso,” said Martinez. “Everyone needs as much energy as they can get for finals week.”

For those of you that are looking to chug a few cups of coffee or a few energy drinks to prepare for finals week, do so with caution. For more information on how to regulate your caffeine intake, visit Caffeineinformer.com.

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