‘Give me energy’

By Colby Evans
April 27, 2006

Matt Schill

Between Diet Pepsis and low-fat, double shot, caramel mocha cappuccinos, Jazzman’s customers and national consumers in general are feeling the need for a bigger boost. The caffeine craze has forced a dependency on grande cups of coffee each morning, and this fad is hardly a recent trend.

“I drink coffee three times a day. I love WaWa’s hazelnut [flavor]. It doesn’t affect me that much, but I can’t drink it right before bed,” Lauren Kievit, a sophomore marketing major and graphic arts minor, said.

Chronic caffeine intake has caused problems in the nervous systems of youth, according to Dr. Kathie Nunley, author of “The Caffeine Craze of Youth.” Caffeine mimics a neural chemical that humans produce naturally. However, overuse of caffeine makes the body stop its production, since the body is receiving it artificially.

Despite its popularity among most, some students also believe that caffeine is doing more harm than good. Kristine Jennings, a junior elementary and special education major, said, “I can’t drink carbonated drinks because my body isn’t used to it anymore.” Jennings has not consumed caffeine in eight years. “I have never been much of a coffee drinker. Some people get rid of headaches with caffeine. I avoid caffeine to stay away from headaches.”

Likewise, Carli Pio, a senior English and communication major, said, “I drink three cups of tea a day, but I can’t drink coffee. It gives me migraines.”

The headache problem associated with caffeine is only one reason why some steer clear of coffee and sodas. The opposite can happen to some caffeine drinkers, causing a feeling of withdrawal. “I drink at least three cups of coffee a day, and I feel like a normal person should, because if I don’t have the caffeine, I usually get a headache and [feel] really drowsy,” Jessica Hagerty, a freshman English and communication major, said.

Still, the consumption of soft drinks among younger populations has increased in the last decade and a half, according to Nunley.

It is that feeling of withdrawal that was studied at the University of Minnesota. In a recent study, 30 children, ages eight to 12, were given the equivalent of the amount of caffeine in about three soft drinks every day for 13 days. Twenty-four hours after discontinuing the caffeine, deterioration was found in the children’s performance on a computerized test.

“I drink soda a couple times a week,” Scotty Bordignon, an exercise science and health promotion major, said. “I tried those caffeine energy drinks during a very long night, and I got more tired because I spent the energy getting them.” When asked if caffeine had any affect on him, Bordignon said, “Not at all.”

Caffeine has the power to increase alertness and improve performance, as well as cause anxiety, nervousness and sleeplessness. It has no toxic effects, but after repeated use, caffeine can cause withdrawal symptoms. In fact, in adults repeated use of as little as 100 milligrams of caffeine, like the amount in a 6-ounce cup of coffee, can produce dependence, according to the Washington Post. A 12-ounce can of soda has about 45 milligrams of caffeine; those frothy milky drinks with a shot of espresso have about 90 milligrams.

Teenagers believe it is the social aspect of sodas and coffee drinks that are alluring, not the caffeine. However, college students already know that all-nighters need something to facilitate a long night of coffee-induced studying.

Loquitur welcomes your comments on this story. Please send your comments to: Loquitur@yahoogroups.com. The editors will review your points each week and make corrections if warranted.

Posted to the web by Matt Schill

Colby Evans

Meet the author behind the article, Colby Evans. Colby, a junior at Cabrini University, is 20 years old and a communications major with a minor in psychology. She enjoys writing and collaborating and connecting with her peers, teachers, and outside sources. Colby is a hardworking individual with strong communication skills and leadership qualities. The Cabrini COM department has facilitated Colby in broadening her knowledge and skills and applying them outside the classroom. She is enthusiastic about developing and producing digital and social media content across all platforms. Colby intends to return to school after college to earn her master's degree while pursuing a career in digital media marketing.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap