Caffeine Has Good, Bad Effects

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m useless in the morning before I have my coffee?”  Caffeine enhances performance, allowing people who consume it to be more alert, sharp and awake.

While many people consume caffeine regularly, not everybody likes the effects it has on the body.

Senior Grant Jurasek said, “I’ve never gotten into drinking coffee much, and I don’t really like soda.  Whenever I have caffeine, it just makes me jittery.”

Sophomore Jakob Blees, who regularly consumes caffeine, feels otherwise.

“I usually wake up and immediately make a cup of coffee.  On the way to school, I like to get a Red Bull, and then maybe another one or two later in the day.  My body is so used to it that if I don’t drink any caffeinated things, I feel like I’m dragging around all day,” said Blees.

Caffeine also comes with a medley of health risks and concerns, although according to, most adults can safely ingest 200-300 mG of the drug per day.  Teens, however, are more susceptible to dizziness, shakiness, dehydration, headaches and several additional symptoms.

“I like to just have a cup or two of tea some days,” said Aine Dolan, senior.  “It will wake me up, but in a much calmer way than if I were to drink coffee or an energy drink.  It makes me feel relaxed instead of fidgety.  Also, I don’t really notice if I don’t drink any tea.  The level of caffeine in it isn’t enough to give me headaches or any sort of withdrawal symptoms.”

Like Blees, Andrea Hernandez, sophomore, regularly drinks coffee and Red Bull energy drinks.

“I probably stop by a coffee shop to get a Red Bull three or four times a week.  I don’t know, I am not a morning person.  If I don’t buy one, I will probably fall asleep during first period,” said Hernandez.

On a related note, Anchorage is known for having more coffee stands per capita than anywhere else in the United States.  A quick search through the Yellow Pages showed 192 shops in town.

“I love going to BB’s to buy my Red Bulls and coffee.  They always have the nicest servers and make the tastiest drinks.  Almost all the girls I know would agree with me,” said Hernandez.

With so many coffee shops around Anchorage, are local teens being exposed to too much readily available caffeine?  Senior Devin Higbee thinks so.

“I drink coffee and tea here and there, but I like being able to function naturally instead of having to depend on a substance just to stay awake.  There are too many coffee shops, and I see new ones pop up all the time.  Every morning, I drive by Java the Hut and see people in cars winding around parking lots in line.  If that many people are buying coffee or other drinks like that, they are probably way too dependent on caffeine,” said Higbee.

Although somewhat controversial, caffeine is widely accepted in the public eye and will most likely continue to be unless more serious health concerns arise.