Potentially Negative Affects of your Caffeine Fix

The bodies of modern teens are constantly being polluted with chemicals, additives, and machine made food and drinks. With caffeine consumption on the rise it brings many risks to the table for adolescents. According to the European Food Safety Authority approximately 68% of teens  (10-18 years)  were consumers of “energy” drinks. Since teens are the main consumers for the growing energy drink population it causes a sense of concern for the health of today’s teenagers across the globe.

Energy drinks and caffeine have become a huge part in the daily lives of many. Even the smallest amount of caffeine levels can have a negative effect on the body. In June 2014, a study was published in the Journal of Pediatrics that suggested that

“Even low doses of caffeine — equivalent to what you’d find in a half to a full can of soda or a cup of coffee — had an effect on kids’ blood pressure and heart rates.”

 And perhaps most surprising was finding that low doses of caffeine given to the 49 children aged 15-17 affected boys heart and blood pressure more negatively than girls, says Linda Carroll, Today’s Health magazine.

Senior, Alex Spinney experienced increased heart rate after consuming energy drinks. She said, “they made me jittery, my heart raced, and I spoke a lot faster.” Many things can determine that affects caffeine has on your body. Everyone’s body has a different reaction to this stimulant. Weight, gender, and age all being a factor that could determine the way your body handles the stimulant and the side effects that come along with it.

The type of caffeine drink being consumed by teenagers is constantly changing. The Pediatrics journal wrote that “teen soda consumption has declined, but researchers fear kids are replacing soda with coffee and energy drinks.” The report suggests that sugar filled energy drinks could negatively affect growth because they aren’t filled with the proper nutrients that a teenager needs for development. The energy drinks tend to be polluted with harmful chemicals and sugary syrups that are appetizing to the teenage palate, but have no good effects on the developing body. According to Caffeine Informer, there were 1,635 cases of energy drink overdose in 2012.

Spinney almost encountered what would be known as an energy drink overdose due to the amount of caffeine she consumed in a short period of time. She said “I drank up to 9 at a time probably within a 2 hour period.” She got in the habit of using them to stay awake to finish studying. Many teens don’t see anything wrong with their consumption of these energy drinks until it is too late for them and damage is already done on their body. Spinney decided to quit drinking so many energy drinks because she found that “it was doing more damage to my thyroid and making it so I was going to be on medicine for the rest of my life.”

Major businesses are partnering up energy drink companies and are becoming suppliers of these energy drinks. As of August 14, 2014 The Coca-Cola Company and Monster Beverage Corporation combined in a “long-term strategic partnership that is expected to accelerate growth for both companies in the fast-growing, global energy drink category,” said The Coca-Cola Company representatives. Since world wide known businesses are partnering up with energy drink companies it broadens the horizon for energy drink producers, and only creates more consumers for the energy drinks.

Today’s teenagers and the future teenagers will be dealing with the harmful effects of energy drinks and the insane amount of caffeine levels until something is done about it. Dennis Herrera, the city of San Francisco’s attorney states, “I predict this is just the beginning of a long legal war against the multibillion-dollar energy drink industry, which includes Monster, Red Bull and 5-Hour Energy Shots.”  Researchers and the people who take a pride in forming a healthier lifestyle for teens across the globe won’t stop their fight to improve the health of teens.

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