Caffeine is a drug that is naturally produced and derived from the leaves and seeds of many plants. It can also be produced artificially and is added to many foods and drinks to make them addictive. Caffeine is categorized as a drug because it stimulates the central nervous system of the body—like other drugs do. This causes a temporary boost in alertness and energy, and many experience a short-term boost in their mood.
Caffeine is found in coffee, teas (both hot and iced), pain relievers and other medicines as well as many soft drinks (Coke, Diet-Coke, Mountain Due, Sunkist Orange Soda, etc.) By itself, caffeine has an intense bitter taste. However, it is usually paired with lots of sugar and artificial additives to make it taste better or camouflage its taste altogether.
Teen caffeine consumption usually takes place with soda and energy drinks, although coffee with lots of sugar is popular as well. Caffeine does not remain stored in the body, but will usually have an effect on you for 6 or more hours.
Another characteristic of caffeine is that it is a diuretic. This simply means that it makes you have to go to the bathroom a lot. This excessive urination causes the body to lose hydration quickly (since usually you are not replenishing fluids as rapidly as you are losing them) which is potentially dangerous for active teens and can cause headaches, dizzy spells, feeling faint, etc. Further, because caffeine blocks calcium intake of the bones, this can lead to later bone-related problems and may even prevent growth.
Harm From Caffeine Use
Everyone’s body is different, and so the various levels of caffeine which may harm your teen’s health will vary from person to person. On average, the smaller the body, the less caffeine is required to produce an effect. The consumption of caffeine on a regular basis forms a dependency. The body develops a decreased sensitivity to a certain level of caffeine, thus requiring more to produce the same effect. This leads to further dehydration and can also cause anxiety, dizziness, headaches and “the jitters.”
Since caffeine is a stimulant, it will interfere with normal sleep patterns in all users—for teens, this is a big deal. Sleep is required for growth, proper mental function and bone development.
Many people feel that caffeine increases their mental alertness. Higher doses of caffeine can cause anxiety, dizziness, headaches, and the jitters. Caffeine can also interfere with normal sleep.
Most people consider that around 200mg is ok. However, consuming even just 100mg of caffeine per day (from any source—over the counter medicine, beverage, energy drink, chocolate, etc.) can lead to a dependency. This means that the body becomes unable to function without it and produces withdrawal symptoms, just like other drugs—this is why many who don’t have their coffee in the morning (or other source of caffeine) develop headaches and irritability and other such adverse symptoms. Making a habit out of drinking a Monster Energy Drink (which contains 260mg of caffeine) on a daily basis can quickly produce a physical caffeine addiction and withdrawal symptoms.
The Answer According To Narconon Rehab Centers
In answer to the question, is caffeine safe for my teen? Based on the above information it is, in moderation. However, the body of a young adult is working hard to develop and reach its maximum growth potential. Because of this, most health experts agree that caffeine consumption amongst teens should be limited to a very small amount.
The abuse of caffeine should be watched always as should the use or abuse of any other dangerous or addictive substances.
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