Risk and benefit of preferred morning drink

Morgan Koehler, Reporter

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  Walking down the halls of D.C. Everest Senior High, you may see a few students carrying around coffee, and an even greater number probably enjoy coffee at home. Coffee is the beverage of choice for many, including students. There are risks and benefits to coffee, but people need to know where the limit is.

  Among the benefits of coffee are the nutrients it contains. Many people, especially in the U.S., get more antioxidants from their coffee than fruits and vegetables combined, according to an article by Healthline.

  Many of the potential benefits of coffee require more studies to be done on them. All of these benefits depend on moderation of consumption, and adding milk, cream, or sugar quickly negates these potential benefits, as reported by Caffeine Informer.

  The risks of coffee are more well-known. Many of the risks are due to the consumption of the caffeine, not necessarily the coffee itself. It doesn’t help with prolonged sleep deprivation, so drinking a cup of coffee after two hours of sleep in two days will not help.

  Mr. Michael Plaza, health teacher at D.C. Everest Senior High, shared his thoughts about coffee.

  He has a policy of not allowing any foods that are not healthy into his room, and coffee is not allowed.

  “The reason I don’t allow kids to drink coffee in my room is because I don’t want them to start bad habits,” he said.

  A bad habit he mentioned was addiction. About 90 percent of Americans consume caffeine in some form or another, and many have caffeine addiction. The physical and psychological withdrawal of caffeine can be very unpleasant.

  “I realize there are some benefits to coffee, however, I think kids should try a more natural way to keep themselves awake. Such as, nutrition, proper sleep, and proper, hydrating fluids.”

  Mr. Plaza believes that young, growing bodies should be regulated with natural substances and not any artificial components. He also says that he doesn’t think that teenagers should be drinking coffee due to the stimulants in it, and that adults should not drink coffee past lunch.

  “Coffee is pleasurable, I drink coffee,” Mr. Plaza said. “It does have that stimulant quality, which picks you up, but it also makes you crash.”

 Mr. Plaza never saw their peers drinking coffee while he was in high school. It was considered a “grown-up” drink.

  The USDA guidelines replaced sugary and junk foods with healthier alternatives to be sold in schools. On the list of prohibited foods and beverages was soda for the caffeine and sugar. Yet coffee, another beverage with caffeine and sugar, depending on what kind of coffee you drink, is being sold in the library at D.C. Everest Senior High.

  Mr. Craig Braunel, librarian at D.C. Everest Senior High, said, “We sell regular coffee, and we sell cappuccinos. The coffee is sugar-free, and the cream is sugar-free. High school students do not have a caffeine restriction. The junior high considered it, but chose not to.”

  Many students at D.C. Everest Senior High drink coffee on a regular basis. Many of them bring their own cups from Starbucks or other nearby coffee shops, but some buy some from the library as well.

  Braunel reported that about ten students per day buy coffee from the library, and some students can be seen drinking it in class, usually only in the mornings.

  Grace Peterson, a sophomore at D.C. Everest High, drinks about 20 ounces of coffee every day.

  “I drink it mostly because I think it tastes really good, and occasionally for the purpose of the caffeine when I’m really tired,” Peterson said. She says drinking coffee puts her in a better mood and she thinks it comes from the extra energy and the pleasurable taste. “I always drink a form of caffeinated iced coffee—usually with caramel creamer in it,” she said.

  Peterson has noticed that a lot of kids at school drink coffee, but she says not many of her friends drink it regularly. Peterson said, “Although, we do go to places like Starbucks to hang out and get coffee several times a month.”

  She has noticed pros and cons of drinking coffee as well. For her, the pros are the taste, the extra energy, and the social aspect of getting together with friends. The cons are the sugar from the creamer and that it can be addicting, a fact she herself has experienced.

  “I’ve noticed that I sometimes get headaches when I don’t drink it, which is not a good thing to already have this young,” Peterson said.

  Overall, the dangers of drinking coffee largely depends on moderation of consumption. According to Mr. Plaza, Peterson, and Caffeine Informer, teens should be restricting how much coffee they drink in a day, just like adults need to. Caffeine Informer recommended that teens limit their coffee consumption to two cups or less per day. The less caffeine one consumes, especially early in someone’s life, the better.

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Risk and benefit of preferred morning drink