Is the energy rush worth it?


Manny Precht, Health Editor

The school day is long and many students stay up late consistently due to their many obligations or plain procrastination. Something has to keep drowsy students awake throughout the 7-hour day. A substance that many students turn to for energy is caffeine.
“I can’t function without coffee in my system,” junior Syndey Wuhrer said. “I need my daily coffee to make sure I stay awake and not accidentally kill someone.”
Caffeine can be found in many products such as coffee, tea, cola and energy drinks in the form of seeds, nuts and leaves.
Caffeine usually comes in two main forms. It can be found naturally which is the type in drinks such as coffee and tea. However, there is also synthetic (man-made) caffeine, which is added to some medicines, foods and drinks. For example, energy drinks and “energy-boosting” gums and snacks.
Caffeine itself is a stimulant drug, which means it speeds up the messages travelling between the brain and the body.
Caffeine is most commonly used to improve mental alertness.
Most people consume caffeine from drinks. The amounts of caffeine in different drinks can vary a lot, but it is generally: An 8-ounce cup of coffee: 95-200 mg, A 12-ounce can of cola: 35-45 mg, An 8-ounce energy drink: 70-100 mg or An 8-ounce cup of tea: 14-60 mg.
Caffeine has many effects on your body’s metabolism. It can stimulate your central nervous system, which can make you feel more awake and give you a boost of energy. However, it can also interfere with the absorption of calcium in the body or increases your blood pressure.
You are able to feel the effects of caffeine for up to four to six hours.
The most unhealthy way of consuming caffeine is found in energy drinks. The amount of caffeine in energy drinks can vary widely, and sometimes the labels on the drinks do not give you the actual amount of caffeine in them. There’s limited data showing that energy drinks might temporarily improve alertness and physical endurance. There is not enough evidence to show that they enhance strength or power. But what it is known that energy drinks can be dangerous because they have large amounts of caffeine. And since they have lots of sugar, they can contribute to weight gain and worsen diabetes.
Although caffeine can be beneficial to helping you stay awake during the school day, it is important to be smart about how much caffeine you are taking in. It is important not to build a dependency on caffeine, adequate rest is the better alternative.