Many foods and beverages, such as chocolate, chocolate milk, and iced tea, are sources of caffeine for children and teenagers.
Additionally, some over-the-counter drugs that children may take, like Excedrin, are significant sources of caffeine. But among Americans aged 12 and older, coffee is considered the primary source of caffeine.
But do teens have permission to drink coffee? Young people commonly consume caffeine. Soda for kids under 12 is the primary source of this chemical. Even colas contain less caffeine than tea or coffee.
According to the research, children over 12 can safely consume one daily cup of coffee as long as they abstain from all other sources of caffeine.
One cup of coffee, a can of iced tea or soda, or a chocolate bar could push children’s caffeine intake above the recommended daily limit of 100 milligrams.
Additionally, because caffeine is present in many foods and beverages, it’s simple for children or adults to consume more than they should without realizing it.
Coffee’s Health Benefits for Teenagers
Morning cafeteria visits high schools will likely reveal a few students sipping coffee. Most teenagers consume caffeine in various ways, but the American Academy of Pediatrics notes that over the past 20 years, coffee consumption among teenagers has increased.
Although coffee and caffeine are essentially nutritionally worthless, some teens may benefit from drinking coffee because of the following reasons;
Reduction Of Fatigue
Although it may be challenging to see coffee as a healthy substance for teenagers, its ability to be a stimulant may benefit those who experience fatigue from juggling school and a part-time job.
Coffee can quickly alleviate drowsiness, which is helpful for teenagers who might be exhausted from a late night of exam preparation or a busy schedule that includes part-time weekend employment.
Many teenagers frequently devote a significant portion of their week to studying for quizzes, speeches, and exams. One cup of strong coffee can boost memory, according to a 2014 study published in “Nature Neuroscience.”
Moderate coffee consumption may aid a student who has trouble memorizing information for schoolwork in maintaining their memory for up to 24 hours or longer.
A Tool for Social Interaction
Some teen gatherings are for unhealthy activities like drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or trying new drugs. While it may not be the healthiest activity, gathering with friends to drink coffee and engage in social interaction is much better for them than using tobacco or alcohol.
Consumer research analyst Kevin Osborn writes in a “Today” Parenting article that many parents see their teens drinking coffee as the “least of possible evils.” The ability to fit in with a group of peers while consuming coffee can help a teen’s self-esteem during the teenage years.
Best Coffee For Teenagers
If you are anything like us, the first thing you want when you wake up is probably that first shot of espresso. But what happens if your child reaches for your cup to take a sip? Can you let your young child enjoy espresso without worrying about adverse effects?
Caffeine is the reason why it’s debatable whether children should consume espresso. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against children consuming caffeine. Although Canadian pediatricians claim that despite the small amount of caffeine, children are still not harmed by it.
Following the advice of experts, the following fundamental recommendations may assist you in setting caffeine limits with your child:
Your child should not consume more caffeine than 45 mg per day, equal to a half cup of regular coffee, between the ages of 4 and 6.
|ages 7 to 9
|62.5 mg per day
|ages 10 to 12
|85 mg per day
|100 mg per day
Young teenagers should only consume small amounts of espresso, but those who are getting close to adulthood can regularly consume espresso (in moderation).
Espresso is simply coffee without any milk or substitutes. That means you don’t need to be concerned about your teen regularly consuming sugar and artificial sweeteners in unhealthy amounts.
There are only about 45 mg of caffeine in one espresso shot. Regular filter coffee contains 95 to 100 mg of caffeine.
The best roast for teenagers is dark roast coffee. The dark roast has the least caffeine despite having a darker appearance than other roasts. Longer roasting causes them to lose their flavor, mass, and caffeine.
When selecting the roast for teenagers who only drink one cup of coffee daily, try to choose a darker roast. The caffeine content of coffee beans does not increase during roasting, in contrast to the beans’ flavor, aroma, and color.
Darker roasts typically contain a little less caffeine than their lighter counterparts. Roasts that are described as medium usually falls in the middle. However, any differences are insignificant. Instead, be aware that a cup of coffee’s caffeine content may depend more on the type of bean and the brewing method.
Caffeine’s Health Effects On Adolescents
What effects does caffeine have on the bodies and minds of adolescents, and should we be concerned?
- Caffeine prevents a brain chemical process that leads to drowsiness, keeping you awake.
- Although feeling less tired is advantageous for overworked adults, caffeine can significantly affect teenagers. Caffeine affects children more than twice as much as adults due to their smaller body weights (on average).
- This means that symptoms of caffeine dependence, like anxiety, insomnia, and nervousness, are more likely to affect children and young adolescents.
- The developing teen brain is also thought to be more vulnerable to stress and addiction, and studies have shown that regular caffeine use may cause dependence. Long-term damage to heart health could result from developing a habit of drinking a lot of coffee.
Teenagers, caffeine, And Sleep
On average, teenagers require 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night, but the majority only get 6.5 to 7.5 hours. Concentration, mood, and academic performance may be affected.
Caffeine can also worsen the situation. According to research, adolescents who consume energy drinks at least once per week are twice as likely as non-consumers to sleep less than the advised amount on school nights.
According to studies, caffeine consumption can impair a teen’s focus and sleep quality, which may delay the maturation of their brains.
Lack of sleep may also worsen the pandemic’s effects on young people’s mental health. However, getting adequate sleep can be good for your mental health.
Caffeine Negative Effects
- Kids who consume too much caffeine may experience a variety of negative consequences, including moodiness, sleep deprivation, and increased risk-taking and aggressive behavior.
- Some children may become jittery, anxious, or queasy after drinking coffee. Their blood pressure and heart rate may change as a result. Over-caffeination can occasionally give kids the impression that they’ve used drugs.
- You might not think that the threat to sleep is the most serious of all of these side effects. But it’s possible.
- According to the National Sleep Foundation, a nonprofit organization that funds and supports sleep research, teenagers should get about nine hours of every night. However, research indicates that kids typically get much less sleep than that.
Teenage Caffeine Dependence
Numerous people claim to be “addicted” to caffeine. They might find it difficult to stop or reduce their caffeine intake. Despite experiencing adverse side effects, some people still consume it.
Regular caffeine users who stop consuming it may experience withdrawal symptoms. According to research, children and teenagers may experience withdrawal symptoms after quitting caffeine.
The severity of withdrawal symptoms varies. Common signs of withdrawal include:
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulty completing tasks
- It’s simple for teenagers to obtain caffeine. It can be found in protein bars, chocolate, coffee, tea, energy drinks, and even tea.
- It is also offered as a powder for sale online, where it is frequently positioned as a supplement.
- People of all ages are at risk for caffeine overdose.
- Teach your teen the dangers of caffeine and set an excellent example for them.
- Make sure your family knows the risks that caffeine poses and the symptoms of a caffeine overdose.