There’s no disputing it: caffeine is the most popular and accessible drug in the world. Although coffee and other similar caffeinated drinks are not as infamous compared to other dangerous drugs, it is clear that it is making an impact on our society. According to the National Coffee Association USA, Americans spend more than $30 billion on coffee products and consume around 1.6 billion cups a day. But how does Ledyard High School stack up?
Out of a survey of 314 Ledyard students in all high school grades, the following results were found:
- Out of 314 students, 94 percent (296 students) said they consume caffeinated drinks, whether that be coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks/shots, or other similar drinks.
- The caffeinated drink most highly consumed is soda, with 164 students drinking it.
- Highest consumption is in the freshman class, and the lowest is in the senior class.
- 112 students drink coffee, 93 students drink tea, and 40 students drink energy drinks/shots.
- 41 percent consume caffeine in the morning, 52 percent in the afternoon, and 48 percent in the evening.
- 53 percent (165 students) say they drink an average amount of caffeine.
- 61% of total students believe teenage caffeine consumption is not a cause for concern, while 40% believe it is.
One of the things that sticks out the most is the amount of consumption that increases with each class. The highest levels and results were taken from the junior class, who usually goes through, comparably, the most stressful and work-laden year of high school. Second to the juniors were the seniors, and the lowest levels came from the freshman class. Despite the drawbacks, mostly being dehydration and withdrawal symptoms if used in high amounts, there are many benefits, the most obvious being alertness. Beyond that, drawbacks or benefits depend on the type of caffeine being consumed, some of the most health benefits coming from teas. According to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, drinking three to four cups of tea is, in some cases, better than drinking the same amount in water, mostly because of the antioxidants found in the tea leaves.
Although caffeine is a drug and can be taken beyond moderation, an average amount is fine, and in some cases, can be even better than water. So, keep calm and drink that tea or coffee; it may be helping you more than you know.
Jamie Bogue, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Jamie Bogue is the Editor-in-Chief for the 2014-2015 Colonel. She is a drum major for marching band, sings in Ledyard Carolers, and is attending Liberty University this fall.