By Emma Carrero
There is no surprise that the favorable energizing drink, coffee, has been the number one go-to morning refresher for many teens and adults. With its convenient feature of being served hot or cold, it drives a variety of customers and keeps businesses, like Starbucks, running all year long. During the freezing and breezy seasons, taking a soothing sweet sip of the beverage disperses a warm sensation throughout the body. Similarly, in the pleasant spring and blazing summer, the iced refreshment acts as a cooler, bringing once again a calming sense. However, due to the rising consumption daily, the beloved coffee can turn into a seriously harmful toxin.
The severe addiction to coffee is becoming very common among teens, especially high school students. Students are taking part in the coffee craze and heavily relying on the caffeinating substances to stimulate their nervous system, making them feel more alert and conscious. From just the first tempting cup, it blocks the sleepy chemical, adenosine, boosting brain function and filling the person with energy. Unfortunately, while it does wake the person, the side effects that ensue, like anxiety and stress, are more detrimental than any other positive effect. The two troubling states of mind are negative results of caffeine because it feeds into the stress hormone, cortisol. Since anxiety is a reaction to stress, one can expect to be dealing with irritating angst. At an even worse consumption rate of coffee, beauty can be damaged by the restlessness caused by the wake-up factor of coffee. Lack of sleep is potentially dangerous to the skin since it is so fragile causing it to dry out and become dull, not very appealing to teens. Not to mention one of the main features of the face, the eyes, suffer too. Dark circles and puffy eyes are created, which are not ideal to start the day with. This happens because coffee addicts rely on caffeine to wake them up, dragging them into a cycle of sleepiness. Junior Vianne Cocco, who has a distaste for coffee, said, “Someone shouldn’t rely on drinks like coffee to remain energized because it doesn’t make up for your sleep, you’ll just always be fatigued.” In other words, the caffeine keeps them up by continuously stimulating the brain. Not to worry though, there are a variety of ways to feel refreshed without relying on coffee.
Instead of coffee, there are other healthier alternatives like matcha tea and lemon water. Matcha tea is produced from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The leaves are steamed, dried, and grounded to a powder. From there one can take in the antioxidants, substances that protect the body from damaging cells and enjoy the aromatic sweetness. This trending green tea is also proven to lower the risk of diseases like type two diabetes and high blood pressure. Lemon water is another alternative that is easier to make and contains no caffeine. It provides a daily dose of vitamin C, a water-soluble nutrient, and protects the skin from the sun. Additional fruits can be added, too, to enhance the flavor. However, according to Cocco, there is really only one way to avoid tiredness, she commented, “I don’t drink anything to feel energized, I sleep.” With that being said, sleeping is a healthy natural option to help energize the body.
Overall, it is not smart to fill one’s youth with demeaning feelings of stress and anxiety. Plus, there is no need to be so restless at a young age. Although one cup of coffee will not immediately damage the body, it has long-lasting effects. Rather one should look for alternatives and keep a balance of the amount of caffeine consumed.