I Love You a Latte

Sarah Crippes, Features Writer

You love her.  She is always there for you when you need her most. She is your best friend. She can keep you company on your late night procrastination, early morning meeting, or even Sunday lunch date.  

You are in love with a cup of coffee.

Recent studies on America’s obsessive love affair with coffee have revealed alarming facts about caffeine consumption among youth.  As the kids start drinking coffee earlier, the effects are becoming larger.  

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that adolescents consume no more than 100 mg of caffeine daily to avoid risks such as agitation, anxiety and dehydration.

You hear that and you say to yourself, “I’m totally fine.” There is no way you have more than 100 mg of caffeine everyday. You definitely have nothing to worry about.

But much to your astonishment, the majority of the Caribou drinks that you bring to first hour every morning do indeed have way more than 100 mgs of caffeine in them.

The ever so popular Medium Iced Latte: 270 mg of caffeine.

The favorite Medium Cappuccino: 270 mg of caffeine.

The tasty Medium Campfire Mocha Cooler: 125 mg of caffeine.

I have to admit the risks of too much caffeine aren’t as scary as adults say they are. I mean it’s just agitation, anxiety, and dehydration…right?  Unfortunately, these aren’t the worst risks of too much caffeine, though.

The most dangerous risk of too much coffee is when it begins to replace sleep.

Teens are becoming too reliant on caffeine rather than sleep.
Juliana Dacoregio

Everyone in high school claims to be ‘sleep deprived’ and ‘so exhausted.’ But do they really know what sleep deprivation can do to the teenage body if the recommended 9 hours are not met?  

Sleep deprivation is strongly connected with your mental health.  According to a study conducted at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, students who do not get enough sleep are three times more likely to be depressed compared to their counterparts that receive enough sleep.

Sleep deprivation not only causes mental harm to students but also has the potential to jumpstart a drug addiction.  Science Daily recently published a study revealing the connection between sleep and drug usage. Teenagers who sleep less are more likely to have used alcohol and marijuana in the past month.  For every 10 minutes you go to bed later, there is a 6% higher risk of drug use in the next month.

One of the biggest risk factors from sleep deprivation is driving while drowsy.   The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently estimated that 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in damage are the result of drowsy driving each year.  The greatest risk is falling asleep behind the wheel, and hurting not only yourself but others as well.

Not to say that your coffee consumption will directly lead to billions of dollars of damage to your car and health, but coffee and caffeine can have some severe consequences.  

Caffeine is great when you need that boost of energy to survive your late night study session, but becoming too reliant on caffeine rather than sleep can lead to mental health concerns, substance abuse, as well as driving risks.

You need her. She is everything in your life. She is all you have ever wanted.  You simply cannot live without her.

If coffee is the love of your life, you may want to think twice before you bring her home to meet the parents.