By Megan Wang
What do you think are some of the most popular drinks in the world? After water, the top two most popular beverages are coffee and tea. As an avid coffee and tea drinker, I find that these two drinks vary wildly in terms of taste. However, the one thing they do have in common is that they have caffeine, which is why many people drink them. Caffeine is consumed by many to keep them awake but sometimes has a bad rep for harming children as well as contributing to insomnia. So, what is caffeine, and why is it the world’s most popular drug?
All about caffeine
Caffeine is an organic drug that can be found in coffee beans and tea leaves. It is also classified as a psychoactive drug because it affects one’s brain and consciousness. Caffeine is primarily responsible for stimulating the brain to stay awake. This is why I have coffee every morning before school. When caffeine enters the brain, it blocks the transmission of adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter that makes the brain feel tired. One thing to note is that the effects of caffeine occur quickly. One can feel the effects of caffeine as early as 20 minutes after consumption.
Is caffeine harmful to youth?
Nowadays, the number of children and youth consuming caffeine has steadily increased. Naturally, parents may wonder, is caffeine dangerous for my kid? The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages children from drinking caffeinated beverages. According to Ellen McVay, an excess of caffeine can lead to increased anxiety and increased heart rate. Although caffeine has been shown to be a great antioxidant, there is no evidence to show whether children drinking caffeine have an impact on this. Conclusively, according to this study, the effects of caffeine on children are still largely unknown.