This year at Lisbon High School, a new rule has been enacted that has many students, and teachers, talking. Caffeine is no longer allowed in the school. This includes all sodas, caffeine-inclusive coffee drinks, many sports drinks, energy drinks, teas and more. In response to this new policy, I am offering not an opinion, but rather some interesting and possibly little-known facts about caffeine.

Caffeine is often used because people believe that it makes them feel more alert. This may be true, but it can also cause headaches, anxiety, dizziness, loss of sleep and the jitters. These unwanted side effects of caffeine have become more noticeable as energy drinks such as Monster and Red Bull have had outrageous amounts of caffeine and sugar added to their list of ingredients. In fact, some drinks can contain 500 mg of just caffeine according to some of my research on kidshealth.org and fitwise.com.

Caffeine causes the body to lose calcium, and prolonged use of caffeine can lead to loss of bone density. This is especially detrimental to the many people who already do not consume enough calcium. Also, those on medications should be particularly aware of their caffeine intake, as serious health conditions, including many heart conditions can react with medication and harm the individual.

On the other side of the spectrum, some informational sources suggest that caffeine speeds metabolism and allows to faster weight loss (when taken in moderation). The sources also say that caffeine does not deplete calcium from the bones of adults that such depletion only occurs in children.

No matter what one chooses to believe, caffeine will not see its way back into the school anytime in the near future (that is, not under administrative approval). So, it is no longer only athletes who are warned to stay away from caffeine, it is everyone. It seems that the energy drink people have pushed the envelope and the inevitable has happened. Caffeine is a welcome substance no more.


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