Sip or slurp?

She lay twitching in her bed.  Her eyes wide open and no amount of counting sheep could reverse the damage done by the several cups of coffee she had downed earlier.

Last week senior Laura Stanton drank so much coffee she wasn’t able to sleep.

In the past few years more and more teens are buying and drinking coffee. Some believe this is due to teens wanting to look older, more mature, and “cooler.”  While others, like senior Louis Kurcz, claim it just tastes good.

Kurcz has fallen into a habit of drinking coffee daily.  Occasionally treating himself to a frozen caramel latte of some sort but usually sticking to regular coffee  with milk from his “BUNN” commercial grade coffee machine at home.

It wasn’t until several years ago that coffee grew popular among a younger crowd.  Now, companies like Starbucks owe a lot of their success to social media sites like Instagram and Twitter.  Not only are teens posting pictures of their frappes, lattes, mochas, or whatever drink suits their fancy, providing companies with free advertising, but when other teens see their friends drinking a certain drink they will want to try it too.

However, according to Kurcz, Stanton and junior Sarah Stone this marketing strategy isn’t the main reason teenagers are flocking to the caffeinated beverage.  Coffee has been proven to wake you up and then keep you up.

Kurcz along with Stanton and Stone believe this is what makes it a late night study session necessity.

“After we stay up late studying it’s really our best option,” Stone said.

The amount of activities students have to accomplish on a daily basis also makes coffee a helpful tool.

“With everything we have to get done in one day between sports, work, and homework it helps to be able to have a boost in the morning and focus later,” Kurcz said.

Although the energy that results from drinking coffee is a positive thing, there are some negative factors that come with drinking a cup of joe.  According to Dr. Michelle Rabideau from Dexter Family Medicine coffee can disrupt teens’ sleep cycles leading to poor moods and aggression.  Large amounts of caffeine may also negatively affect brain development in the teen years.

Stanton and Stone also said that drinking coffee consistently for a long period of time would ruin their teeth, while Kurcz claimed it made him feel shaky.

Going through coffee withdrawal can also have some negative effects on the body.  The most common being headaches, changes in mood, depression, inability to concentrate and irritability.

Stone, Stanton and Kurcz unanimously agreed that while not drinking coffee for a day or week after consistently drinking it would leave them grumpy and tired; however, once the initial withdrawal is over, extended breaks from the drink would have little to no effect.

“I wouldn’t want to go without it,” Stanton said.  “But if I had to I could.”

Regardless why teen interest in coffee has recently spiked, according to Stanton, Stone, and Kurcz that taste of coffee alone being why, the drink itself has become quite popular. And whether or not the negative side effects of coffee are too drastic is for the individual to decide.

While Rabideau warns of the negative repercussions she also states that small doses (about 5-6 oz of coffee) a day would do little to no harm.

And as for Kurcz, he claims “there are much worse things than drinking coffee every morning.”