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Caffeine consumption risks national youth

WED.| 5-15-24 | OPINION

      With energy drinks all over social media right now because of the Alani Nu rat incident, it has made me realize how much of our generation is addicted to caffeine. My TikTok “For You” page has been flooded with people checking their cans for a rat, but what I have come to realize is that the real concern is how all this caffeine is going to affect our bodies.

     Alani Nu has been all over the internet due to a girl on TikTok posting about finding a rat inside of her can. This caused the rest of the internet to make videos of them showing the inside of their can to check if they also had a little critter in their drink.

caffeine .HEIC

Graphic by Owen Simmons

     Because of the recent online craze surrounding Alani Nu, it's obvious energy drink consumption has increased, especially among younger people. Energy drinks have been available for a long time, but I feel like these past few years people have been buying a lot more and becoming addicted. Brands like Celcius and Alani Nu are marketing toward young viewers and causing this addiction to become more widespread. 

      Since these companies are marketing toward a younger audience, this causes a ton of children and young adults to want to try an energy drink. For example, the energy drinks at 7 Brew Coffee are very appealing because they are these fun colors with creative names that make you want to get them, but in reality, they are very harmful to our bodies. Drinking energy drinks can cause all types of problems like insomnia, dehydration, anxiety and heart complications. It can also stunt growth, and no one wants that. 

     Personally, I am a huge Red Bull fan, but when I have a 12 ounce rather than an 8.4 ounce it makes me feel anxious, shaky and not able to focus. This is not a feeling that I want to have, especially at school. Drinking caffeinated beverages at school after a long night of studying could cause you to not be able to focus on your teacher's lesson or the test you are taking. 

      Although caffeine intake can be helpful, it does not change the fact that it is still awful for your body. There are ways to reduce the negative effects of these unhealthy beverages. If you consume these drinks daily they will definitely have a long-term effect on your body. To avoid this, you could try to drink one every other day or one every week. 

      Keeping up with a caffeine addiction can put a big dent in someone's wallet, which is another downside. The average canned energy drink costs about four dollars, if you are having one a day it starts to add up. So, for a teenager who loves energy drinks, it's important to realize how much money you're spending just to keep up with the habit.

     While these drinks taste good, we need to cut them out of our lives because they have a lot of negative effects on us and entirely exceed the daily recommended caffeine intake.

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