The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Daily Grind


Junior Daysha Browne makes a drink in the on campus cafe, where students purchase coffee before school and at lunch time. Many of the drinks for sale contain the caffeine the students crave.

Many students drink caffeine daily in the form of coffee and energy drinks, but may not know the effects of what they are consuming.

Whether it is for enjoyment or a quick jolt of energy, caffeine is ever present in many teenagers’ lives.

Although they constantly partake in the consumption of caffeine through various mediums, such as coffee, tea or energy drinks, not every MHS student is aware of the side effects of the drug.

Positive side effects, according to, include a reduced risk of gallstones, the protection of brain cells, which lowers the risk of developing diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and the prevention of certain heart related illnesses. However, there are multiple negative associations with the substance. Caffeine can cause dehydration, decrease bone density and prevent some people from falling asleep, which can lead to fatigue throughout the day.

Jennifer Abney, who is in charge of the Treasure Island Coffee Café on campus, said she believes teenagers become dependent on caffeine because their schedules are tiring.

“They’re too busy, and they use coffee to keep them awake. Trying to keep up, they just grab a cup of coffee,” Abney said. “I do believe it can be an addiction.”

The café offers tea, smoothies and hot drinks.

Abney said the café has a limit on the caffeine put into each drink.

“We don’t sell a lot of coffee,” Abney said. “I just know it’s two shots of coffee [espresso per drink].”

Junior Kyle Magruder, who used to frequently consume energy drinks, said he is aware of the negative impact too much caffeine can have on one’s life.

“I used to drink them [energy drinks] three to four times a week, but now I’m down to one a week, if that,” Magruder said. “It just wasn’t really healthy.”

According to junior Katie Boesl, problems that stem from caffeine consumption are different for everybody.

“It depends on the person,” Boesl said. “Some people can drink some and they can’t focus, and other people drink tons and they still fall asleep in class.”

Junior Cora Messerle said she generally does not experience any negative side effects.

“I drink coffee just cause I love the taste of it,” Messerle said. “It doesn’t really affect me that way.”

Magruder said his parents did not put any restraints on energy drinks as they acknowledged the fact that he could just go buy one when he was not at home.

“They hated that I drank them,” Magruder said. “They wanted me to quit so I pretty much did. It was really affecting my health.”

According to Marshfield nurse Heidi Banks, while a cup of coffee can have up to 100mg of caffeine, having some each day is alright.

“A cup or two of coffee is fine,” Banks said.

Drinking tea, according to Boesl, is a healthier alternative to coffee. According to the Huffington Post, antioxidants in tea have shown anti-cancer activity, and some tea even has heart benefits.

“I have tea all the time,” Boesl said. “It’s a lot healthier than when I drink coffee with added stuff [such as sugar or creamer].”

Messerle also said tea is a better way to get that jolt, although once in a while she will go to get a coffee.

“Sometimes I just drink regular coffee or sometimes I get a mocha or something,” Messerle said. “I think tea is a good way to get it [caffeine].”

Banks said the real danger lies in consuming energy drinks.

“I think energy drinks are really dangerous,” Banks said. “I think the main reason is they typically contain five to 10 times the caffeine of a regular soda.”

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, side effects of drinking energy drinks include cardiac conditions and increased chance of sudden death, seizures or stroke.

“It’s typically related to the effects of caffeine on the body, and when you combine that with exercise and dehydration,” Banks said. “I don’t think they are healthy for adults or children.”

According to Magruder, cutting down on energy drinks had a major impact on his health.

“I started getting better sleep… And I felt better,” Magruder said. “I noticed I wasn’t as dehydrated as often.”

While Banks said she would like to see energy drinks off the market altogether, she said a cup of coffee in the morning would be a just decision.

“Most of us skip breakfast and I think if we feel we need that morning jolt, a simple cup of coffee would do wonders,” Banks said.

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