Two Sides, One Issue: Caffeine helps students achieve success

Caffeine helps students feel more productive and energized which allows them to achieve more, not only in school but also in life.

Melissa Nie

Caffeine helps students feel more productive and energized which allows them to achieve more, not only in school but also in life.

It’s a common practice to stay late into the night studying for an upcoming exam or polishing an essay. At a school like St. Paul Academy, the homework load is heavy, and polls show that 78% of students resort to using caffeinated beverages at least once a week in order to push through the day. However, caffeine has its benefits and its costs. Should students change their caffeine habits?

Monday mornings can be tough for everyone, and caffeine is a great way to boost one’s energy. At SPA, it is common to see people lounging in the cafeteria enjoying caffeinated beverages, since about 44.9% of students consume coffee or tea at least once a week. This is no surprise, as caffeine is greatly beneficial to one’s mind and health when consumed in reasonable amounts. 

Contrary to popular belief, caffeine will not stunt one’s growth. Based on information from KidsHealth, this myth comes from the fact that when a person consumes too much caffeine, it can make them unable to sleep. Growth hormones are released when one is asleep, and so someone who constantly has too much coffee or soda may not grow as quickly as someone who takes it in moderation or not at all. But caffeine alone will not affect growth.

In its most common form, coffee, caffeine has many benefits other than providing an energy boost. According to Authority Nutrition, studies have shown that coffee improves your metabolism by burning fat, and helps to improve performance in sports. Furthermore, it lowers one’s risks of Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease by up to 60%. In addition, people who drink coffee tend to have livers that are better at protecting the body from diseases than those who don’t.

Caffeine has been shown to improve a user’s memory. According to SFGate, it helps users remember more information and it prolongs their attention span. Caffeine does this by blocking a hormone called adenosine, which relaxes one’s body, and allows for an increase in dopamine and glutamine hormones, which make users more alert. A better attention span and memory allows students to retain more material from their classes, which in turn helps with homework and assessments.

Although caffeine may be classified as a drug, it is still significantly less dangerous than substances like cocaine, heroin or meth, which are all stimulants that speed up the central nervous system. Based on information from Caffeine Informer, the Food and Drug Administration classified it as a drug that was “generally recognized as safe” in 1958. Compared to all the things that students could be using, caffeine is a much safer alternative, and it’s something that has a much lower risk of harming someone’s life.

Students should continue to use caffeine if it helps them with their academic life. Caffeine is highly beneficial when it comes to homework, tests and papers, and when taken in moderation, it can be a key tool to success.

Read the other side here.