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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Is Coffee Bad For Teens?

    Few weeks back I watched a documentary on TV about kids and health issues related to food and drinks they get at school.
    Caffeine was also mentioned!

    So I was thinking: What do I do to make sure my kids eat healthy? Well, they're still too young for coffee but time goes by fast.

    I have to admit, that I mostly looked at fat, sugar and sodium. But caffeine - nope. Unfortunately, it's not required to add caffeine to the nutrition labels.
    Also, we can read a lot about how healthy coffee is but I found out, this only counts for adults, NOT kids and teenagers!
    As a result, we may think that coffee can't be too bad for teens either, can it?

    For this reason, I researched online for the last weeks and was shocked how many foods and drinks contain caffeine and are directly and purposely targeted towards our youngest!

    I have also created a post with an Infograph on my website, if coffee is bad for teens (this post has no affiliate links and is only for information purposes, so I hope it's ok to share it).

    What I want to know is, do you have kids?
    Have you ever considered too much caffeine to be a problem?

    And would you ever blame too much caffeine as the reason, when your kid is tired all day and not good in school?

    As I've already mentioned, my kids are with 4 and almost 2 still too young for coffee but I am curious how you deal with your kids regarding coffee and caffeinated products, so I have some options later.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. #2
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    hi, my name is Alex and I work for Ensoluna S.A. in Guatemala. (coffee exporting company)
    to answer your question, I guess, "teens" can drink coffee in moderation (2 to 3 cups a day?)
    Honestly, I prefer them (I have 17 yrs girl and 13 yrs boy) drinking good coffee over other caffeine filled energy drinks which they drinks more and more instead of soft drinks nowadays.

    however, most of teens will prefer energy drinks over coffee due to taste. Coffee is an acquired taste, so it will take time.

    in case of my son (I brought him here from Los Angeles (where my home is) to Guatemala, to teach him about coffee and few other things in life), he refuses to drink coffee, but once in a while, he asks me to buy him Monsters or redbull which I refuse to buy for him.

    also, when kids are tired all day and not good at school, probably, they aren't getting enough sleep nor good nutrition at home. Considering their age and metabolism, they should be jumping up and down WITHOUT any caffeine.

    however, as a father & coffee aficionado & owner of coffee company, I rather have him drink couple of good coffee a day over soft drinks nor energy drinks.

    On a lighter note, yesterday, one of our interns made a mistake by dropping some green beans into our roasted coffee. So, my son is helping him out to pick out each green beans out of a container. I am hoping that he will get used to freshly roasted coffee smell and eventually he will like drinking coffee.... Oh... Man.. it is very tedious and hard-work and it will take several hours to get one bucket sorted out.


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  3. #3
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    First of all, I do agree that this is an important concern that parents should be addressing. Secondly, one has to separate issues when discussing coffee...are we really talking about caffeine? I think the answer to that is yes...we are talking about caffeine. So is it the caffeine consumption that is harmful, or is it the "what else is in the beverage being consumed" that contributes to the health effect in kids? Take out the caffeine from coffee (ie. decaf) and are there other issues? Where is the caffeine kids are consuming coming from? Is it coffee?? Mostly it's from soda. A single 12 ounce can of soda generally contains between 35 & 65 mg of caffeine...BUT there is sugar, carbonation and many other things in soda. Kids who consume to much soda in a day tend to be more obese than kids who drink little or no soda, or consume it infrequently. Energy drinks are also very popular among kids, and in many cases, by kids who are also athletes looking for a performance boost before a big game, or in order to wake up for an early morning game/workout. I'm sure keeping "coffee" consumption to a minimum can't be a bad thing, but I doubt that all the health related issues addressed to caffeine consumption by kids are due to coffee. My own daughter was encouraged to drink coffee if that little boost was needed before a big soccer game rather than an AMP or Red Bull, or anything else with a lot of sugar with a high glycemic index. There are actually sugar alternatives with a low or moderate glycemic index. Here is a good site that lists a plethora of caffeine content information... everything from sodas & coffees to chocolate and other foods. Amount of Caffeine in Coffee - How Much Caffeine in Soda or Starbucks Coffee

  4. #4
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    hi doug,
    you hit a nail on the head.
    I AGREE 100%.
    too much sodas. Water got replaced by sodas and that is one of the main reasons for the teen health issues recently.

  5. #5
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    I totally agree, Mr Peaberry (Doug?),

    what makes me so angry is, that industry uses our kids as targets when the sponsor college events or the cool teen-sports like surfing, snowboarding, etc. and making it look like, that energy drinks and power bars are cool!
    And the big coffee chains are not better. I would assume that teenagers won't go to SB and co so often in there lunch breaks or after school if they only served coffee.

    But all their fancy caramel lattes, etc. where you cannot even taste coffee at all, still have a complete shot of espresso in it that counts for about 150 mg caffeine (not even thinking about the sugar).

    So it's not just a "little" too much caffeine, it's crazy: two, three cans of soda, plus an SB-coffee drink at lunch and after school, an iced tea at McD with your lunch (32 oz sweet tea at McD has 100 mg of caffeine!!) and you consumed about 350-400 mg of caffeine. While there's no recommendation, teenagers should not consume more than 100 mg/per day!

    But as you have already said, Doug, where does it start and where does it end. Sugar, Salt, Fat, now Caffeine.
    Is there even a way to live a healthy live at all?

  6. #6
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    I agree with ensoluna: "Considering their age and metabolism, [teenagers] should be jumping up and down WITHOUT any caffeine."

    However, there has been a lot of talk about caffeine and not about coffee. It's true that the amount of sugar and caffeine in other drinks is a major cause for concern. But bashing other caffeinated drinks doesn't strengthen the argument for allowing teens and pre-teens to consume coffee. The bottom line is that drinking caffeinated coffee might disrupt your kids sleeping patterns, and less sleep for your kids means worse performance in school and other activities.

    A funny side story: The old wives' tale goes that drinking coffee will make you short. A 9 year old kid I coached at a camp once was upset about this, saying it didn't make any sense. But I argued that if less sleep means less growth, then coffee could make you short. That kid said he was willing to take the risk of losing a quarter of a centimeter :P

    As for decaf coffee, I hear that the quality of taste is significantly reduced (maybe something like Diet Coke vs. Coke). However, this is a really broad statement; I'm still trying to decide. But if your goal is to educate your kids in the variety of coffee, decaf may not be an option. Also, my reading suggested that there is a not-so-good cholesterol produced by the decaffeination process. Not sure how sound that research is, but it might be something to consider.

  7. #7
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    Just to clarify what I really meant with "being tired" and blaming caffeine as the reason:

    A sign of caffeine withdrawal (when addicted) is "sleepiness" in that kind that you are very tired but still can't fall asleep.

  8. #8
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    This is a very good topic. I think a parent that focuses on caffeine consumption by their children, except in the extreme, is missing the boat on what is really the big threat for our kids, carbohydrates, especially from the high glycemic sugars. Orange juice (made from concentrate)...considered to be a healthy morning drink, is loaded with carbohydrates with all the good stuff pasteurized out of it. Add a lot of other highly processed foods with carbs like cereals, breads, muffins, etc., and it's no wonder that they had to dredge out the "It's a Small World" ride at Disneyland just to accommodate riders who are causing the boats to bottom out due to a rise in obesity since Disneyland first opened. YIKES...

  9. #9
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    all i know is that too much coffee is bad for anybody!

  10. #10
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    I have personal experience with my teen cousin who was drinking coffee and missed to drink for a day and ended up having severe headaches. That withdrawal headache is my concern


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 
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