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The Start of My Caffeine Rehab
Written by Yeojin Kim | Published. 2020.06.13 16:08 | Count : 411

I cannot imagine starting my day without a cup of coffee. Even a bad cup of copy is better than none. When I was younger, I despised the scent of coffee which was so common in adults around me. Spinning a few drops of coffee left in a finished cup was enough to traumatize my young soul. But on one perfectly ordinary day, the scent of coffee suddenly felt aromatic and started to lure me into its mysteriousness. Now that I am 17 years old, I can't get past Starbucks without paying homage, like the proverbial Korean sparrows that cannot fly by a rice mill without dropping by. The enchanting aromas of roasted beans and the velvety texture of hot coffee on my tongue are the elixir of sudden contentment for me now. Even as I write this article, I cannot resist taking sips from a cup of coffee sitting in front of me. 

[Photo of the writer purchasing coffee at a local coffee shop]

As my love for coffee is growing daily, a burning question keeps rising inside: 'Is coffee safe for  teenagers?' According to the Korea Ministry of Drug Safety, the suggested daily dose of caffeine is up to 125mg for adolescents and 400mg for most healthy adults as an excessive intake of caffeine can lead to vomiting or breathing problems. 

[Photo of the writer purchasing coffee at a local convenience store]
[Photo of a coffee drink and its caffeine content information]

Moreover, caffeine overdose has been reported in many studies, as well as caffeine addiction. Such studies highlight the hazards of coffee drinking to children or young adults. Since caffeine is not strongly regulated compared to other substances such as nicotine or alcohol, this can be a problem.
What are some ways for young teens to cut down on coffee? The first obvious step would be abstinence- just don’t drink it. Well, that may be easier said than done for today’s teenagers with their stressful lifestyles. Next, one can dilute coffee with extra water or milk. To a coffee aficionado, however, diluting coffee with water is probably not an option. Perhaps the most sensible thing to do would be to keep track of one’s daily consumption of coffee, thus helping limit the daily intake of caffeine. This takes extra work, of course, but one is at least being sensible.

However, for those who rely on coffee to get through a long day’s work, staying away from a cold glass of Americano might seem impossible. If so, one should take measures to take care of his or her health in general. First and foremost, one should not forget to exercise to get blood pumping and circulate energy from the body. Eating healthy snacks with beneficial nutrients such as Vitamin B12 would also help. Also, it is crucial to remember that caffeine is no substitute for a good night’s sleep. Most importantly, however, teenagers must know their biorhythms: our bodies are the most trustworthy source of data to determine whether they are exposed to too much caffeine.


Yeojin Kim
Grade 12
The Learning Community International School

Yeojin Kim  student_reporter@dherald.com

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