Caffeine in any form, including coffee, is not recommended for kids younger than age 12, according to the UCLA Health System website, but coffee is not harmful to teenagers if enjoyed in moderation. People drink coffee for its physical effects, as well as for the social aspect, and teens can also benefit from indulging in coffee responsibly.
Teenagers live busy lives, juggling their social lives with schoolwork, sports and other activities. Many do not get enough sleep to feel refreshed in the morning. Only 15 percent of teens get more than eight hours of sleep on school nights, according to the Sleep Foundation. The caffeine in coffee acts as a mild stimulant, waking up people who drink it and honing their mental alertness. Teens can benefit from drinking coffee before school if they need a mild stimulant to help them stay awake and focus on their schoolwork or another activity. Coffee should only be used occasionally for this purpose, as teens should practice healthy sleeping habits, which include getting eight hours of sleep per night.
Teenagers should limit their coffee intake so they do not consume more than 100 mg of caffeine per day, or one cup of brewed coffee. Drinking more than that amount puts youngsters at risk of caffeine addiction. Teens who enjoy the social benefits of coffee drinking can switch to decaffeinated versions of their favorite beverages to keep their consumption at a healthy level.
Teens who drink coffee for its physical and mental benefits may stimulate their senses, which allows them to become more successful and alert in their studies, sports, and other extra curricular activities. The UCLA study also suggests that coffee and espresso drinks made with organic coffee beans provides a richer, healthier way for teenagers and young adults to enjoy their favorite beverages. In short, coffee, like anything, is healthy when taken in moderation. So teens and parents, get your dose of caffeine when needed but ensure that you're putting the right stuff into your bodies.