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Coffee for Kids: Finding the Best Brews for Teenagers

Coffee for Kids: Finding the Best Brews for Teenagers

Children under the age of 18 should not have any amounts of coffee whatsoever, but children who are 18 and older can have any espresso-based drinks they like, so long as their caffeine intake is below the set daily limit by the FDA.

Some people tend to think that coffee is somewhat okay for children and teenagers. Well, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry thinks otherwise.

According to the them, coffee can cause anxiety, sleeplessness, and other side effects on teenagers. They say there is no safe dose of caffeine for children and suggest only one cup of coffee (100mg of caffeine) daily for 18-year-old teenagers. 

Diane Vizthum, M.S., R.D., a research nutritionist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, also recommends 85 – 100 mg caffeine for adolescents. 

So, it is safe to say that a cup of coffee a day is safe for teenagers, but they should only take it if they need it. 

With this in mind, it’s essential for parents to monitor the coffee intake of their young kids and let them know what type and how much is ok. 

How does caffeine affect children?

someone pouring milk into coffee

Teenagers are also still growing, and the impact of caffeine on their cardiovascular and nervous systems has not yet been thoroughly studied. 

Caffeine in teens can cause anxiety, sleep disturbance, acid reflux, increased heart rate, and blood pressure. Overdosing on caffeine can be very dangerous, especially amongst teenagers and children.  Caffeine has this toxicity that, although rare in adults, occurs when an absurd amount of caffeine is ingested.

This causes certain side effects to surface, and in some cases, may even trigger seizures if not careful.

An early introduction to caffeine may also cause children to become dependent on the drink and become addicted. This will then be very difficult for children and teenagers to let go, and if they do, they’ll face withdrawal symptoms.   

They may experience some withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia 
  • Trouble in Focusing
  • Flu
  • Impairment in psychomotor and cognitive performances

Caffeine has also been shown to inhibit calcium absorption. So the intake of caffeine amongst children may also lead to calcium deficiency, as well as loss of other nutrients due to the diuretic properties of caffeine.

Difficulty in sleeping may also be one of the detrimental issues children will face if exposed to caffeine for a long time. Caffeine affects our body’s circadian rhythm and ruins our sleep quality. This results in poor performance at work, or in children’s case, at school. Poor sleep causes a change in mood in children and stunts their growth.  

So all in all, the conclusion to be drawn here is, don’t give your children coffee unless they’re 18 and older. While there is a safe amount to be consumed, the safe bet is to just wait until their mind is well developed enough before you give them any sort of stimulant.

Coffee is by no means bad. In fact, the drink has several benefits that I’ll be talking about in a paragraph or two. The thing is, when it comes to children who are still growing, the effects of caffeine, especially lots of it, may be different from the effects of caffeine on adults. So just be careful and watch out for your kids.

Have a look at this video to see how caffeine affects our brain:

The Benefit of Coffee for Teenagers Above 18

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reports that coffee drinking among adolescents has increased over the past two decades. Although coffee and caffeine have no nutritional value, drinking coffee does have its benefits.

A Boost of Energy

Coffee is not a beneficial stimulant for teenagers, but for those struggling to find the energy to balance school and part-time jobs, coffee can be a helping hand.

With coffee’s energy boosting properties, drinking half or one cup can help them stay awake for studies and work. 

Improved Memory

Coffee has been proven to improve memory and sharpen cognitive skills to adults. Coffee has also been shown to protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

While a cup of two won’t make anyone into a blooming genius, moderate intake of coffee at the right time can be beneficial for our minds.

How much coffee can a teenager drink?

person holding a small cup of coffee

There is no official dosage set for children, however according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, pediatricians advise that children under 12 years old must not have any caffeine whatsoever, while children 12 to 18 can have about 100 mg of caffeine a day.

While 100 mg may not be a lot, it’s still enough to possibly cause children to become dependent on caffeine, especially if they have it every day, so the safest bet is to not give your children any caffeine until they are 18.

Caffeine can negatively impact the growth of children in terms of their sleep and thinking process if you’re not careful enough. A dependency of caffeine amongst children can happen. This will result in caffeine withdrawal and, ultimately, poor performance. 

When done correctly, caffeine may not affect your child at all, but it’s much better to be safe than to be sorry, do just hold them off the caffeine until they’re old enough.

I talk more about this in my other article that you can check out here if you’re interested.

At what age is it ok to drink coffee?

Age 18 is safe to start drinking one cup of coffee per day, which is about 100mg of caffeine.

Children under 18 should not drink any caffeine-based drink or food. And for teens above 18 years, caffeine intake should be under 100mg and no more than this. 

Best Coffee For Young Adult

Best Beans 

Laurina, also known as Bourbon Point, is the best bean for teens to make coffee because it is one such variety of low caffeine coffee. It has about half the caffeine of arabica coffee.

Refer to this table to know the caffeine difference between three types of coffee beans:

Caffeine per beanCaffeine per 100 gramsCaffeine per ounce
Robusta10mg2.2 – 2.7g
Arabica6mg1.2 – 1.5g
Low caffeine Laurina3mg0.4 – 0.75g
Coffee Beans

Best Roast: Dark Roast

Dark roast coffee is the best roast for teenagers. Dark roast might look denser color-wise, but it has the least caffeine among all the roasts. They get roasted for longer and lose most of their flavor, mass, and caffeine. 

Try to opt for a darker roast while choosing the roast for teens with only a cup of coffee for the day. 

Best Coffee Type: Espresso 

Espresso is a plain coffee without any added milk or other alternatives. That means you don’t have to worry about your teen getting unhealthy consumption of sugar and artificial sweeteners daily.

A shot of espresso only has about 45mg of caffeine There is 95 to 100mg of caffeine for regular filter coffee. 

But it all comes down to the size of the drink and coffee used. Espresso only needs 8mg coffee for one shot, and it is served in small size where the filter needs around 15mg of coffee ground for cone cup. The science here is less coffee, less caffeine. 

BeverageCaffeine per milliliterCaffeine per fluid ounce
Filter coffee0.4mg12mg
Expresso Vs. Filter

Best Coffee Brand for Young Adults

Java Burn 

The formula of Java Burn will electrify your metabolism, torch off fat, reduce hunger, improve your health, and help you enjoy all-day energy, among other powerful benefits.

Life Boost

LifeBoost is a brand that a teen should buy as it is of the few coffee companies that doctors recommend.

Life Boost ensures their coffee is low in acidity and several notable doctors have recommended it. It is a stomach-friendly and an antioxidant-rich coffee.

Path to improved health

someone pouring milk into coffee

It is difficult for teens to cut their caffeine intake completely if they have already started drinking it at a young age. But there are some steps that can help them minimize their daily intake, such as eliminating soda and other caffeine products from their diet. 

Always watch out for caffeine in the food and drink they consume, especially check for hidden caffeine. 

Here are some of the food teens enjoy that might have hidden caffeine content in them. 

Moreover, please encourage them to work out daily. Exercise can not only improve the quality of sleep in your children, but also give them energy.

A healthy and balanced diet will also do them tons of good. A consistent diet containing fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk, and protein rich foods will allow them to maintain a healthy weight and enhance their sleep quality.

Water will also keep them hydrated and full of energy, which is much better and healthier than cups and cups of coffee.

In Summary

Don’t give your children coffee unless you want them to develop a dependency on the drink. Caffeine dependency at an early age can stunt growth and ruin sleep quality.

Keep your children healthy with water, consistent exercise, and a healthy nutrient-rich diet.

While coffee has its benefits, for children and teenagers, they are more so detrimental than they are helpful. Although experts say that it’s okay for kids above the age of 12 to have around 100 mg of caffeine, the safe thing to do is to just not give them any coffee at all.

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