It’s not uncommon for a teen to drink a few cans of soda, or even a couple of cups of coffee every day – but a new study suggests that they proceed with caution.
The study, which was done at University Children’s Hospital Zurich, examined the affect of caffeine on pubescent rats.
According to a press release, researchers found that moderate caffeine intake (the equivalent of three to four cups of coffee a day in humans) resulted in delayed brain development and reduced deep sleep – and not just on the days they administered caffeine.
The rats were given caffeine for five days, but exhibited symptoms for nine. During this time, their brains matured more slowly than rats that were just given water. They didn’t develop the regularly curious nature that rats their age should. Instead, they continued to be shy and cautious.
While the study is definitely a red flag for overdoing caffeine consumption during puberty, lead researcher Reto Huber says there is a still need for more research in this area.
What do you think? Should teens avoid caffeine to reduce their risk of slowing development?
-Katharine Watts, associate web editor