Magazine article USA TODAY

Boys Work Harder and Longer for Caffeine Fix

Magazine article USA TODAY

Boys Work Harder and Longer for Caffeine Fix

Article excerpt

Caffeine is a stimulant drug, although legal, and adults use it widely to perk themselves up. In fact, being "addicted" to caffeine is considered pretty normal. Yet, how strong is caffeine's appeal in young people who consume an abundance of soft drinks? What impact does acute and chronic caffeine consumption have on their blood pressure, heart rate, and hand tremor? Furthermore, does consuming caffeinated drinks during adolescence contribute to later use of legal or illicit drugs?

Given the effect of caffeine in adults, researchers from the University at Buffalo (N.Y.) expected to see a difference between those who habitually consume a lot of soft drinks and those who consume few. However, results showed that the difference is between boys and girls (all between ages 12-17): the boys in the study worked harder and longer on a computer-based exercise to obtain caffeinated drinks, points out Jennifer L. Temple, a neurobiologist and assistant professor of exercise and nutrition sciences. …

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