Scouts-L Mail Archive for November of 1998: Caffine Addiction (Ping ping piiiiiiing, Ricochet Rabbit)
Caffine Addiction (Ping ping piiiiiiing, Ricochet Rabbit)
Anthony J. Mako
Mon, 2 Nov 1998 20:44:12 -0500
You are absolutely correct that banning caffeinated drinks for Scouts
but not for adults does indeed present a double standard. What we seem
to forget is that children SHOULDN'T BE ADDICTED TO CAFFEINE! If a Scout
suffers from caffeine withdrawal, it is a good indication that their
nutritional habits need to be altered. Adults who suffer from caffeine
withdrawal should be able to understand that something is wrong with
their health. My experience with caffeine addiction tells me that a
Scout or adult leader who suffers from withdrawal on an weekend campout
has a normal caffeine intake much higher than your average coffee
drinker (average is two cups of coffee or the equivalent).
Withdrawal symptoms for caffeine are not that severe. I believe they
involve headaches and tiredness, plus a craving for caffeine.
I've found that these symptoms can usually be relieved by eating
properly, drinking lots of water, and staying active. All of these
things are easy to do on a campout. The only additional symptom I can
think of is a tendency to "make water" much more often than normal. This
is, I believe, due to the fact that caffeine requires a lot of water to
metabolize (this is one reason caffeinated drinks should NOT be allowed
on campouts, especially in the summer!) and the lack of caffeine causes
your body to process water "normally."
My answer would be to ban all caffeinated drinks (and substances since I
have caught Scouts using over-the-counter caffeine pills before) for
everyone. I wouldn't ban coffee since I seem to be quite capable of
drinking decaf with only slight discomfort.
Anthony J. Mako, email@example.com ,Scoutmaster, Troop 381
http://members.aol.com/Scouts381/ "Home of the Unofficial Boy Scout
Great Trail Council - Akron, Ohio
"I used to be an Eagle (C-7-97), but I'll always be an Eagle (1981)"