Question Sheet: The Buzz about Caffeine


Before reading:

  1. List five foods, beverages, or other items that contain caffeine. 
  2. Do you know anyone who drinks coffee everyday? How does that person behave

    when there is no coffee available?

During reading:

  1. Name three positive effects of caffeine. 
  2. What are some of caffeine’s downsides? 
  3. If you are under a lot of pressure and stress at school, is it a good idea to drink caffeine? Why or why not? 
  4. What is adenosine and what kinds of effects does it have on the human body? 
  5. What is one way that scientists test reaction times in people who have and

    have not taken caffeine? 

  6. Does coffee really make people more alert? 
  7. What did Terry Graham’s study show about runners and caffeine?

After reading:

  1. Some parents do not allow kids to have caffeine. Other parents think it’s

    fine. If you were a parent, would you want your kids to have access to caffeine?

    Why or why not? 

  2. Some sodas contain both caffeine and sugar. Which of these two substances do

    you think is worse for your health? Why? 

  3. Why do you think caffeine affects some people more than others? Name at

    least two factors that might make certain people especially susceptible to


  4. Why is adenosine an important body chemical? 
  5. Some religions prohibit caffeine. Why might some people think caffeine is


  6. How might caffeine addiction change the way scientists interpret research


  7. Based on Terry Graham’s research, do you think caffeine would be more

    helpful for a long-distance runner or a sprinter?


  1. Why do you think people in North America consume so much coffee? Do you

    think people in some states or countries drink more coffee than people in other

    places? What about tea? Explain your answers. 

  2. Do you think there should be laws regulating caffeine consumption, similar

    to the laws that limit who can use cigarettes and alcohol? Why or why not?


  1. Follow one of the links listed under “Hot Sites and Cool Books.” Write a

    review of how helpful the website was. Did it help you better understand the

    article? Why or why not? 

  2. How does caffeine affect your body? Keep a caffeine journal. Every time you

    consume caffeinated beverages or other items, record your emotions, physical

    reactions, and sense of alertness.


Twenty-seven percent of coffee drinkers in the United States and 43 percent of German coffee drinkers add sugar or other sweeteners to their coffee, according to As of July 2007, the estimated population of the U.S. was 301,139,947, and the estimated population of Germany was 82,400,996. How many people in each country add sweetener to their coffee?