Does coffee stunt growth? One thing is self-evident, caffeine drinks are for grown-ups. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that coffee will stunt kids’ growth. A similar question is whether coffee stunts puberty and the answer is pretty similar- coffee is not likely to stunt pubertal changes, just as it probably won’t stunt your growth if you are a kid.
Before we elaborate on why there’s absolutely no connection between coffee consumption and growth, we’ll first try to explain why people believe that coffee makes you shorter by stopping your growth.
Is coffee bad for kids? Coffee should be an adult beverage. Kids are much more sensitive to caffeine, and they are more likely to experience some of the coffee’s side effects. This means that kids will find it harder to sleep even hours after drinking coffee (or caffeinated beverages). Furthermore, unlike adults, children are quite sensitive to sleep deprivation, and this factor (sleep deprivation) can indeed stunt kids’ growth.
Moreover, coffee’s acidity is a much bigger problem for kids, gastrointestinal problems included.
What does all this mean? It means that, while children shouldn’t drink coffee, this beverage, on its own, doesn’t impede growth. But as we’ve seen, things like sleep problems and gastrointestinal issues are more likely to happen to kids, and these two factors can indeed impede the functionality of your kid.
Origin Of “Coffee Stunts Growth” Myth
Some years ago, several studies appeared that implied that coffee might correlate with osteoporosis, and osteoporosis is “known” to make you shorter. The thing is, more recent studies failed to prove the putative connection between coffee and stunt growth, via osteoporosis.
According to a Harvard survey of Coffea Arabica’s influence on the human body, only severe and excessive consumption (i.e. more than 5 cups per day) of this beverage might cause significant health issues such as infertility and miscarriage- although more studies are needed for this connection to be unambiguously proven. The latter issue (miscarriage) leads us to another important question. Does coffee stunt baby’s growth? As we’ve seen, at the moment, it seems as if excessive consumption might lead to miscarriage. This means that women should consume coffee in moderation during and shortly after the pregnancy, in order to avoid any health complications (of the baby).
To sum it up, children should not consume coffee in any way (whether directly or through the mother’s milk). This is also the opinion of the Mayo clinic.
Coffee And Stunt Growth In Adolescents
What about adolescents? Is it safe for them to consume any amount of everyone’s favorite caffeine beverage? According to Medical News Today, adolescents should keep their caffeine intake below 100 mg per day. When adolescents reach the age of 16 or 17, it’s OK for them to have a cup of coffee every once in a while- the most important thing would be for them to stay away from energy drinks, which often contain loads of caffeine, sugars, taurin, etc. which is much more dangerous than one cup of java.
According to a study, a great majority (83.2%) of adolescents consume caffeine-drinks on a daily basis. Needless to say, this is a lot, and young people should be acquainted with dangers linked with (excessive) caffeine consumption.
One shouldn’t approach this from an authority/subordinate perspective (e.g. one shouldn’t preach to kids how they must not drink coffee or else…). Teenage period is also quite turbulent with respect to issues with authority, which is why outright proscriptions won’t really work. But if a parent lays out rational facts why excessive consumption of coffee (and other caffeinated drinks) might be dangerous, a teenager will much more likely make his or her own (rational) conclusions).
Coffee And Stunt Growth Experiments And Research
Most studies examined the influence of numerous drinks that contain more or less caffeine (caff.). A study undertaken by Hallstrom, et al. found no direct connection between high intake of caff. and osteoporosis. However, females who had a low intake of calcium and high consumption of caffeine had a slightly increased risk of osteoporosis.
This study alone suffices to bust the myth we’re talking about today.
More recently, the Korean Journal of Family Medicine concluded that more attention should be paid to adequate calcium and vitamin D consumption, especially for elderly people. Interestingly, Korean scientists concluded that a moderate intake of coffee is possibly linked with numerous benefits such as preventing diabetes type 2, Parkinson’s, and cirrhosis of the liver.
Thus, we may conclude that coffee won’t diminish your height by causing osteoporosis- if you take care of your vitamin D and calcium intake, and, fortunately, this is not so hard to do. Calcium is readily available in dairy products, especially milk, while vitamin D can be found in fish, cheese, beef liver, and eggs (especially yolks). Probably the best source of vitamin D is Sun!
So by following these dietary suggestions, you’ll most certainly reverse the (potential) calcium deficiency that is sometimes the effect of drinking coffee.
How soon can teenagers drink coffee?
As emphasized, stunt growth is perhaps the most minuscule possibility concerning caffeine intake in teenagers. Insomnia, sensitivity, and digestive issues are reasons to be careful about the coffee consumption of your child. From 16/17 years of age onwards (depending on body constitution and body mass), adolescents can ingest drinks that have low concentrations of caffeine (like most green teas, for instance).
Does tea stunt growth?
Most black and green teas have lower concentrations of caffeine than coffee, which is why stunt growth is no way linked with tea. However, all precautions mentioned so far go for tea too- children should not drink strong tees before the age of 16/17.
Does soda stunt your growth?
No, soda isn’t likely to reduce your height.