Humans have always been fascinated with myths and misconceptions about things that have been well-researched, analyzed and tested for decades or even more. One of those modern-day myths is ‘does coffee stunt your growth?’ and a lot of us answering ‘yes’ to that.
Another addition to this is ‘does coffee stunt a child’s growth?’, and a lot of us saying yes to that, too. There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support that statement, but still we have been hearing that since forever, haven’t we?
Does Caffeine Stunt Growth? – A Better Question to Ask
Since there has been no evidence found regarding coffee’s adverse effects on growth hormones till date, the better question is whether caffeine is harmful to your health? We all know that coffee contains caffeine. And caffeine, when consumed, works by stimulating the central nervous system, muscles and mainly, heart.
Most of us wonder whether coffee itself is a harmful beverage or the caffeine that it contains. Well, according to research, caffeine might have adverse effects on an individual if consumed too much. That too, varying from one person to another. If you are having one or two cups per day, you should be good.
However, caffeine intake can cause various health-related problems among different age groups. Try decaf coffee if you are concerned about caffeine.
Does Coffee Stunt Growth in Children?
If you are a kid or in your teens and you’re wondering whether or not coffee is good for you, well, you don’t need to worry much as far as you have a fine balance of diet throughout the day.
Since coffee contains caffeine and caffeine is believed to affect sleep patterns, this might have similar effects on children depending on a few factors:
Right Time of Day to Have a Cup of Coffee
Medical experts believe that if children and teenagers start their day with a cup of coffee with their regular breakfast, it should not have any adverse effects on their health. However, drinking coffee during late hours or before their bedtime might disrupt their sleeping patterns to some extent and can have bad health impacts eventually.
For example, growth hormones release during the initial part of your sleep and this is crucial to a child’s height development. However, if a child is not getting the right amount of sleep then this process of hormone release will surely get affected.
Some possible outcomes of consuming coffee in the later hours of a day by children are regular sleep-deprivation, sleep apnea, restlessness, insomnia, fatigue and tiredness, etc.
Caffeine Consumption Other than Coffee
As far as caffeine consumption is concerned among children and teenagers, years of various research studies have found that it does not have any more negative impacts than in the amounts of caffeine that children and teenagers consume in other drinks like energy drinks, soda, cereals, ice creams, etc.
No Effect Once Growth Spurt Ends
Another fact among adolescents is that once the puberty growth spurt ends, there is absolutely no reason to worry about growth effects whatsoever. Although coffee consumption might result in lesser intake of milk among young people, which eventually results in reduction of important nutrients that your body needs, moderate consumption of coffee is never harmful.
Caffeine and its Effects on Health
Caffeine is believed to have adverse effects on health, depending on the amount of consumption and other various factors. If you are someone who drinks just a couple of coffee cups per day, that too the regular classic drinks, you should not have much problems. However, drinking too many cups per day or always going for the dark and strong coffee taste, might give you short-term or long-term health issues.
Irregular Sleep Patterns
This is one of the most common effects of caffeine consumption observed in individuals who drink it more often. According to a study, caffeine take a while to exit the body of a young person as compared to elderly people.
This leads to the fact that caffeine has lasting effects on a young person more than an adult. Due to this fact, the energy levels and at times the heart rate, might be functioning more rapidly than they else would. This causes sleeplessness, minor or major anxiety issues and prolonged insomnia.
Impact on Heart
Since caffeine is known to stimulate heart muscles, this can have harmful effects especially for those who have a history of minor or serious heart problems.
It might get even worse if you are consuming boiled coffee as it directly increases your cholesterol, homocysteine and fat levels. Study suggests that all these are directly linked to possible heart diseases.
Weakening of Bone Mass
Another long-believed phenomenon is that caffeine has negative effects on human bone mass.
Yes, consumption of caffeinated coffee results in more calcium flushed out from your body through urine. This can weaken your bones, however, if you have a natural deficiency of calcium then you do need to take calcium-enriched diet anyway. In severe cases, you might have to consume calcium supplements to keep your calcium levels intact. If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you should reduce your caffeine consumption as per your doctor’s advice.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) & Diarrhea
If you are having stomach disorders, diarrhea or minor irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, consumption of caffeine might actually worsen it. Also, if you have strong, dairy-enriched caffeinated coffee right after consuming heavy meals, it might have bad effects on your stomach.
High Sugar Levels
A number of modern-day caffeinated coffee flavors have added sugar in them. This is believed to be much harmful than sugar found in food items like fruits and vegetables, since other healthy nutrients in these whole foods balance out their negative effects.
According to a study, people with sugar-related health issues such as obesity, diabetes, etc. need to be a lot more careful when it comes to caffeine intake.
Coffee – The Positive Side
Regardless of all the myths and stories you might have heard about how bad coffee is for you, still you cannot rule out the positive effects it can have on you. What are they? Let’s have a look.
Increased Energy Levels
Studies have shown that people who consume coffee on a regular basis tend to perform better in all aspects of life as compared to those who consume it less. The brain gets a better blood flow due to increased overall blood pressure. This results in increased alertness, mental freshness and better thinking capabilities throughout the day.
Lower Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
Nominal coffee intake has been linked to lower risks of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Diterpenes, Trigonelline & Chlorogenic Acid
Chlorogenic acid acts as an antioxidant that protects your body’s cells, diterpenes has anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties, and trigonelline lowers your body blood sugar levels.
Lower Risk of Cancer
Although not medically proven yet, a number of studies have been conducted on this subject and a lot of those studies have somewhat shown a connection between coffee consumption and lower risk of cancers.
Can 12 year olds drink coffee?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids aged 12 to 18 consume no more than 100 mg of caffeine per day, which is about the amount in a single 8 oz. cup of brewed coffee.
What can stunt your growth?
And these 10 things will stunt your growth:
Smoking. Consuming too many candies or carbohydrates. Consuming too many fats. Not getting enough sleep or sleeping irregularly.
Does coffee stop growth ?
No, coffee doesn’t stunt a person’s growth, however, it does contain caffeine. If you are drinking more than one or two cups of coffee per day, especially if you’re also getting caffeine from other sources, like soda or energy drinks, in that case you should cut back.
What does coffee do to a child?
Too much caffeine can lead to insomnia, jitteriness, upset stomach, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and increased heart rate.
Can kids drink tea?
Up to a certain point, tea is an excellent drink for children. But, like other caffeine-containing drinks, it should be consumed in moderation, with no more than two cups a day for a toddler.
Does sleep affect height?
A single night of no sleep will not stunt growth. But over the long term, a person’s growth may be affected by not getting the full amount of sleep.
Does milk make you taller?
As best as the current science can answer it, no, milk doesn’t make you grow taller, simply because, well, nothing can make you grow taller. But milk can be a useful tool to help kids grow to their potential height.
Our Final Word
As the famous saying goes, ‘do your own homework before jumping on to conclusions’, all your life you will keep hearing people telling you about the possible connection between coffee consumption and its adverse effects on health, mainly growth.
However, does coffee stunt your growth? – if you are living a balanced and healthy lifestyle with a nutritious diet plan, regular exercise and proper sleep every night, there is no reason to worry about your coffee consumption and same goes for all the loved ones around you – yes, including kids!