Coffee is a beverage that’s consumption is truly ubiquitous, every culture in the world has their own preferred method of drinking coffee whether that be via a starbucks caramel frapp-whatever or the much lusted vietnamese coffee.
So wouldn’t it be rather unsettling to learn that coffee may stunt your growth? Let’s take a look at the facts to see whether you really have something to fret about or if myths and misconceptions are getting the best of us…
Is It Specifically Coffee That’s Stunting Your Growth?
There have been plenty of studies into the effects of coffee thanks to its universal position in our lives. There has, conclusively, been no evidence to support that coffee itself stunts your growth. However there are aspects within coffee that may or may not cause issues for example, caffeine..
Does Caffeine Stunt Your Growth?
If you’re a coffee drinker you definitely know both the positive and negative effects of the popular drug: caffeine. Although caffeine doesn’t do any harm to your child’s growth of its own accord the effects of caffeine may encourage behaviours that indirectly affect one’s development.
A Morning Cuppa
As you must know through countless experiences of drinking coffee a little too late in the day: late caffeine consumption will disrupt your sleeping schedule.
Caffeine beverages, like coffee, are great for a little morning energy but can cast you into a cycle of poor sleep and caffeine dependence should you consume that cappuccino later in the day.
Caffeine and Sleep
As we all know, caffeine can disrupt your sleeping patterns which can have bad implications for adults but even more for youngsters. Sleep is a crucial time for growing bodies as this is when human growth hormone is secreted, a hormone that’s mainly responsible for growth. Naturally, if a child isn’t getting enough sleep then human growth hormone won’t have enough time to do its work effectively stunting growth.
Coffee isn’t the prime culprit in this; soft drinks also contain levels of caffeine akin to coffee and are consumed far more widely than any coffee-related beverage in those at a young age.
Post-puberty there has been extensive research into the effects of caffeine on growth and it seems that conclusively, it has no effect as, of course, you’ve already finished growing!
Caffeine and Weakened Bone Mass
Consumption of caffeine often means more calcium is flushed out of your body, calcium being an essential part of bone health, calls into question the safety of consuming caffeine at any age.
The evidence from most is that indeed lower levels of calcium in the body and diet will negatively impact your health and potentially impact growth in those that still have growing bones.
Suggestions from professionals indicate that if you’re to be consuming caffeine you should increase your consumption of calcium in kind to reduce any negative impacts on bone health.
Effectively, caffeine may be safe to consume at all ages but you must match your consumption with an increase in calcium - I guess that means extra milk in your coffee!
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
As many of us unfortunately know, consuming coffee can rile up any stomach issue we might have and cause us to visit the bathroom one too many times.
Diarrhea, particularly when excessive, can cause loss of nutrients as well as water which are essential components to human growth. Of course the degree to which you’ll need this affliction to impact your growth is rather severe; it can be the case when the drinker suffers from irritable bowel syndrome.
Again, this is an unlikely occurrence but nutrient deficiency as caused by diarrhea could result in stunted growth in younger consumers.
Ultimately, asking the question, “does coffee stunt my growth?” doesn’t take into account what chemical is really causing all the ruckus that may arise from drinking too much coffee - caffeine.
As we have mentioned, caffeine not only provides you with a little uplift but can also work to disrupt your sleep, stomach movements and flush your body of calcium. All these things could potentially stunt the growth of a growing human but thankfully the largest consumers of coffee are over 20 so we’re all safe from our coffee habit.