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Does Coffee Stunt Your Growth? Fact or Fiction

does coffee stunt your growth

The enticing aroma, the bold taste, and invigorating energy boost – coffee possesses it all, elevating it to the status of an indispensable morning essential. However, does coffee stunt your growth? This persistent myth often leads parents to keep their children away from this delicious brew. Yet, the question lingers: is there any solid scientific evidence to back up this belief?

After thoroughly evaluating numerous studies and research, it has been concluded that there is a complete absence of substantial evidence linking coffee consumption to stunted growth in children. So, the next time someone tries to scare you with the notion that coffee drinks will impede your growth, you can confidently furnish them with factual information.

In this article, we will delve into the evidence supporting this myth, analyze the impact of caffeine on child’s growth, and present an evidence-based response to this age-old question.

Does Coffee Make You Shorter?

Do you cherish that energizing aroma of coffee in the morning but are you worried that it might make you lose some inches? The complexity of genetic and environmental factors determine a person’s height. While our genes hold the key to many physical attributes, including height, aspects such as nourishment, sleep quality, exercise, and overall health all contribute to our height as well.

Although external conditions can influence gene expression, there is no solid evidence supporting the notion that coffee stunts your growth. Despite some studies suggesting that caffeine may impair calcium absorption and thus contribute to this myth, it’s safe to say that you can still relish your morning brew without the fear of shrinking.

The Science Behind Coffee and Growth

Coffee has been the subject of numerous debates and controversies, especially when it comes to its impact on growth and overall health. Despite popular belief, coffee does not impede growth nor does it reduce bone mass. This prevalent myth is rooted in the assumption that caffeine – the primary active component in coffee – is detrimental to the human body and causes osteoporosis. This point, however, is based on an outdated and false notion that caffeine interferes with the body’s absorption of calcium, which is necessary for robust bone growth.

The origin of this myth can be traced back to early 20th-century advertisements by a company called Postum, who aimed to spread misinformation about the supposed adverse effects of caffeine on health. Nevertheless, decades of scientific research have thoroughly debunked these false claims, making it clear that coffee does not stunt growth nor does it cause osteoporosis.

So, go ahead and relish your cup of coffee, guilt-free! In moderation, coffee can be a vital part of a healthy and balanced diet. Embrace the science behind the power of coffee, and let go of the myths and misconceptions.

How Are Caffeine and Growth Linked?

Caffeine, a highly coveted stimulant, has the power to invigorate the human mind and body. It acts as a catalyst, enhancing alertness, focus, and heart rate, enabling one to navigate through the day with greater energy and increased productivity. Despite its many benefits, caution must be exercised when consuming caffeine, particularly for young people who are still growing and developing.

The dangers of sleep deprivation are not just limited to stymied growth. The absence of proper sleep can disrupt one’s mood, impair concentration, and have negative impacts on overall health. Although caffeine and growth may have no direct link, the habits and routines of young individuals have a profound effect on their growth and development, making it imperative to limit caffeine intake, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime.

It is crucial to keep in mind that the majority of people reach their final height during their teenage years, a time when they may also start drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages. However, this correlation should not be mistaken as evidence of a cause and effect relationship between coffee consumption and growth.


Who Should Avoid or limit Caffeine?

The moderate consumption of caffeine by adults is generally considered safe, provided that certain guidelines are observed. It’s suggested that the daily limit for caffeine intake should not exceed 400 mg, which equates to the amount present in four to five cups of coffee.

However, it’s worth noting that caffeine is not limited to coffee alone. It can also be found in various other beverages, such as tea, soda, energy drinks, and even chocolate. Therefore, it’s imperative to keep a vigilant eye on your overall caffeine consumption, drawing from all sources, to prevent surpassing the recommended daily limit.

By adhering to these guidelines, one can bask in the advantages of caffeine consumption while simultaneously keeping potential health risks at bay.

Teenagers and Young Adults

When it comes to sipping on coffee, it’s imperative to contemplate the ramifications of caffeinated beverage, particularly for the young demographic of adults and adolescents. The American Academy of Pediatrics proffers circumspection, advocating that teenagers between the ages of 12 to 18 years limit their caffeine consumption to a modest 100 mg per day.

However, Health Canada’s guidelines on caffeine intake vary based on age and individual factors such as weight, tolerance, and sensitivity to caffeine. Here are the recommended daily caffeine limits according to Health Canada:

  1. Adults (18 years and over): Health Canada recommends a daily caffeine limit of 400 milligrams for adults. This is roughly equivalent to four cups of coffee (assuming an average cup contains 100 milligrams of caffeine).

  2. Children and adolescents (up to 18 years): For children and adolescents, the recommended daily limit is based on their body weight. Health Canada recommends a maximum of 2.5 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. For example, a 50-kilogram adolescent should consume no more than 125 milligrams of caffeine per day.

It is important to note that these guidelines are based on average caffeine consumption levels and individual tolerance and sensitivity to caffeine may vary.

Pregnant Women

does caffeine stunt growth

For many, coffee serves as a daily ritual; however, it’s not always a safe choice for everyone. Pregnancy, in particular, brings forth a new set of considerations when it comes to caffeine consumption. Since caffeine can cross the placenta and reach the developing baby, it’s crucial for expectant mothers to be cautious about their caffeine consumption. To minimize potential risks, health authorities recommend that pregnant women limit their daily caffeine intake to a maximum of 300 milligrams, equivalent to 2-3 cups of coffee.

Therefore, for those who are embracing motherhood, it may be wise to either limit or eliminate caffeine from their diet. Of course, it’s always advisable to seek advice from a healthcare professional, who can provide personalized recommendations.

In conclusion, the wellbeing of your baby should be the top priority and even small changes like reducing highest daily caffeine intake can have a significant impact.

People with Anxiety Disorders

Coffee, a caffeine-infused beverage, may prove to be a double-edged sword for individuals dealing with the tumultuous symptoms of anxiety disorders. While a cup of coffee in the morning can provide a much-needed energy boost, the National Library of Medicine warns that excessive caffeine consumption can exacerbate an already delicate state of anxiety and induce restlessness, nervousness, pricking headaches, profuse sweating, and a persistent inability to sleep – insomnia.

As a precautionary measure, it is advisable for individuals battling anxiety to limit or altogether abstain from consuming caffeine. It’s essential to be mindful of other sources of caffeine, such as energy drinks, chocolate, and some prescription medications, which could potentially trigger anxiety symptoms. A more suitable alternative could be to switch to decaffeinated coffee or herbal teas, which can aid in the management of anxiety symptoms.

Factors that Affecting on your Growth

does coffee make you short

Perhaps it’s time to examine the other potential factors that could be affecting your growth rather than just blaming higher caffeine intake.


Poor Nutrition:

Neglecting to provide your body with the necessary vitamins and minerals through a balanced diet can result in stunted growth and harm your overall health. Optimal nutrition, inclusive of essential vitamins and minerals, is imperative for appropriate development of bones and muscles and for the synthesis of hormones that drive growth.

Hormonal Imbalance:

Hormones are the driving force behind growth and development. Disorders such as adrenal insufficiency, growth hormone deficiency, and hypothyroidism can cause arrested growth or slow progression.

Sleep Matters:

Sleep is critical for physical and mental maturation. A lack of sleep or inconsistent sleep patterns can result in reduced secretion of growth hormone, affecting growth and development as a whole.

Sanitary Surroundings:

Unhygienic environments like contaminated water sources and poor hygiene practices can increase the likelihood of illnesses and infections that hinder growth and harm overall health. Maintaining clean living conditions is crucial for proper growth and development.


Genetics plays a prominent role in height determination, accounting for approximately 80-90% of height differences. This means that a person’s height is largely predetermined by the genes passed down from their parents.


Can You Drink Coffee When Breastfeeding?

As a nursing mother, you may be wondering whether indulging in a cup of joe is both safe and appropriate. The simple response is affirmative, but with a caveat. Although you can drink coffee while breastfeeding, it’s advisable to exercise moderation and keep your intake to a minimum.

Interestingly, in certain South American nations, including Brazil and Colombia, it is a common practice for mothers to drink coffee while breastfeeding. The locals hold the conviction that caffeine in coffee can augment milk output, thus providing a much-needed boost to energy levels.

Is Coffee Safe to Drink at Any Age?

Coffee, a beverage cherished by many, is deemed safe for consumption at any age. But, the frequency and mode of consumption can result in varying outcomes among diverse demographic groups. Black coffee, for example, is considered to be much healthier than other coffee-based beverages that are high in sugar and added ingredients.

Caffeine, the primary stimulant in coffee, can cause a temporary elevation of blood pressure in some individuals, particularly those with hypertension. Moreover, pregnant women should be cautious when consuming high amount of coffee as it has been linked to an increased risk of low birth weight in some studies.

To sum up, moderate coffee consumption is acceptable, but it’s important to be mindful of potential health effects. 

Coffee Can Disrupt Sleep?

Indeed, the stimulating effects of coffee can be detrimental to one’s sleep. Caffeine, a well-known stimulant, may enhance one’s alertness and focus, yet it can also raise one’s heart rate and disrupt the physiological rhythm that governs the alternation between sleep and wakefulness. Consuming coffee too close to bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep, leaving one feeling fatigued and drowsy the following day and, ultimately,  impacting your daily performance and overall health.

Final Verdict

Contrary to popular belief, there is no empirical data to substantiate the assertion that coffee consumption leads to stunted growth. Despite the fact that caffeine does have a brief effect on a person’s height and bone health, the impact is relatively inconsequential and does not have a noticeable impact on overall growth. The determining factors for height are primarily inherited genes and a healthy lifestyle that incorporates proper nourishment, frequent exercise, and sufficient rest.