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Does Coffee Stunt Your Growth? Health Facts for Kids & Adults

Stunted growth

There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about the dangers of coffee. Some sources claim that a few cups of coffee a day is good for your long-term health, while others point to studies that show a correlation between coffee consumption and high blood pressure, anxiety, and insomnia. When it comes to the question of coffee stunting your growth, thankfully, there is a consensus: no.

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Coffee and stunting growth

If you are concerned about coffee stunting your growth, don’t worry. There is no evidence that caffeine consumption in general, or drinking coffee specifically, affects a person’s height.

Most people are finished growing before they become coffee drinkers, so there is even less cause for concern. There are other side effects of drinking coffee at a young age, which usually prevents people from taking up the habit until well after they’ve finished growing.

One possible reason the notion of coffee stunting growth persists is an old suspicion that coffee was linked to osteoporosis. However, this is also a myth and osteoporosis only reduces height in older people and, even then, only in rare cases. Osteoporosis weakens bones, and since the vertebrae in the spine are made of bone, they can weaken and compress. Over time, compression of vertebrae can lead to a reduced height.

woman drinking a cup of black ivory coffee
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

Health risks associated with drinking coffee

Overall, coffee is considered safe to drink. Some studies show a small, temporary increase in blood pressure from drinking coffee, but it isn’t anything to worry about in otherwise healthy people.

For people who are very sensitive to caffeine, drinking more than one or two cups of coffee per day can have a negative effect on the quality of their sleep. Drinking more than four cups a day is also associated with insomnia in many people.

A less dangerous – but still unpleasant – risk of coffee drinking is caffeine withdrawal. If your body adjusts to the presence of caffeine, it will become accustomed to having it. Once you’ve adapted to it, you can experience classic withdrawal symptoms like headaches and fogginess when you miss your morning cup.

Most of the time, coffee consumption is not a health risk and is considered safe. If you’re concerned about the effect drinking coffee regularly has on your health, you should consult a doctor.

young caucasian man awake at night not able to sleep
Image Credit: SB Arts Media, Shutterstock

Health benefits

Not only is drinking coffee relatively safe, but it also comes with a smattering of health benefits. Regular coffee consumption has been tied to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and liver disease. Research has yet to establish a direct cause and effect relationship between coffee and these benefits, but there is a discernible correlation.

There are also studies that show caffeine is an appetite suppressant and can help with weight loss. Caffeine is a popular ingredient in weight loss supplements due to its appetite-suppressing effects, but weight loss supplements often have many other ingredients of questionable safety and efficacy. A safer alternative is simply to drink black coffee. There are virtually zero calories in black coffee, and you still get the benefit of caffeine.

Many people drink coffee for its energizing boost, and it turns out that regular coffee drinkers exhibit improved ability to focus and even enhanced athletic performance. These performance-boosting effects actually have led some regulatory committees to regulate caffeine consumption in competing athletes.

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It’s rare for something that tastes as good as coffee to also be good for you, but it turns out that it probably is. We’ve been trained to expect something that seems too good to be true to have a catch, but coffee comes with no strings attached for most people.

Coffee doesn’t stunt your growth and actually has a whole host of health benefits with only minimal side effects. These side effects are easy to avoid by controlling your consumption and limiting yourself to a few cups each day. If you have concerns about coffee’s impact on your health, you should always consult a medical professional. Unless you notice troublesome side effects of drinking coffee, there is no reason to change your coffee habits.

SEE ALSO: Should Kids Be Allowed To Drink Coffee? What are the Disadvantages?

Featured Image Credit: Andrei Korzhyts, Shutterstock


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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