Does coffee really stunt your growth?
When it comes to kids and coffee the most common old wives tale is that drinking coffee will stunt your growth. There’s no real way to know for sure where the idea came from. There are many myths associated with coffee. It’s been considered a cure for scurvy and even something that can make women infertile. So what’s the truth about coffee? Can it really stunt your kid’s growth? The short answer is no.
It would hardly be the first old wives tale proven wrong. It wouldn’t even be the first one about coffee proven wrong. The idea behind the old wives tale could have something to do with old studies linking caffeine to osteoporosis and reduced bone mass. The problem is that these studies were on elderly people who didn’t have enough calcium, so it was obvious they would have reduced bone mass.
In order to prove that coffee really can’t stunt a kids growth studies were performed on younger people rather than older people. One study in particular tracked 81 teenagers across six years and found that there was no significant amount of difference in bone density between the teens who had a lot of coffee and those who had very little.
Coffee is a stimulant
This doesn’t mean you should start giving your kids coffee, though. It might not stunt their growth but it can have other effects. Don’t forget that coffee is a stimulant and a pretty powerful one at that. If you think your kid is a disaster when they’ve had a little sugar do you really want to imagine them after they’ve had a cup of coffee?
It also taxes the heart, which could prove too much for younger and weaker hearts. All the negative problems associated with coffee, such as jitters and headaches, can all affect kids too. There’s nothing wrong with a teenager drinking some coffee to get them through school and exams. Most of them are drinking energy drinks anyway. But you should probably keep coffee out of the reach of younger children. They tend to have enough energy anyway!
So now you know that coffee does not, in fact, stunt growth. It does still have some effects though so be careful about letting your children drink it. There’s no harm in letting them have a little bit of yours but don’t go giving them a full cup of their own. If they really need energy that badly then give them some fruit or candy. They’d probably prefer the sweet taste over the bitter taste of coffee anyway.