Does Coffee Stunt Your Growth?

Coffee is widely used because of its energizing and sweet aroma. Many of you might have heard this from your parents when you were a child and tried to sip their coffee.

They took advantage of this saying to shield their coffee: that coffee will stunt your growth. And now that you have grown up, it is clear whether this statement was true or just manipulation.

Many advertisements in that error also portrayed the same information about coffee. They linked coffee with low calcium absorption in the body, and calcium is used to form bones, leading to short children.

Coffee is the most consumed caffeine beverage among the elderly and the second most consumed beverage among adolescents and youths after energy drinks.

If coffee, as said, causes stunt growth, with such a high consumption among the youths, it shows that we will have a lot of short human beings in the future.

Does Coffee Stunt Your Growth?

To answer the question of whether coffee causes stunt growth with one word, it is a NO. However, there are other health effects associated with drinking excessive caffeine in children and young people.

Where did the idea come from?

For example, when a new phenomenon exists in society, people start speculating about it to fill the information gap. The same applies to a new product when introduced to the market.

Competitors will take advantage of that knowledge gap and create myths that discourage product consumption in the market. Those were the main sources of myths about coffee.

When coffee was introduced into the market, it was given a bad reputation because it was a stimulant. This has led many leaders to ban coffee consumption in their regions. 

The myths are also believed to have originated from C.W. Post, the creator of the Post cereals.

This myth was created out of business interest to subdue the competition from the coffee in the market.

Post was manufacturing a cereal-based drink called Postum, which it claimed was caffeine-free.

It was trying to persuade the population that the Postum drink was friendly to children while attacking coffee.

He proposed that coffee had many negative health effects on children, such as tiredness and irritability, which made the children fail academically and stunted the growth and development of bones.

Since coffee was new in the market and no research had been done, people believed in that advertisement and held to the belief that coffee stunted growth and was good for children’s consumption.

What does science say? 

According to the ancient research by the scientist, it claimed that absorption of caffeine in the body, which is in coffee, could lead to:

  • Decrease in the absorption of calcium in the body, causing low bone density.
  • Due to weak bones caused by low absorption of calcium in the body, the hip bones could fracture.
  • There would be low calcium retention in the body.

According to recent research, a study involving 81 women ages 12-18 over six years showed no difference in bone structure and density between those who consumed a high amount of caffeine and those who consumed a low amount.

Calcium is one of the most crucial minerals in human bodies, especially at a young age when growth is gradual.

Calcium is used in the development and formation of bones in the body. Calcium makes up 98% of the components of the bones in the body. It is not only important to the children but also in every category of age.

According to the scientist, human bones continue to remodel throughout life. This means that the bones break and form new patterns occasionally, creating the need for enough calcium in the body, even for the elderly.

There must be constant intake and absorption of calcium in the body for this process to occur so that you may have strong bones.

There is also a category of scientists who believe that there is a connection between caffeine consumption and calcium absorption in the body. However, their solution is simple: You just have to consume one to two tbsp of milk to balance the caffeine. 

What do the experts say?

Since scientists have shown no relationship between caffeine consumption in the body and the absorption of calcium in the body, the experts have been forced to believe it.

The experts claim there is insufficient evidence to prove that coffee stunts growth in young people.

However, they still discourage excessive coffee consumption as it may lead to anxiety and increase heart rate.

Even though the experts agree that there is no relation between height and caffeine consumption, they still prohibit caffeine consumption among young children under 12 years old.

For those between 12 and 18 years old, the experts propose that they should not exceed 100mg daily of coffee.

Canada has more specified categories of ages and preferred prescriptions. Children between four and six should not exceed 45 mg daily. Between seven and nine, they should not exceed 62.5mg daily.

Between 10 and 12, they should not exceed 85 mg in a day, and those between 12 and 18 should not exceed 100 mg in a day.

What can affect your growth?

So, if caffeine cannot stunt growth in human beings, what then can?

Poor nutrition

Poor nutrition during the infancy period will affect the child even in adulthood. Poor nutrition in an infant can result from a poor diet or a sickness that can alter the absorption of nutrients in the child’s body.

Poor nutrition during infancy is disastrous in a child’s life, for the child may fail ever to recover; it has a lifetime impact even in the elderly age.

Hormone disorders

The endocrine system produces hormones in the body. At some times, especially during adolescence, a hormone disorder can inhibit the production of some essential hormones in a child’s growth, causing the child to be smaller than their peers.


There is a popular saying that sleep is a part of a child’s diet. It is essential in the growth of the muscles and bones and the multiplication of body cells in the infancy period of a child.

Coffee is a stimulant that interferes with the sleeping patterns of a child. When children drink coffee before they go to sleep, they will suffer sleeplessness, inhibiting their growth.

Poor sanitation

This is a problem most common in developing countries. Poor sanitation exposes children to bacteria, making the child’s body spend a lot of mineral resources fighting bacteria rather than on growth.

Parents, experts, scientists, and the government should be very concerned about stunted growth, as it can have many effects in adulthood.

Once stunted growth has occurred in a child, recovery is impossible; the child has to live in that condition for the rest of their life.

Should children avoid coffee?

The effects of coffee on the health of children are controversial. Depending on usage, coffee has negative and positive sides.

Coffee contains many antioxidants, which reduce many diseases, and it also contains caffeine, a stimulant that can cause sleeping problems.

Benefits of Coffee

It contains essential nutrients and antioxidants.

Coffee is rich in many nutrients and antioxidants that help prevent many diseases. It contains vitamin B2, Vitamin B5, thiamine, niacin, folate, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Caffeine enhances brain functionality and metabolism.

Coffee is the world’s most known source of caffeine; others are tea and chocolate. When caffeine enters the brain, it inhibits adenosine production, an inhibitory neurotransmitter.

This causes the brain to increase its activities to produce other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which reduces the feeling of tiredness and keeps the brain more active. 

Caffeine in coffee also boosts the metabolism of the body by 12%

This helps burn fats by increasing the body’s oxidation rate. It is essential in athletic performance.

Coffee can reduce the risk of liver diseases.

The liver is one of the most important organs in the body and has more than 100 functions.

Alcohol and fructose are the main contaminants of the liver and the body that leads to liver diseases.

It has been scientifically proven that coffee drinkers have less than a 20% chance of suffering from cirrhosis.

It has been proved that it also reduces the risk of liver cancer by 40%, which is one of the most dangerous killer diseases in the world.

benefits of coffee

Key Takeaway: Does Coffee Stunt Your Growth?

Like drugs in medication, excessive coffee consumption can have serious effects on human health, including stunting growth.

Therefore, it is very important to take in the right amounts of coffee to avoid adverse health effects.

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