Standing at a whopping five feet tall, I have not seen a change in my height since 6th grade. Ironically enough, that is when I started drinking coffee. My boyfriend always tries to tell me to stop drinking coffee because it “stunts your growth”. I always tried to tell him that I didn’t believe that and I’m only petite because of my genetics. My parents both aren’t very tall so I’m not very shocked that I’m not either. But being that I am significantly shorter than the two of them and my 16 year old brother, I wanted to see if coffee had any sort of effect on my height.
The first link that popped up when I typed it into Google was a New York Times article that right from the get-go stated that coffee does NOT stunt your growth. Apparently, this has been a long standing myth. When the New York Times explained where this myth had come from, they said it was probably started due to a claim about caffeine affecting height. Early studies detected that drinking too much caffeine could reduce bone growth and mass and perhaps even cause Osteoporosis (a medical condition in which the bones lose mass/tissue and strength due to a lack of calcium or vitamin D). The article discusses a study in which they tracked children’s caffeine intake for six years. Within this time, they noticed that within the two control groups (one drinking more caffeine than the other), there was no difference in their bone mass/heights. This proves that they don’t believe coffee has any affect on height.
An article from Harvard Health also stated that coffee is not proven to stunt your growth. Some of their reasoning was that at the age that most people begin drinking coffee, they are already at the maximum height they will remain at for the rest of their life. You can’t just undo bone growth by drinking a cup or two of coffee per day. Girls are fully done growing between ages 15-17 and boys are done a little after that but, I know I started drinking coffee much earlier than that so I can still be skeptical. (And like we learned in class, you always should be skeptical). Harvard also makes a great point that drinking coffee won’t make you shorter and not drinking coffee won’t make you taller.
Harvard Health even stated other health benefits of coffee. For instance, it reduces your risk of abnormal heart rhythms, type II diabetes, Alzheimers disease and Parkinson’s disease; just to name a few. As well as these, it can promote healthy weight loss in people and obviously enough giving you an energy boost.
So, when people try to tell you that coffee stunts your growth, don’t believe it. You are safe from Osteoporosis by taking the proper measures, getting enough calcium/vitamin D and maintaining a healthy diet (for the most part). No need to fear coffee, it is such a popular and loved drink for a reason!! Enjoy it!