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Did Coffee Stunt Your Growth as a Kid?

A teenage girl wearing a backpack drinks coffee.
Bangun Stock ProductionsBangun Stock Productions/Shutterstock.com

If you’re on the shorter side of the height spectrum and consumed quite a bit of coffee in your youngster days, perhaps you’ve considered that the caffeine stunted your growth.

Turns out, though, your height probably has no correlation whatsoever with drinking coffee as a kid. The link between caffeine and stunted growth is actually a myth.

There is no scientific evidence that suggests coffee stunts growth. In fact, it’s estimated that 73% of kids and teens in the United States consume caffeine daily, so research would most likely reflect the idea that coffee stunts growth by now if it were true.

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However, that doesn’t mean drinking coffee as a kid is totally healthy. Coffee can actually be unsafe for those under 12 years old and could lead to health issues, like insomnia, anxiety, headaches, diarrhea, dehydration, and high blood pressure. As for teens, it’s recommended they consume no more than 100mg of caffeine per day.

How tall a person stands is mainly linked to genetics, not the amount of caffeine or coffee you consume. So if you’ve loved coffee from a young age but have wondered if it stunted your growth, the answer is likely no. And hey, there’s nothing wrong with being on the shorter side anyway!

If you’re still a coffee lover and have consumed it your whole life, don’t forget that caffeine is addictive, so if you want to cut back, it might be time to try decaf.

Lindsay Ray Lindsay Ray
Lindsay is a lifestyle and beauty writer currently living in Arizona. She has several years of experience as a freelance writer and reporter, with a specialized interest in the beauty and lifestyle space. From beauty hacks to DIY home décor and everything in between -- Lindsay has a passion for crafting stories that entertain, educate, and inspire. Her writing has appeared in Thought Catalog, The List, Drink Me Magazine, the Auburn Examiner, and Litro Magazine in the United Kingdom. Read Full Bio »
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