Giving coffee to young children in most parts of the world is almost taboo. Whether coffee can stunt your growth or not, it’s still questionable.
However, with the popularization of coffee shops and specialty coffee drinks, more and more children and teens drink it.
Contrary to popular belief, coffee does not impede a child’s growth, as was originally thought. Nevertheless, there are many other negative side effects on children and teenagers. Let’s see a few examples:
Children ages five to 12 need at least 11 hours of sleep per day, and teens need nine to 10. These numbers seem attainable, but it’s sometimes impossible with the hectic schedules and early morning hours.
A rapidly increasing number of children are using coffee to boost their energy levels during the day. However, this may contribute to a lack of sleep.
It’s best for children and teens to avoid coffee to boost energy levels.
Coffee is a stimulant that contains five times more caffeine per serving than a regular soft drink, and caffeine can last in the body for up to eight hours, contributing to sleep loss, which only serves to perpetuate the cycle.
Coffee is acidic. Acidic beverages can cause mouth damage by weakening the teeth; this leads to a decrease in tooth enamel and, consequently, tooth decay.
Children are more prone to cavities than adults since it takes years for new enamel to harden after baby teeth have been lost and permanent teeth have come in.
Children who drink coffee are more likely than adults to suffer oral health problems, such as cavities and enamel loss.
Coffee is a stimulant that can lead to loss of appetite. Growing children need a balanced diet that includes protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. When children drink coffee, the stimulating effect is likely to decrease appetite and overall nutrition.
Coffee is a diuretic, which increases urine production. Increased urine produces the loss of calcium in the body, leading to loss of bone mass.
In addition to being a diuretic, it also contains large amounts of caffeine that filters calcium from the body. For every 100 mg of caffeine ingested, 6 mg of calcium is lost. For children, calcium is essential for bone growth.
Coffee can create several behavioral problems in children, including hyperactivity, restlessness, and inability to concentrate. This is because caffeine is a stimulant that increases energy and alertness.
While adults can benefit from this side effect, it can be detrimental to school-aged children required to pay attention and remain seated during school instruction.
The effects of caffeine can last for hours (maybe for an entire day at school) and negatively affect peer relationships, study, and grades.
How does coffee stunt your growth through calcium absorption
Coffee is known for its health benefits, but as previously discussed, it can interact with calcium.
Moderate coffee consumption will not harm young adults but can put older women at greater risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis. Coffee causes interactions with calcium through the possibility of decreasing the body’s ability to absorb it.
Again, calcium plays an important role in bone health. Calcium is a mineral that cannot be produced by the body and must be ingested and absorbed. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), 99 percent of the body’s calcium is found in bones and teeth.
Calcium helps the body increase bone density and strength. Calcium can help offset the early effects of osteoporosis. The National Institute of Health cites calcium as necessary for muscle contraction, blood vessel contraction, blood clotting, and hormone release.
Your typical cup of coffee is obtained by grinding the coffee beans and boiling them with water. Coffee beans contain natural caffeine. Caffeine is a drug that can prevent the body from absorbing calcium.
When caffeine is found in the body, calcium is more easily eliminated. Doctors recommend avoiding coffee and other caffeinated beverages 30 minutes before consuming any form of calcium.
It is also recommended to avoid it for at least 30 minutes after taking a calcium supplement. It’s estimated that for every 150 mg of caffeine, eight milligrams of calcium are excreted in the urine.
The National Institutes of Health estimates that one coffee cup is equivalent to two to three milligrams of calcium loss.
Calcium is naturally excreted from the body through the skin, hair, and nails. It’s also expelled in body fluids such as sweat, urine, and feces.
When caffeine is present in the bloodstream, the body will excrete more calcium. If your diet doesn’t get enough of it, your body will start taking calcium from your teeth and bones.
Young people normally receive enough calcium in their diet to compensate for the negative effects established by coffee and calcium interaction. However, older adults, especially women, may need to modify their caffeine intake.
Regular coffee drinkers may try to compensate for calcium loss by adding milk or calcium to their diet. Calcium loss occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, where it has a decreased absorption rate.
If you consume foods or beverages that may interfere with calcium absorption, you may want to take calcium supplements at a different time of day.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, men and women over 50 should take 1,000 mg of calcium, while adults over 50 should increase their daily intake by 1,200 mg.
Adults who ingest the recommended milligrams of calcium usually don’t show any problems with calcium deficiency. Nevertheless, complementing a cup of coffee with milk will increase calcium absorption.
Soy milk is not as effective and may not be fortified with calcium.
Does caffeine affect the absorption of vitamins or minerals?
Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients for a person’s growth and development. Because they need to be absorbed from the bloodstream to be effective, anything that disrupts this process can result in your body getting insufficient nutrients.
And because many people start their day with a cup of coffee, it is important to know that caffeine can interfere with the absorption of vitamin D and calcium, which are important for bone health.
Caffeine is a chemical found in many substances, including coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, chocolate, and some medicines.
It acts as a stimulant in the body, making you feel more alert, which is why many people turn to caffeinated beverages to start their days. Caffeine also has a diuretic effect on the body.
How does coffee stunt your growth: Caffeine vs. Vitamin D
In a collaborative study between Creighton University in Nebraska and the University of Miami, Florida, researchers showed that caffeine could interfere with vitamin D absorption.
Very similar, the results published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology demonstrated that the higher the level of caffeine, the more it interferes with vitamin D absorption.
The study suggested that caffeine achieves this by reducing the expression of vitamin D receptors on the body’s osteoblasts, the cells responsible for bone production.
Bone Health Conclusion
In healthy people, the effects of caffeine on vitamin and mineral absorption are probably negligible. However, anyone concerned about their bone health, including women concerned about osteoporosis, should avoid drinking too many caffeinated beverages.
Health benefits of black coffee
There is good news for all coffee drinkers. Coffee is nothing more than that jolt you depend on to start your day, but it also provides numerous health benefits as well.
Like alcohol and chocolate, coffee has a historically bad reputation. Fortunately, a growing number of recent studies have begun to show its potential health benefits.
Antioxidants and nutrients
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson Joy Dubost says the amount of coffee consumed by Americans is one of the largest sources of antioxidants in their diet. In addition to antioxidants, coffee contains essential nutrients: chromium, potassium, niacin, vitamin E, and magnesium.
Coffee consumption can only supply up to eight percent of your chromium needs. Chromium plays a role in controlling your blood sugar and possibly reducing LDL, or bad cholesterol.
Like tea, coffee contains plant chemicals, particularly flavonoids, which have been linked to reducing the risk of chronic disease.
Improved Cognitive Functioning
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson and registered dietitian Joan Salge Blake says she sees increased cognitive function as one of the health benefits of coffee.
Another study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2001 found that coffee consumption and lifetime caffeine consumption may correlate with better cognitive test performance in women.
For men, coffee consumption is associated with slower cognitive decline. In general, coffee can reduce both cognitive impairment and impairment associated with aging.
Reduction in the risk of diabetes
Coffee contains ingredients that lower blood sugar and increase your resting metabolic rate, reducing the risk of diabetes. Besides, the nutrients in coffee help your body use insulin, a hormone needed to store the sugar you get from food.
Whether they drink regular or decaffeinated coffee, Substantial coffee drinkers may be half as likely to develop diabetes as people who drink little or no coffee.
The association between coffee consumption and diabetes proposes that each cup of coffee you drink per day could result in a seven percent reduction in the risk of developing diabetes.
The National Cancer Institute has reported that men who drink coffee regularly are less likely to develop prostate cancer. A 60 percent reduction in the risk of developing lethal prostate cancer is found in men who drank six or more coffee cups a day.
Even one to three cups of coffee reduces the risk. Four or more cups of coffee a day have also been shown to reduce colon cancer incidence.
Also, researchers found that people who drink coffee are 50 percent less likely to develop liver cancer than their nondrinking counterparts.
At what age can children start drinking coffee?
For children, it all comes down to quantity. Consumed by the adult population, there would be practically no problem. However, according to a study conducted in 2015 by Boston Medical Center, 15 percent of young children consume the equivalent of half a cup of coffee daily, a significant amount for a child of that age.
In fact, that same study found that 2.5 percent of one-year-old children drank coffee, and that number increased alarmingly by the age of two.
Coffee is one of the most consumed drinks in the world. Stimulating and healthy, as long as there is no related contraindication that prevents its consumption (and, above all, if you’re not sensitive to the caffeine present in this traditional beverage).
It is estimated that coffee consumption is around 4.5 kilograms per capita worldwide. Or, the same as 3.6 cups daily.
This leads to the following question, does coffee stunt children’s growth?
The same is true for other similar beverages, such as tea. Although, on this occasion, everything will depend on the type of tea prepared (it is not the same as an herbal tea) and the plants that are finally used in its preparation when it’s an herbal tea.
Children should not drink coffee because it contains caffeine, a stimulating brain substance that causes many other effects; therefore, it is not recommended at a young child’s age.
Caffeine should also be avoided in soft drinks, such as coke. Children are more susceptible to caffeine’s effects and, therefore, taken in excess can cause nervousness, irritability, insomnia, tachycardia, and palpitations, disorders that in children could occur with much lower doses.
In the adult population, coffee is becoming a beneficial substance in various aspects, as a great antioxidant and brain tonic. Despite this fact, caffeine is not recommended for the elderly or children in general, but its consumption is reserved for the adult phase.
So what do you think? Can coffee stunt your kid’s growth? Please feel free to share your comments with us below. Stay safe and healthy!