As a teenager, we always have been curious about certain things, and then, to try them out ourselves. Trust me, we all have gone through this stage. Do you remember being 13 years old and seeing your mom guzzling down her 2nd cup of coffee and wanting some for yourself? When we used to ask if we could have a cup of it, the usual response was always the same: “No, caffeine! It may harm your body growth…” But the question that arose in the mind when I was a kid was ‘Will Coffee actually stunt my growth?’
So, to find the answer to my question for a long time, I started reading articles and came to know some quite stunning facts.
- According to the National Academy of Science (NAS), required calcium intake for healthy bones is 1,000-1,200 mg per day. Even one 8-ounce cup of coffee will increase about 18.75mg amount of calcium in your urine. Meaning, all you need to add is one tablespoon of milk to that same cup to replace the excess calcium loss by drinking coffee. The NAS recommends that if you limit your caffeine intake to no more than 300 mg and you take in the recommended amount of calcium, you will maintain healthy bones.
- A recent study found that women aged between 65-77 are the only people who had an increase in bone loss due to caffeine intake. The study also found that they would be at a higher risk of osteoporosis if these women drank more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day over three years.
- In another study, it has been shown that if young people didn’t get the recommended amount of calcium in their diets, even then, they didn’t show any bone loss from caffeine intake. It indeed happens because of exercise, the average young person gets, compared to the elderly.
- While coffee doesn’t stunt your growth, it has some unwanted side effects. As per the studies, if you drink more than 250 and up to 700mg per day, you can experience symptoms like insomnia, headaches, nausea, anxiety, and heart palpitations. It can also be responsible for increasing your blood pressure level. Coffee also contains tannic acid, which can stain your teeth. Pregnant women should also be aware that drinking 2 cups of coffee a day might increase the chance of having an underweight baby. This situation can also lead to spontaneous miscarriages.
It is still difficult to digest how this fallacy has become a societal acceptance worldwide. This theory has probably gained some traction with numerous studies showing that drinking coffee will increase the amount of calcium that gets excreted later in your urine. The fact is that coffee won’t hinder your child’s growth, but it might, however, get him hooked on the most addictive legal drug known to man.