I have heard that coffee (or other chemicals such as caffeine in it) can actually prevent you from growing. Is this really true?

  • Souces, please? "I have heard" can mean everything from a speech at Stanford to your Granny's tales...
    – Stephie
    Dec 14, 2015 at 5:50
  • Ha! True, my mom (I still live with my mom) is kinda concerned with it. I wanted to know if this is really effecting my health or not.
    – Major Tom
    Dec 17, 2015 at 22:54

1 Answer 1


No. That coffee (or caffeine or anything else in coffee) would stunt growth is a debunked myth.

Here's an article from the New York Times that cites a small university study that showed no relation in bone density/gain in adolescents. Another article from Smithsonian cites the same article and a few other studies from the NIH and others that show very little impact of caffeine / coffee on related growth factors, the other factors which are largely explained by other factors (e.g., sugar or other stuff from other types of beverages).

That said, caffeine and other chemicals in coffee have certain other effects, and certain people are sensitive. Here's a related article about some other coffee myths.

  • I upvoted this, but that link for other coffee myths is shaky at best. Caffeine is most certainly a physically addictive substance; withdrawal symptoms are pretty much the definition of this. Most users will have some psychological addiction as well ("I'm useless without my morning coffee."). Caffeine is used in neonates to help them breathe, it is better tolerated than most other breathing treatments and would likely still be used if stunted long term growth was possible as a result because the benefit (of breathing) outweighs the risks. Dec 14, 2015 at 23:54
  • It also doesn't mention that children are generally more sensitive to behavioral changes from caffeine because they are usually caffeine naive. They end up with very similar reactions to any adult that is caffeine naive and gets "all jazzed up" from a dose (in whatever form). Dec 14, 2015 at 23:58

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