You Can Drink Soda


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  caffeine.jpg 
   People always say, "Caffeine stunts your growth".  I come from a small family.  I am 5-2 my mom is 4-11 my grandpa is 5-3 etc... My Aunts and Uncles want to make sure my cousins are as tall as possible so they limit them on how much soda they can drink.  My parents never really did this to me.  I have discovered my parents were right and the rest of my relatives are wrong because this is a MYTH.  Caffeine DOES NOT stunt your growth, directly at least.  
   Caffeine is common in liquids such as coffee or soda.  Kidshealth.org describes how this substance stimulates the central nervous system also known as a stimulant.  Stimulants can make your heart beat faster, upset stomachs, raise blood pressure, cause anxiety, dizziness and interfere with sleep. Too much caffeine can also affect people who are on certain medications.  It messes with people's heart rates and can trigger migraine headaches.  In this blog I wrote earlier in the blog session, I spoke about migraines and it's effects and causes. 
    According to Boston.com there is no evidence that shows caffeine can stunt our growth.  However, there are many things that caffeine can lead to that may have this effect on our height.  For example, if consuming too much caffeine leads to sleep deprivation.  Our growth hormones are secreted at night while we are sleeping.  If someone, especially a growing child, is not getting the amount of sleep they need because the caffeine is keeping them awake at night, their body may not be secreting these hormones as often as they should be. 
   The article by Boston.com briefly discusses a study done back in 2006.  It showed that children need more sleep than adults.  The study reported adolescents who were intaking high amounts of caffeine were feeling more tired in the morning and were having trouble sleeping.  
    As we can see, it is not the caffeine that stunts your growth it is other things like sleep.  When I was home I used to drink a lot of soda.  When I got to State College, I stopped taking in as much soda as I did at home.  I do not think soda effected my sleep because I have not seen a difference from drinking a lot of it or a little of it.  However, I know for some people soda really makes them hyper, especially if they are not as used to drinking it.  
  According to babycenter.com certain parts of the world, such as Canada, recommended limits on a child's intake of caffeine.  They say a child 4-6 years old should get no more than 45 mg a day of caffeine.  Kids 7-9 should get no more than 62.5 mg and ages 10-12 no more than 85 mg.  The United States has not created any recommended limits for children; however, it is up to you to decide how much you think you or another individual should intake.  This decision should be based off of how well a child may be able to sleep at night and how well they handle caffeine like if it makes them hyper.  
   If you do decide to stop taking in as much caffeine as you do, do so in a gradual pace.  Stopping the intake of caffeine too quickly can be the cause of more unpleasant symptoms.  For example, headaches, irritability, and constantly being tired can occur. 
   Although after extensive research I have not found any studies done on caffeine stunting growth, I have discovered many facts.  As discussed throughout this blog, I have realized caffeine does not directly stunt growth; it is the other side effects of caffeine such as lack of sleep that can effect it.  I think this is where a lot of myths derive from.  These sorts of things do not directly cause something to happen, they create symptoms that can eventually lead to bigger problems occurring.  There are many things that contribute to how a child grows.  Majority of this is based off of genetics.  I do not think I am only 5-2 because I drink soda.  I think I am 5-2 because no one else in my family is over 5-9.  
  What do you think?  Have you seen in your growth that caffeine may have effected it?  For example, is your whole family tall and you are short and you intake a lot of caffeine?  Do you also think that caffeine effects your sleeping patterns?  I discussed throughout this blog my thoughts on it and how caffeine has effected me and my life.  What about you? 

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2 Comments

I drink soda a good amount and many times I drink it at night. My parents always say how it will make me not sleep, and the same thing with coffee, even if it is caffeine. I am about 5'5 which is a pretty average height I would say, so I do not think that drinking caffeine stunts your growth. I found an article that talks about how caffeine is a stimulant, which gives you energy and affects the nervous system. According to this article, when you falling asleep, your brainwaves slow down more and more, except when you have caffeine your delay the onset of sleep as well as decrease the quality of sleep.

I try not to drink too much soda but I am a coffee drinker. I'm pretty short (about 5'2") but I contribute that to my mom's side of the family being short. Other than growth, I think one negative aspect of caffeine is the possibility of developing caffeine addiction. One main symptom of this is headaches that come from the body's dependence of the stimulus of caffeine. I think these headaches are something that could have a very negative effect on us because the system is basically not acting the way it's supposed to when experiencing caffeine withdrawal symptoms. These headaches could maybe contribute to actions such as not sleeping well or not eating properly (as often one doesn't eat well when feeling sick) and these could also contribute to stunted growth.

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