How caffeine can affect boys and girls differently

How caffeine can affect boys and girls differently

Many adults use a morning cup of coffee for their morning jolt, but are the effects the same for our sons and daughters? Gender differences in response to caffeine for children who have reached puberty is the focus of a new study at the University of Buffalo.

Study author Jennifer Temple, PhD found that after puberty boys and girls experience different heart rate and blood pressure changes after consuming caffeine. “We found an interaction between gender and caffeine dose, with boys having a greater response to caffeine than girls,” Temple said in a statement.

The study also found that post-pubertal girls reacted differently to caffeine throughout their menstrual cycle. Decreases in heart rate were greater between ovulation and menstruation and blood pressure increases were greater between menstruation and ovulation. Further research will determine the extent to which gender differences are mediated by physiological factors.

“Regardless of how caffeine is metabolized in boys and girls, we really stress the need for moderation,” says Dr. Aaron Traeger, pediatrician with Advocate Medical Group in Normal, Ill. “In fact, total avoidance is a great idea until well after puberty.”

According to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in February 2014, an estimated 73 percent of children consume some level of caffeine each day.

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About the Author

Lynn Hutley
Lynn Hutley

Lynn Hutley, health enews contributor, is coordinator of public affairs and marketing at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center and Advocate Eureka Hospital in central Illinois. Having grown up in a family-owned drug store, it is no surprise that Lynn has spent almost 18 years working in the health care industry. She has a degree in human resources management from Illinois State University and is always ready to tackle Trivia Night.