After hitting puberty, caffeine affects the bodies of boys and girls differently, as a new study shows that gender actually makes a difference when drinking coffee, tea, or energy drinks.
It is a well known fact that consuming caffeine can increase blood pressure and lower heart rate in adults and kids. However, new research, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, shows that boys’ hearts are affected by caffeine more than girls’ hearts are, starting at puberty.
Although the researchers are not sure why that is, it is concerning because they did the study with extremely low doses of caffeine. That means higher doses, like those found in energy drinks, tea, or coffee, will have a much higher impact, which is especially troublesome because teens are more prone to drink such drinks.
Last year, the FDA announced that it wanted to look at the safety of energy drinks. It has already been reported that 13 adolescent deaths have been caused by drinks like Monster, Red Bull, and 5-hour Energy. Numerous hospitalizations have already occurred due to these types energy drinks.
Although the FDA has seen that caffeine can be dangerous, the amount of it does not need to be labeled on food products. Since it is found naturally in different substances, caffeine is not regulated as a drug. On top of that, energy drinks are categorized as a dietary supplement, and thus does not need to be regulated. Many energy drinks were found to contain more caffeine than they listed on the product, up to a whopping 20 percent more.
While researchers still need to do more work to find out exactly why the two genders are affected differently, they urge kids and teens to stop drinking as much caffeine. Though legal, it can harm younger bodies more so than older bodies, and the The American Academy of Pediatrics has said it discourages caffeine drinking completely in teens and children.