After puberty, girls and boys respond differently to caffeine
Gender may play a role in how caffeine consumption affects the body after it goes through puberty, according to new research.
Researchers at the University of Buffalo recruited 96 children between ages 8 and 17. During each of six visits to the laboratory, the children were either given a caffeinated beverage or a placebo, and the researchers looked at heart rates and blood pressure before and after. They also asked the children to complete a questionnaire about their caffeine use outside the study.
The results, published online in the journal Pediatrics, showed that both the boys and girls had a decreased heart rate and increased blood pressure after consuming caffeine. After the children went through puberty, however, the boys showed a greater physical response to caffeine. The findings also suggested that the girls’ responses to caffeine changed depending on the phases of their menstrual cycles.
The study’s findings do not suggest that caffeine is necessarily harmful to children and adolescents, but researchers did note that there is little evidence that caffeine is beneficial to their health.