SALT LAKE CITY — A new study indicates boys may have a more negative reaction to caffeine than girls after puberty.
Researchers at The University of Buffalo discovered a disparity between boys and girls reactions to caffeine after age 15. Boys tend to have higher heart rates and blood pressure due to caffeine consumption.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, involved observing the cardiovascular reactions of 52 children ages eight and nine, and 49 kids ages 15 to 17.
“Participants consumed either the placebo, 1 mg/kg or 2 mg/kg caffeinated sodas, and then had their heart rates and blood pressures taken,” Boston.com said. “The results found that pre-pubescent children had the same reaction to caffeine regardless of gender, while post-pubescent boys had much stronger cardiovascular reactions to caffeine than girls.”
The conclusions drawn by Jennifer Temple, associate professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, also included information about caffeine and her female subjects’ menstrual cycle. Temple discovered girls metabolize caffeine differently at various stages of their cycles.
“We found differences in responses to caffeine across the menstrual cycle in post-pubertal girls, with decreases in heart rate that were greater in the mid-luteal phase and blood pressure increases that were greater in the mid-follicular phase of the menstrual cycle,” Temple said in a press release announcing the study.
Another study in Pediatrics, released in April, said kids are drinking large quantities of caffeinated soda, but their primary way to get their caffeine has shifted to energy drinks and coffee. The report states 17- and 18-year-olds are drinking double the amount of coffee than they were 10 years ago.
"Parents should monitor how much soda, coffee or energy beverages their teenagers drink and help them understand the risks associated with taking in large amounts of caffeine," Dr. John Higgins, a sports cardiologist, told US News Health. “Teens with medical issues such as heart or sleep problems should probably avoid caffeine altogether, he said, or "discuss possible safe limits with their physician."