Teen boys more sensitive than girls (to caffeine)

A new study suggests male and female teens react differently to caffeine.

Anyone who has peeked into the halls of a middle school can tell you that post-pubescent boys and girls act differently. Now, new research suggests that differences also exist in the way boys’ and girls’ bodies respond to caffeine after puberty. Boys, it seems, are more sensitive.

Children’s and young adults’ average caffeine consumption has increased by more than 70 per cent over the past 30 years. We’re just beginning to learn how the buzz is affecting them. Past studies have suggested that caffeine increases blood pressure and decreases heart rate in children, teens and adults, including pre-adolescent boys and girls. A Swiss study found that caffeine reduced deep sleep and delayed brain development in pubescent rats.

Jennifer Temple, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions led the study. It will be published in the journal Pediatrics and was noted on sciencecodex.com.

"We found an interaction between gender and caffeine dose, with boys having a greater response to caffeine than girls, as well as interactions between pubertal phase, gender and caffeine dose, with gender differences present in post-pubertal, but not in pre-pubertal, participants,” Temple said in a release.

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