HealthDay News – Gender differences in the effects of caffeine emerge after puberty, and responses vary across the menstrual cycle for post-pubertal girls, according to research published in Pediatrics.

A team of researchers led by Jennifer L. Temple, PhD, of the State University at Buffalo in New York, evaluated 54 male and 47 female patients including 52 pre-pubertal boys and girls (aged 8 and 9 years) and 49 post-pubertal boys and girls (aged 15 to 17 years). 

Inspectors identified an interaction between gender and caffeine dose, with a greater response to caffeine seen in male patients compared with female patients. Gender differences in reaction to caffeine dose was observed in post-pubertal participants, but not in pre-pubertal participants. 

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In post-pubertal girls, differences in responses to caffeine were identified across the menstrual cycle, with greater decreases in heart rate in the midfollicular phase and greater increases in blood pressure in the midluteal phase.

“These data suggest that gender differences in response to caffeine emerge after puberty,” the study authors wrote. “Future research will determine the extent to which these gender differences are mediated by physiological factors, such as steroid hormones, or psychosocial factors, such as more autonomy and control over beverage purchases.”


  1. Temple J et al. Pediatrics. 2014; doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3962