Do men stop growing after a certain age? Most of us know that this is the case for humans and most other animals, but do we all eventually hit a ceiling when it comes to height? For most men, the answer is yes.
Fortunately, there are some exceptions to this — certain athletes who train specifically to increase their height can end up growing much taller than the average man.
In general though, once you pass through puberty and your body hits peak growth, new growth will slow down. The exact age at which this happens varies from man to man. Some guys may grow quite a bit by the time they’re 18 or 19 years old, and then their final height should be pretty much set.
This article explains more about when males stop growing taller, what factors affect how tall you get and how you can maximize your potential if you’re not quite as tall as you’d like to be just yet.
Teen Boys: A Time of Rapid Growth
At certain points in our lives, our bodies go through accelerated periods of growth. Puberty is one of these periods, and it typically occurs around 13-14 years of age for most men. This is also the time when your voice starts to change and your sexual organs mature.
During this time, your body is growing at a very rapid rate. As you get older, you will grow at a slower, more consistent rate. One reason for this is that, as you get older, your body produces less growth hormone.
Some research has shown that, by the time you’re 16 or 17 years old, you’ve reached about 90% of your full adult height. This is also likely to be the time when you’re the tallest. Once you’re past this age, you can expect to grow a little more, but probably not by much.
Adult Men: Final Height is Usually Set
By the time you’re in your mid-20s, you’ve probably stopped growing altogether. Sometimes this happens earlier, and sometimes it happens later, but for most men, it’s around this time that you’ll stop growing vertically.
For instance, if you’re 25 years old and you’re around 5’9” (175 cm), you can expect to grow another 1-3 inches taller. On the other hand, if you’re 29 years old and you’re already 6’2” (188 cm), then your final height is likely to be set.
There are, however, some factors that can affect how tall you get, even after puberty. Diet, for example, plays a role in your ultimate height.
What Determines How Tall You Grow?
The answer is surprisingly simple: the length of your bones. This is why we’re all at different heights — our bodies start as one big blob of undifferentiated cells, and then they split and divide to create all of the different tissues in our bodies. Some tissues grow more than others, and so these tissues expand and create bones, muscles, organs, and skin.
There are just a few factors that affect how your bones grow, such as your genes and nutrition. All of these things, especially your genes, are the key to determining how tall you get. But what about estrogen or other hormones that are often blamed for making men shorter? These don’t really affect your height, no matter what people say.
Determining When You’ll Stop Growing
Growth plates are areas of cartilage at the end of a long bone. They produce new bone tissue, which grows into the rest of the bone as the bone grows in length. These growth plates close when a person reaches full skeletal maturity, which is usually when a person is around 21 years old. This is when your bones have finished growing in length.
When you were a kid, genetics played a part in determining when your body would stop growing. This is because growth plates can only be open for so long before they close, and this process varies from person to person.
When you’re younger, your growth plates are open and your bones are extending through the growth plates as your body is growing. As you get older, your growth plates close, which means there is no growth occurring in your long bones anymore.
What If You Are Still Not As Tall As You Hoped?
If you’re not quite as tall as you’d like to be, you can probably still grow a bit! As we discussed above, once a person’s bones have stopped growing, it can be difficult to actually make them grow again.
That said, if you are still young and healthy, there are a few things you can do to maximize your potential:
Consume More Protein: Eating more protein can increase the amount of growth hormone in your body. This means that more bone and muscle can be created.
Exercise Consistently: Exercising regularly (specifically, weight-bearing exercise) can also boost your growth hormone levels. This can help you build more muscle and strengthen your bones, which can actually make them longer.
Stay Healthy: Stay healthy by getting plenty of sleep and being mindful of your diet. In particular, ensure you are getting enough calcium to promote healthy bones.
Supplement Your Diet: Certain supplements can promote growth and help you reach your potential.
Finally, some medical interventions can promote growth in extreme cases.
The Good News for Tall Guys
If you’re already pretty tall, there is some good news — you’re already done growing! For most men, the growth spurt of puberty will have stopped by their late teens or early twenties.
And if you already stopped growing by the time you were a teenager, there’s no way you can grow any taller. This means that you’re done growing taller and that you can’t do anything to increase your height anymore.
The Bad News for Tall Guys
If you’re already tall and you’re hoping to grow even taller, you’re out of luck. For most guys, the growth spurt of puberty will have stopped by their late teens or early twenties, and they won’t be able to grow any taller.
If you want to increase your height, you should start as early as possible. You’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough protein every day to support your growing body, as well as some calcium to strengthen your bones. You can also try some exercises that have been shown to increase height in people, such as yoga and stretching.
Keep in mind that genetics play a large role in determining your final height, so don’t expect miracles. If you’re already close to your full height, you’re most likely not going to grow anymore.
If you’re extremely tall, however, you may have some issues. For instance, you may find that you often feel self-conscious in public. This is particularly true if you are very tall for your age. You may also find yourself hitting your head on things from time to you.
Some physical health issues can arise from being overly tall. These include joint pain, back pain, complications in childbirth, as well as a higher risk of certain cancers.
Hopefully, this article has helped you understand when males stop growing taller. While there’s no real way to increase your height if you’ve already passed through puberty, there are ways to maximize your potential and look taller.
If you want to grow taller, you’ll need patience. The amount of growth that can occur at any age is variable and unpredictable. At the end of the day, the best way to maximize your potential is to eat right, exercise, and go easy on the growth-boosting supplements.
Keep in mind that most of this applies to males. Females go through their own accelerated period of growth. This period is shorter as well, and they stop growing earlier.