When Do Boys Stop Growing and What to Do to Grow Taller
Many parents are interested to know when men stop growing if they are concerned that their son won’t catch up in terms of growth with his peers. In the years up until the age of 12, a boy’s growth happens fairly gradual. However, when boys reach puberty, usually, between the ages of 12 and 16, they experience rapid growth and other physical changes. But generally, men stop growing between the ages of 17 and 20.
When Do Men Stop Growing?
Men grow extremely fast between the ages of 11-15, and during this growth spurt the increase in height can be as much as 12 inches (30cm). After the age of 16 the increase in height is more gradual and boys usually stop growing between the ages of 17-20. So the majority of guys will reach their final height and stop growing when they are around 20 years old.
During this growth phase, feet, hands, legs, and muscles start to grow. A man’s shoulders will also broaden and boys start to grow hair on their hands, legs, armpits, and chest.
It’s interesting to note that boys usually stop growing later than girls because they start puberty at a later age. The age at which girls stop growing is usually between 15 and 17 when they end puberty.
You can look at the chart below to get a better understanding of boys’ growth pattern and the age in which men stop growing. You’ll notice that by the age of 17 boys are very close to their full growth potential and after this age guys grow very slowly until they stop growing around the age of 20. Make sure to read the rest of the article to learn about the factors that affect growth in men and what boys can do the maximize their growth potential.
Let’s look at the various growing phases during puberty and what factors affect men’s growth.
Growth in Men – Everything You Wanted to Know
More often than not, most men are interested in how high they will eventually grow. There are many factors that influence physical growth in men. According to Dr. Vaneeta Bamba, a pediatric endocrinologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, some of these include:1
- environmental factors
Growth of genitalia and pubic hair in men
One of the first changes a boy experiences is that his genitalia grows larger and pubic hair starts to appear around the penis. The pubic hair gradually grows darker and coarser. According to pediatric expert Dr. Dan Brennan, around the age of 16, the penis and genitalia should be close to adult size. However, in some boys, their body parts can be full-grown already around the age of 13.2
Pediatrics professor, Dr. Mitchell E. Geffner says that the fastest growth spurt in boys happens between the ages of 11 and 13. During this time a boy will generally grow around 4 inches per year (girls during this time grow on average 3 inches per year).3 After the age of 17, a man won’t grow much more in height.
Voice changes during puberty
During puberty, a boy’s voice will “break” and become deeper. This is often a cause of embarrassment for boys, who are already self-conscious about their physical growth. According to Dr. Brennan, this change in voice happens because the vocal cords become longer and thicker.4
Growth of body hair
After pubic hair start to grow around the genitalia, hair will start appearing on other areas of the boy’s body. Hair will gradually become thicker and coarser. Dr. Brennan says that facial hair is usually the last place on the body where hair grows during puberty.5
Other changes while a man is growing
According to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, acne may start to develop about the same time that underarm hair grows. Acne is caused by excess sebum that blocks the skin’s pores and causes them to become infected.6
You can find on this website a very helpful article on how to get rid of acne naturally. You can also find out how to treat back acne with home remedies if you have an outbreak of pimples on your body.
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation says that during puberty, boys can experience slight breast enlargement, however, that should disappear towards the end of puberty.6
How to Maximize Men’s Growth Potential
If you are concerned about how tall you will be and when you will stop growing, there are some ways to predict the height a man will grow to.
Dr. Hansa Bhargava on WebMD says that your height is mostly determined by the height of both of your parents. You can calculate the approximate height a boy will grow by using this formula:1
- Take the mother’s height and add 5 inches.
- Add this sum to the father’s height.
- Divide the figure by two.
There are other factors apart from your genes that will determine what height a man will be when he stops growing.
Various environmental factors play a role in influencing men’s growth during puberty. The journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) found that children from higher social groups tend to be taller than those from poorer groups. This is due in part to having access to better and healthier food, good health care, and proper sanitation.7
These factors help to explain why, in general, over the last century people in Europe, North America, and Australia are taller in stature and mature more rapidly than in developing countries.
Proper nutrition is the most important of the environmental factors that can affect height, so eating the right food can help men grow taller. The website Scientific American says that adequate nutrition before puberty is essential for height. They recommend that growing children receive enough protein, calcium, vitamins A and D to reach their optimal height. They say that malnutrition in childhood is detrimental to height and that adequate nutrition before puberty is crucial for height.8
Another study published on Economics & Human Biology on 2014 found that in general, the most important external factor that impacts height of contemporary European nations is nutrition.11
In the end, around 60 to 80% of your height is determined by genetics and 20 to 40% is due to nutrition.
Other factors affecting men’s growth
There are other factors that affect a man’s growth. The journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) also pointed out that factors like stress, climate, and physical activity all play a role in determining height.7
For example, stress can inhibit how much growth hormone the body produces. Studies published in EHP showed that when the stress is removed, the body produces more growth hormone to try and catch up. Because people who live in higher altitudes are exposed to lower oxygen saturation in the air, they tend to be shorter. Also, springtime is also associated with growth, and children also grow three times faster in spring than in the other seasons.7
However, although environmental factors and nutrition play a role in how tall you will eventually be, the main determining factor is your genes and the height of your parents.
How to Maintain Healthy Growth During Puberty
One of the best ways to reach optimal height when men stop growing is to maintain a healthy diet during puberty before growing stops. If you are a parent, it’s important to teach healthy lifestyle choices to children. This can help your children to have good dietary habits during adolescence and help boost their growth.
The Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism stated that having an adequate and balanced healthy diet during all stages of growth is essential for proper growth and normal development. The scientists found that boys who are overweight tend to enter puberty later than those who have a healthy weight. Especially during puberty, boys have larger nutritional needs to cope with rapid growth.9
The Johns Hopkins Medicine Center gives some practical advice on healthy eating during adolescence. To enjoy a healthy, balanced diet during puberty growth, they recommend the following:10
- Have 3 meals a day and eat fruit or vegetables for a healthy snack.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Increase fiber intake by eating whole grains.
- Limit the use of saturated fats.
- Eat more lean meat like chicken and fish for protein. However, vary your protein intake and include peas and beans in your diet.
You may also be interested to read my article about the causes and dangers of early puberty as well as how to lower your children’s risk of early puberty in my article: Early Puberty – Causes, Dangers and Prevention
You may also be interested to know When do Girls Stop Growing.Article Sources:
- Teens WebMD. How tall will I be?
- Teens WebMD. Penis FAQ.
- Teens WebMD. How tall will I be?
- Teens WebMD. Boys and puberty.
- Teens WebMD. Boys and puberty.
- PAFM. Changes for males.
- Environ Health Perspect. 1993 Jul; 101(Suppl 2): 39–44.
- ScientificAmerican. How much of human height is due to nutrition?
- Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Nov; 18(Suppl 1): S39–S47.
- HopkinsMedicine. Healthy eating during adolescence.
- Economics & Human Biology. The role of nutrition and genetics as key determinants of the positive height trend. Volume 15, December 2014