Increasing Your Height: How to Reach the Full Growth Potential

Mehak Shah

November 9, 2023

After growth is complete, there is no way to get taller legitimately, no matter what hacks or miraculous advice one may have heard online. After puberty, the only factor that one can control is how tall they appear. But there are a few factors that could help maximise growth before the height reaches its maximum.

Before reaching their full adult height, most teenagers should expect to grow a total of 7 to 10 inches during puberty. Due to the unique characteristics of each individual, puberty develops and ends according to the body’s timetable.

What Factors Affect Height? 

People grow 2 inches per year from age one till puberty, and at the time of pubescence, adults will grow up to 4 inches every year. Adults get to their maximum height during this period. While boys see a sudden hike at the end of their teens, girls’ growth spurt starts early and stops at around 16 years of age. However, several factors affect height and how someone grows. It is essential to understand these factors to understand further why one cannot change height, unlike weight. 


The genetic makeup is a primary factor in determining how tall an individual will be. Children often inherit height traits from their parents. So, a person will naturally be tall if they come from a family of tall individuals.

Research published on the NIH website proves that genes are responsible for 80% of the height. Science says that the height of a person is the result of the involvement of 700 gene variants. Some of them can affect the growth hormone, while others affect the growth spurt. 


Adequate nutrition during childhood as well as adolescence is essential for reaching the full height potential. Therefore, a balanced diet is crucial for healthy growth.

Consuming nutrient-rich foods can maximise the growth potential. Follow a diet plan that is rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamin D for improved bone strength and proteins for repairing tissue damage. 

Sleep Quality

Quality sleep is essential for growth, as the body releases growth hormones during deep sleep. So, following a consistent sleep cycle among teenagers is crucial to attaining full height capacity. Children and teenagers need more sleep than adults to support their growth.

It is essential to maintain a correct sleeping posture to elongate the spine. Regularly sleeping in an incorrect position can lead to stunted growth as it can cause strain in the spine and neck. 


Growth hormone (GH), produced by the pituitary gland, is responsible for promoting growth during childhood and adolescence. Imbalances in hormonal production can affect height.

Physical Activity 

Regular physical activity and exercise can help support bone health and promote growth. Weight-bearing exercises, in particular, are beneficial for bone development. Regularly exercising can help in increasing the production of growth hormones. Cardio and weight-bearing strength can all make one fit and look lean. 

Puberty Timing

The timing of puberty can affect height. Early puberty can lead to an earlier growth spurt that leads to potentially shorter stature. Late bloomers, on the other hand, may experience a delayed growth spurt and become taller.

Early puberty is a condition that affects 1 out of 5000 children who go through adolescent transformations at a very early age. In such a case, puberty hits girls when they are between 8 and 13 years of age and boys when they are between 9 and 14 years of age. 

When a child reaches early puberty, they grow relatively shorter compared to their actual potential. When their puberty ends earlier, their growing years also end early. For these students, their skeletons and bones mature faster than others, making them look taller than their peers. Later, their growth stunts, and they become shorter than others. 


Height is primarily determined by genetics, with around 80% of the height attributed to the genes. Nutrition, quality sleep, and hormonal balance during childhood and adolescence are also crucial factors that could help reach the full height potential. Regular physical activity, especially weight-bearing exercises, can support bone health and growth. The timing of puberty can also affect height, with early and late puberty influencing an individual’s final stature. Early puberty can lead to shorter stature, while late bloomers may end up taller than their peers.

Methods That Can Help Improve Height in Children

As already mentioned, genetics largely determines height, and there is no guaranteed way to increase height once you have reached your full growth potential. Individuals reach their full growth potential by the end of adolescence (around the age of 18 for most individuals). However, some factors could influence the growth and overall height:

Follow a Nutritious Diet Plan

Proper nutrition is crucial for healthy growth during childhood and adolescence. Children must follow a balanced and nutritional diet plan that includes a variety of nutrients, such as calcium, protein, vitamins, and minerals, which are essential for optimal growth.

Get Sufficient Sleep

Adequate and quality sleep is essential for growth, which in turn could help grow taller. During deep sleep, the body releases growth hormones, which play a significant role in physical development in children and adolescents.

Exercise Regularly

Physical activity and exercises can help maintain good posture and bone health. While it can’t help increase height in adults, in children, regular exercise can promote the release of more growth hormones. In adults, exercise can help improve posture and can help you reach your full potential by promoting bone density and flexibility.

Hormone Therapy

In some cases, individuals with growth hormone deficiency may benefit from hormone therapy under the supervision of a healthcare provider. If you suspect your child to have a growth hormone deficiency, consult a doctor and request whether hormone therapy is required. The healthcare provider will only prescribe this treatment when there is a medical condition that affects growth.

It’s important to note that the potential for height increase is most significant during the growing years of childhood and adolescence. After reaching adulthood, there are limited options for increasing height. Cosmetic surgeries, such as limb lengthening procedures, are available but come with significant risks and should only be considered in exceptional cases.


While genetics primarily determine a child’s height, some factors can help them reach their full growth potential. Encouraging a nutritious diet, ensuring sufficient sleep, and promoting regular exercise can provide not only several health benefits but also promote healthy growth. In cases of growth hormone deficiency, hormone therapy under medical supervision may be a good option. Height increase is most significant and only possible during childhood and adolescence, so options for increasing height in adulthood are limited and may involve risks.

HealthifyMe Suggestion

There are various supplements for kids available in the market that claim to increase the height of kids. But, most of such supplements contain malts which may help kids to get extra and quick calories to keep them energised. They don’t have any proven effects on height. 

I would always suggest keeping a holistic nutritional approach and researching yourself before giving any supplements to your kids as excessive consumption can also lead to childhood obesity.


Your genes are primarily responsible for determining your height, and sadly, there are no magical solutions to make you taller once you have passed your growing age. Children and kids going through puberty can, however, ensure they reach their full height potential by following some simple steps.

Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and staying active through exercises like swimming and stretching can increase the release of growth hormones and help children reach their full potential height. Still, there’s no substantial evidence to prove that these exercises can help in increasing an individual’s height. Consult a paediatrician or endocrinologist, as they can evaluate the growth and development and offer guidance and potential treatments if necessary.

In the end, a lot of it comes down to how you carry yourself. Maintaining good posture can make you appear taller by a couple of inches. So, focus on having a healthy lifestyle and good posture, and you’ll look and feel your best without any special tricks.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information, please contact our certified nutritionists Here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can height be increased after a certain age?

A: There are surgical procedures like limb lengthening that can help increase height after a certain age. However, these procedures are generally not recommended for cosmetic purposes and have significant risks. 

Q: What factors determine a person’s height?

A: A person’s height is primarily determined by their genetics, with genes inherited from parents playing a significant role. Nutrition and overall health during childhood and adolescence also influence height by ensuring proper growth and development.

Q: Is there a specific age range during which most growth occurs?

A: Most significant growth occurs during infancy and childhood, with the growth rate peaking in the first few years of life and continuing into adolescence. Growth plates in long bones typically fuse in late adolescence, which marks the end of natural height growth.

Q: Are there any practical exercises for increasing height?

A: While exercises can improve posture and the appearance of height, they won’t significantly increase one’s actual height beyond their genetic potential. Genetics and overall health play a more substantial role in determining height.

Q: How does nutrition and diet impact growth and height?

A: Nutrition and diet are crucial for optimal growth and height during childhood and adolescence, as they provide the essential nutrients needed for bone and tissue development. Inadequate nutrition can stunt growth, while a balanced diet rich in nutrients supports healthy growth and maximises a person’s genetic height potential.

Q: Can genetics limit or influence a person’s final height?

A: Yes, genetics play a significant role in determining a person’s final height, as they provide the blueprint for bone and tissue growth potential. While nutrition and environmental factors also contribute, genetics primarily set the upper limit for an individual’s height.

Q: Is it possible to stretch and lengthen the spine for added height?

A: No, it’s not possible to significantly stretch or lengthen the spine for added height in adults. The vertebral bones fuse after adolescence, limiting the potential for height increase through spine elongation.

Q: Are there any medical treatments or interventions for height increase?

A: There are limited medical treatments for height increase. They are primarily for individuals with specific medical conditions that hinder growth during childhood and adolescence. Hormone therapy is an option, but only under the supervision of a medical professional. However, these treatments are not typically used for cosmetic height increase and carry risks and side effects. 

Q: How does posture affect the appearance of height?

A: Posture can significantly affect the appearance of height. Good posture, with a straight and aligned spine, can make a person appear taller, while poor posture, such as slouching, can make them seem shorter.

Q: What is the role of hormones in growth and height development?

A: Hormones play a vital role in growth and height development. Growth hormone (GH) stimulates the growth of bones and tissues during childhood and adolescence. Additionally, sex hormones like oestrogen and testosterone influence the closing of growth plates in the long bones, marking the end of the growth spurt in late adolescence. 

Q: Can yoga or stretching routines aid in height gain?

A: Yoga and stretching routines can improve posture and flexibility, which may enhance the appearance of height, but they won’t increase a person’s actual height beyond their genetic potential. Height primarily depends on the genetics and growth plate closure.

Q: Is there a relationship between sleep and height growth?

A: Adequate sleep is essential for proper growth and development during childhood and adolescence, as growth hormone gets primarily released during deep sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation can impact growth negatively in teenagers.  

Q: Are there specific vitamins or supplements that promote height increase?

A: Vitamins and supplements can support overall health and development, but no specific vitamins or supplements could significantly increase height beyond a person’s genetic potential. 

Q: What are some common height myths or misconceptions?

A: Some common myths or misconceptions that people believe when it comes to increasing the height of an individual are: 
-Stretching exercises and hanging can significantly increase height in adults. 
-Certain foods or supplements can substantially boost height beyond genetic potential.

Q: How can one maintain a healthy lifestyle to support optimal growth and height?

A: To support optimal growth and height, focus on a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients, regular exercise for overall health, adequate sleep, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption that can negatively impact growth and development. Consulting with a healthcare provider for personalised guidance is also essential.

Research Sources

Genetics of human height
Body height changes during upright and recumbent posture.

About the Author

Mehak holds masters in foods and nutrition from Amity university, Noida. She has a keen interest in public health and nutrition and has been in charge of various projects with milestone NGO. She has worked with people over the globe to bring out the changes in their lives and has always been working towards lifestyle modifications via good dietary practices. According to her a healthy lifestyle is not about the destination but all about the journey.

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