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How to Get Rid of Caffeine Headache & Prevention Tips

Caffeine Headache

Did you know caffeine is one of the world’s most popular stimulants? It is present in various foods and beverages, including coffee, tea, and soft drinks.

As a result, it is easy to drink more caffeine than we should. While scientific studies have indicated that caffeine benefits people in various ways, such as improving cognitive functioning, memory, and physical performance, it can also be detrimental.

Caffeine headaches are both distracting and unpleasant. They also have various negative effects, such as brain fog or weariness. On the plus side, they are typically simple to identify and cure.

What is a caffeine headache?

Caffeine headaches occur when someone who frequently uses caffeine misses their customary “dosage.” This isn’t limited to folks who use excessive coffee daily. Caffeine headaches can occur even if you only drink one little cup of coffee in the morning.

According to the FDA, four 8-ounce cups of coffee or 400 milligrams a day is a safe amount to drink.

How a caffeine headache feels

How can you tell if your headache is caused by coffee, stress, or a cold? Caffeine headaches might be difficult to identify, but several obvious signs are.

Personal experience is an obvious sign. For example, assume you drink coffee every morning and have a headache on the one day you don’t. You also have no additional cold symptoms and are just chillin’. Then you’re probably suffering from a caffeine withdrawal headache.

Another sign might be your level of pain. Caffeine headaches are often moderate to severe, and you will experience them on both sides of your head. They usually worsen with physical exertion. They can start a few hours after you reduce or discontinue caffeine use.

Caffeine headaches are usually associated with other withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • fatigue
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • poor concentration
  • irritability
  • tremors
  • low energy

Caffeine headaches: common causes

Caffeine withdrawal

If you drink coffee daily, you may wake up every morning feeling groggy and angry until you have your first sip.

These are lesser caffeine withdrawal symptoms. However, if you skip your coffee or try to remove caffeine from your diet, your symptoms will likely intensify, and you will have caffeine withdrawal headaches after 12 to 18 hours.

These throbbing headaches can be so intense that they interfere with your ability to work or do other things. However, withdrawal symptoms do subside as your body adjusts to changes in caffeine consumption.

Caffeine allergy

Caffeine sensitivity or allergy might be the source of your caffeine headaches. According to studies, while most adults can safely drink 400 mg of caffeine per day (about 4 cups of coffee), those who are sensitive or allergic to it can have insomnia, restlessness, migraines, and irregular or elevated heart rate.

The following are typical physical symptoms:

  • wheezing
  • itchy mouth, tongue, or lip
  • hives
  • swollen lips or tongue
  • swollen throat

Caffeine allergies can be diagnosed using a skin test. If you have a caffeine allergy, make sure you exclude it from your diet.

Caffeine overdose

Caffeine overdose is at the other extreme of the spectrum. While a cup of coffee in the morning might help you wake up and feel more alert, drinking too many cups of coffee or taking too much caffeine can have negative side effects, including:

  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • sleep problems
  • More severe symptoms include:
  • vomiting
  • muscle tremors and twitches
  • irregular or increased heart rate
  • Convulsions
  • chest pain

Remedies to get rid of caffeine headaches

Use an OTC pain reliever

When you have a caffeine headache, you should consider taking an over-the-counter pain treatment like Aspirin or Ibuprofen with a glass of water.

These over-the-counter pain relievers are intended to alleviate headaches immediately.

Peppermint essential oil

Apply diluted peppermint essential oil to your temples for natural relief. According to certain studies, menthol (an active element in peppermint) can reduce inflammation and relax tense muscles, relieving headaches. Peppermint oil can relieve tension headaches equally and likewise acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Dilute 15–20 drops of peppermint essential oil in 2 tablespoons of carrier oil, such as jojoba. Use on your temples.

Drink a lot of water

This is another obvious suggestion. However, caffeine is a diuretic that causes you to pee more often, which might cause you to lose fluids and get dehydrated quickly.

This, in turn, can activate pain receptors in your head, resulting in headaches. That is why staying hydrated and drinking at least 8 glasses of water daily is always a smart idea.

Apply ice pack

Applying an ice pack or a cold compress to your head can help relieve stress and discomfort from a headache by reducing inflammation. A little research also found that placing an ice pack on the back of your neck may help relieve headache discomfort.

Reactivate those pressure points

Acupressure is traditional Chinese medicine in which pressure is applied to specific points on the body. It has been shown to reduce headaches and muscular tension temporarily.

According to one research, a month of acupressure therapy cured persistent headaches better than muscle relaxants.

Get some rest

Getting some sleep may help to ease a caffeine headache. According to one study, sleep provided the most relief from headaches for 81% of participants.

Pour yourself a cup of coffee or similar caffeinated beverage

Right. We all know how this sounds, but research backs it up. When you get a headache, the blood vessels in your brain expand, increasing blood flow and activating pain receptors. Caffeine induces vasoconstriction, which means that it constricts or narrows the blood vessels in your brain, limiting blood flow and relieving pain.

If you suspect a caffeine overdose is causing your headache, don’t drink any more caffeine; it might cause significant health concerns. Instead, contact your healthcare practitioner.

Conclusion

Headaches are a typical side effect of consuming too much caffeine or quitting it. They occur when caffeine causes changes in blood flow to your brain. If you have one, do what you normally do to treat a headache: hydrate, relax, and allow time to ease off.

If you have caffeine headaches regularly, consider reducing caffeine intake or visiting your healthcare practitioner since continuous headaches might indicate more serious health conditions requiring prescription treatment.

Understanding the root of your headaches might help you in making appropriate changes.