Everybody has their routines, especially in the morning - and it usually involves caffeine. Whether it is a cup of hot coffee with one sugar added or an iced coffee stirred with oat milk, most people love – and need – to incorporate caffeine into their morning routines. We know we do! However, what do you do when the dreaded caffeine headache comes along? We’ve got some tips for you.
Let’s first understand what a caffeine headache is and what exactly causes it. A caffeine headache can result from two main factors – withdrawal or excess consumption. According to Mayo Clinic, a withdrawal caffeine headache can occur because “caffeine narrows the blood vessels that surround the brain, when consumption is stopped, the blood vessels enlarge. This causes an increase in blood flow around the brain and pressures surrounding nerves.” This entire process is what triggers a caffeine withdrawal headache. A headache brought on by excess consumption can also cause side effects like headaches, nervousness, irritability, and more. What activates this type of headache depends on how much your body can handle. The Cleveland Clinic suggests keeping your caffeine consumption to under 600 mg a day, which is equivalent to 4 to 7 cups of coffee.
Now that we know what a caffeine headache is and what can cause it – how in the world do we get rid of it?! One easy way to combat a caffeine headache is to drink a lot of water. Dehydration can worsen headache symptoms, so consuming water will help ease the pain. Make sure not to skip meals because that will only worsen your symptoms. While this next tip may seem counterintuitive, we promise it will help. It is best to avoid over-the-counter pain medicine. Another tip is to consume or use peppermint! It can even be through peppermint tea or peppermint oil because it helps to relax muscles. Once you’ve gotten rid of your headache, it’s time to plan for the future and ensure this doesn’t happen again. Some easy tips to help prevent future caffeine headaches include getting a solid seven to nine hours of sleep, getting some sunlight in the morning, and avoiding stress triggers by incorporating yoga or meditation into your daily routine.
While caffeine has its benefits, the side effects can be absolutely debilitating. We know the pain! Use these tips to help prevent and treat any potential side effects from your iced coffee.