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What Causes a Caffeine Headache and How Can You Stop It?

What Causes a Caffeine Headache and How Can You Stop It?

Ever sip your favorite energy drink only to find that it gives you an awful headache? Or perhaps you experience the opposite: one second too long without your favorite cup of joe in the morning, and your head begins to pound. 

Welcome to caffeine headaches — the archenemy of coffee fanatics and the caffeine-sensitive alike. If you’re someone who can’t seem to get away from this dreaded discomfort, you’re in luck, because Proper Wild is here to help!

In this post, we’re exploring caffeine headaches to uncover what causes them and how you can kick one to the curb. So if you’re ready to get to the bottom of your aches and pains, keep reading. 

 

Everything You Need To Know About Caffeine Headaches

With around 90 percent of Americans consuming caffeine on a daily basis, caffeine headaches have become a pretty common occurrence. 

The most popular drug on the planet (yes, caffeine is technically a drug), caffeine can be found in many different foods and drinks, including coffee, tea, soda pop, chocolate, and more. 

While the beloved stimulant is highly regarded and socially accepted in today’s culture, consuming too much of the stuff can lead to caffeine addiction. And when you become addicted, less-than-pleasant symptoms like a raging headache are sure to occur when you don’t get your daily fix. 

 

What Causes a Caffeine Headache?

Headaches occur when there are changes in blood flow to the brain. And you guessed it — caffeine can impact your blood flow. 

You see, when you consume caffeine, it kicks your body into high gear by blocking adenosine, the chemical that tells you you’re tired and it’s time to rest. With this, your blood vessels constrict, which pushes blood out to the body to prepare it for wakeful action. As the stimulant wears off, your body will start to feel tired again, which in turn causes your blood vessels to widen. The resulting boost in blood flow to the brain is what triggers a headache.

What’s more, the adenosine receptors that caffeine blocks happen to be pain modulators. Blocking these important receptors can potentially decrease the spread of pain in the head

Sounds great, right? Well, not exactly. If you consume caffeine on the reg, you tend to develop more of these adenosine receptors as your body tries to find a way to get its adenosine back in action, making you much more likely to develop a headache when you stop consuming caffeine.

What Does a Caffeine Headache Feel Like?

How do you know if your throbbing headache is due to caffeine versus stress or a cold? Well, it can be a bit tricky, but there are a few telltale signs of a caffeine headache. 

Probably the biggest clue is simply personal experience. Say you’ve had an energy drink every morning, and you happen to get a headache on the one day you skipped it. Coincidence? Unlikely — especially if you have no other symptoms and haven’t been around anyone who is sick. 

If you consume caffeine on a regular basis, your body starts to establish a new normal where it relies on the substance to function. And when your body doesn’t get what it needs to function, it can result in painful withdrawal symptoms — like a headache. 

But that’s not all; in addition to a headache, you may experience a few other uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when you cut back on caffeine, such as:

  • Poor concentration

  • Fatigue

  • Jitters

  • Irritability

  • Tension

  • Brain fog

  • Nausea

Another clue that you could be dealing with a caffeine headache is your pain level. These throbbing aches are moderate to severely painful, located on both sides of the head, often getting worse with physical activity. The pain usually peaks after a couple of days without caffeine and can last up to nine days

 

Can You Get a Headache Even If You Don’t Consume Caffeine Regularly?

Yes, even those who don’t consume caffeine every day might still experience an awful caffeine headache from time to time. Why? Because some folks are a little more sensitive to the popular stimulant than others — in fact, the sensitivity can even be genetic. So, if an occasional energy drink or cup of java makes your head pound, you may have a caffeine sensitivity.

 

Top Tips To Combat a Painful Caffeine Headache

Unfortunately, there’s no magical cure or secret potion to stop a caffeine headache in an instant — as with other types of headaches, it’s going to take a little bit of time and a whole lot of TLC. But don’t worry, with our tips below, we’ll help you to kick those aches to the curb in no time! 

Here are 3 tips to stop a caffeine headache:

Tip #1: Try Essential Oils

Essential oils are all the rage these days — and it’s easy to see why. Used for nearly 6,000 years, the powerful plant extracts offer a holistic approach to healing with potential health benefits ranging from tension relief to emotional wellness support and just about everything in between.  

There are many essential oils, all with different chemical makeups and fragrances. Which essential oils are best for you depends on what symptoms you’re looking to ease. 

Need help falling asleep? Try smelling lavender oil. 

Struggling with acne? Tea tree oil might be able to help (just make sure you dilute it into a carrier oil before using it on your skin). 

Fighting a cold? Eucalyptus oil’s strong scent alone can help clear your sinuses.  

Battling a throbbing caffeine headache? Don’t worry, there’s an essential oil for you too — peppermint oil. 

One of the most versatile essential oils of them all, peppermint oil, has been used for thousands of years by people all over the globe to help treat a wide variety of ailments and conditions, including headaches. 

For some natural relief, try massaging diluted peppermint oil directly onto your temples. There's quite a bit of research that shows menthol (an active ingredient in peppermint) can decrease inflammation and relax tight muscles, which may help to soothe a headache.

Tip #2: Take More Caffeine, Especially Alongside L-Theanine

When you’re fighting an awful headache, sometimes the easiest thing to do might just be to give your body the caffeine it craves. Of course, if you’re purposely detoxing from the coveted stimulant or are especially sensitive to it, you might want to try a different method, but if there’s really no reason as to why you haven’t had your caffeine fix for the day, go ahead and pour yourself that cup of coffee. 

On top of that, studies have shown that consuming L-theanine alongside your caffeine can actually help reduce the prevalence and intensity of caffeine-induced headaches. This is thanks to L-theanine working to help reduce the intensity of some of the adverse effects that can come from moderate to heavy doses of caffeine. This is why we include 120 mg of L-theanine alongside our 180 mg of caffeine in every Proper Wild clean all-day energy shot — for focused, clean energy with a much lesser chance of jitters, crash, or the dreaded caffeine headache.

Here at Proper Wild, our powerful plant-based energy shots are made with clean and simple ingredients, backed by science, and designed to maximize your productivity. We combine organic caffeine with L-theanine from green tea to provide long-lasting energy via natural fruit juices and absolutely nothing artificial. The result? A clean, smooth, and natural taste, without the junk. 

Just one Proper Wild Energy Shot is all it takes to keep your energy levels up all day and the painful caffeine headaches at bay.

Tip #3: Drink Water

Did you know that your body is more than half water? On days when it feels like your veins are filled with more java than agua, you should probably put more H2O back into your system. 

Caffeine is excreted through your kidneys and causes a diuretic effect. When you’re not adequately hydrated, dehydration can quickly set in, causing your head to throb, which could be the real reason for your headache. 

So the moment you feel a headache brewing, put the coffee down and hydrate your body with a tall glass of water. Add a pinch of sea salt and a squeezed lemon for a bonus dose of electrolytes.

A Final Word

A caffeine headache can put a real damper on anyone’s day, often surprising us at the most inconvenient of times (work meeting, anyone?). That being said, while we all don’t have the luxury of being able to draw the blinds and crawl into bed the moment one strikes, there are things we can do to stop a caffeine headache in its tracks — like using peppermint essential oil and drinking water. 

You can also combat one of these pesky headaches by taking caffeine — just be sure to stay away from large amounts of sugar as that can lead to an energy crash resulting in a headache that is much worse. 

Here at Proper Wild, we refuse to use preservatives or artificial sweeteners found in other energy shots and drinks. We believe in clean and simple ingredients that are backed by science to fuel your body with nourishing nutrients designed to maximize your productivity. 

With no added sugar or anything artificial, just one Proper Wild Energy Shot is all you need to stay focused, energized, and headache-free. 

Check us out today and boost your productivity tomorrow — trust us, you’ll be glad you did!

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