What You Should Do If You Have A Caffeine Headache

If you've ever skipped your morning cup of coffee, chances are you've experienced the pain and inconvenience of a caffeine headache. Caffeine headaches are one of the most common symptoms of caffeine withdrawal (via Verywell Health). If you typically drink more than two cups of coffee per day, going a full day or even just a few hours without your usual caffeine fix may result in a caffeine withdrawal headache.

While caffeine headaches are more common among people with moderate to excessive caffeine consumption, even people who drink only one cup of coffee a day can still experience them, especially if they're already sensitive to caffeine. Caffeine headaches are caused by a change in blood flow to your brain. Caffeine constricts the blood vessels in your brain, which slows the flow of blood (via Healthline). When you don't have any caffeine in your system, however, your blood vessels relax and widen, increasing the blood flow to your brain. This can often result in a headache.

How to treat a caffeine headache

Caffeine headaches can be quite painful and unpleasant. While everyone will experience them differently, the level of pain usually ranges anywhere from moderate to severe and this type of headache typically affects both sides of your head. So what can you do to help relieve the pain? One of the most important things you can do to treat your caffeine headache is to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated (via Healthline). Caffeine can leave you dehydrated, reducing the amount of fluid in your body. Without enough fluid, your brain can shrink in volume. This can stimulate your pain receptors and trigger a headache. 

You can also take over-the-counter pain relievers to help ease the pain. Medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen can be taken every four to six hours until your headache goes away. Applying an ice pack to your forehead or taking a nap may have a similar effect. If all else fails, you can always consume more caffeine. However, this will only help fuel your dependence on caffeine. Cutting back on caffeine may help reduce both your dependence and your risk of a withdrawal headache.