What is the role of caffeine on migraines?
Caffeine has various effects on the brain. If coffee can relieve an attack, withdrawal can trigger a migraine. Read on for more details!
What is the effect of caffeine on migraines? Caffeine relieves migraines (it can be found in many over-the-counter medicines), but caffeine is also said to trigger migraines… which statement is true?
Caffeine is a neuroactive substance, which means it stimulates many of the brain’s neurotransmitter systems. It IS efficient to treat migraines, this has been scientifically proven. BUT, when you ingest a lot of caffeine, the brain gets used to this continuous stimulation.
A slight decrease in caffeine levels can trigger an attack (remember: migraine sufferers do not tolerate changes well). Belated morning coffees are probably partly responsible for “weekend migraines”. TIP: A recent study showed that reducing coffee intake to 2 cups a day also reduced migraine frequency… but people who completely quit drinking coffee (except for decaf) improved even more.
If you suffer from a lot of migraines, you might want to give up coffee entirely. Health Canada recommends a maximum daily caffeine intake of 300-400 mg… you might exceed this amount faster than you think!
The table below shows the caffeine ratio in some food products. Refer to Health Canada’s website for more information.
|Food||Approximate Caffeine Dose (mg)|
|Espresso Coffee (8 ounces)||120|
|Regular Coffee (8 ounces)||180|
|Tea||30 to 50|
|1 Can of Coke||40|
|1 Can of Redbull||80|
It is easy to underestimate your caffeine intake, especially with the large sizes offered at Starbucks, Tim Hortons or Second Cup, for instance.