Can too much coffee make you sick


The Reason Why You Feel Nauseous After Consuming Caffeine Will Freak You Out

Nausea is literally one of the worst feelings in the world — especially if you have a lot on your itinerary. Since nobody wants to get sick during a trip out, it’s usually good to figure out the cause of nausea before it totally controls your life. Knowing that coffee is the culprit for some of us is even more upsetting. Because, what’s a morning without caffeine?

Coffee has often been touted as being a miracle beverage. Not only can it wake you up and make you more mentally alert, but Healthline reports it can also help stave away Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and Type 2 diabetes.

The reason why coffee and other caffeinated beverages cause nausea is also scientifically linked. It primarily has to do with acid reflux. If you have a sensitive stomach, you might want to try cold brew, or perhaps a type with a lower level of caffeine. Don’t sigh just yet — half-caf isn’t as bad as you may assume.

It’s strange to think that it’s caffeine may be the cause of your nausea, but the human body works in mysterious ways. Not only does it keep you awake, but it helps get your digestive system moving — which is why you might be feeling so sick.

If that’s not it, think about how you drink your coffee. Is it usually on an empty stomach? While not a nutritionist myself, I firmly believe that coffee should accompany something a little heartier — and professional coffee-fanatics agree. “Coffee is an intense drink,” states JavaPresse. “It’s rich, bold, and complex in flavor and chemical makeup. If you’re drinking coffee without eating anything substantial for breakfast, you’re going to run into problems — no matter who you are.”

If you have a sensitive stomach, you may want to avoid the caffeinated stuff on busy mornings. But if you know you’re having a totally lazy day, and miss the taste of coffee, might as well have another cup.

Caffeine Overdose Symptoms: Signs, Cases, Prevention

Caffeine overdose is becoming increasingly more common as higher caffeinated products flood the marketplace and as people’s dependence on caffeine increases.

Top 15 Caffeine Overdose Symptoms

Here are the usual caffeine overdose symptoms in order from the first ones to be experienced to the more severe, later stage symptoms resulting from even larger doses of caffeine.

  1. Jitters, Restlessness, and Nervousness
  2. Scattered thoughts
  3. Excessive talking
  4. Inability to focus on anything
  5. Irritability
  6. Elevated blood pressure
  7. Increased heartbeat
  8. Nausea
  9. Anxiety
  10. Heart palpitations (cardiac arrhythmia)
  11. Insomnia
  12. Sweating
  13. Dizziness
  14. Vomiting
  15. Cardiac arrest

There can be many common symptoms that indicate too much caffeine consumption, but these are the most prevalent.

The beginning symptoms should be recognized and further caffeine intake should be stopped to avoid the more serious and even life-threatening symptoms found at the end of the list.

Ingesting massive doses of caffeine all at once is particularly dangerous as it doesn’t give your body time to react since early overdose symptoms serve as a warning system.

Caffeine’s major effects are experienced for at least 4 hours.

  • This is longer for those sensitive to caffeine.
  • This is longer with extremely large doses.
  • This is based on the half-life of caffeine which is 4-6 hours.

However, it can be hard to pinpoint an amount of caffeine that will cause caffeine overdose symptoms since people can have different tolerance levels to caffeine.

Are You Addicted to Caffeine?

If you want to reduce your caffeine intake (or quit entirely), here’s how:
1.Download our book Awake(it’s free).
2. Do the Overcoming Caffeine Withdrawal course at Udemy.
3. Use the Wean Caffeine supplement (something we helped get to market). It helps you avoid the painful withdrawal symptoms that often come when quitting caffeine abruptly.

Prevention: Maximum Daily Intake

You can prevent caffeine overdose by adhering to the recommended safe dosage guidelines.

Generally, a single dose between 250-500 mg (check caffeine amounts here) could produce some of the above mild to moderate symptoms, especially in those with no tolerance or high caffeine sensitivity.

Those with caffeine allergy or sensitivity could have severe symptoms even after a much smaller dose.

to find out how much of a popular drink would it take for you to overdose.

DSM-5 Criteria

Caffeine Intoxication is now included in the DSM-5 physician manual. (This is the official manual doctors and psychiatrists use to diagnose a person’s condition.)

The official diagnosis can be made when any 5 of the following symptoms are present: restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, flushed face, diuresis (you keep passing urine), gastrointestinal disturbance (upset tummy, diarrhea), muscle twitching, rambling flow of thought and speech, tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia, periods of inexhaustibility, or psychomotor agitation.

The DSM-5 now also lists Caffeine Withdrawal as a mental disorder. Sufferers can experience withdrawal symptoms when ceasing caffeine intake.

So far, caffeine addiction as a disorder has been rejected from being placed in the manual.

Doctors and nurses in emergency rooms are now being trained to recognize the overdose of caffeine since it is becoming more common among their patients.

Reducing the Impact of Caffeine

There is some research indicating products that contain rutaecarpine can actually reduce the impact of caffeine’s side effects. They do this by assisting with caffeine metabolism*. Learn more here.

Caffeine Overdose Documented Cases

Caffeine overdose does happen and has been documented. Here are some of the more recent cases of an overdose resulting in death or hospitalization;

  • 19-year-old James Stone dies after taking 25 to 30 No-Doz pills in 2007. (at least 2.5 grams of caffeine)
  • A 56-year-old Brittish man drank 25 Red Bulls in an evening and awoke the next morning with a brain hemorrhage. src.
  • 17-year-old Jasmine Willis, a Durham, UK waitress overdosed by drinking 7 double espressos in 2007. She was taken to the hospital but recovered soon after. (that’s roughly 1.078 grams)
  • In the late 1990s an Australian woman, with a heart condition died after consuming a guarana based shot from her local health food store. This product is no longer on the market. (10g/liter, ok that’s just nuts!)
  • 2010 a 23-year-old British man from Mansfield, England died after taking to 2 spoonfuls of pure caffeine powder washed down by an energy drink at a party. His death was ruled accidental.
  • 2011 Fourteen-year-old Anais Fournier, died after she consumed two 24 ounce Monsters (480mg of caffeine) in a 24 hour period. The cause of death was a heart arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity. There seem to be some conflicting stories as to how much she really consumed and this seems true since 480mg in a 24 hour period isn’t a toxic amount. Update October 2012: Her parents are suing Monster Energy for wrongful death although the girl did have a known pre-existing heart condition.
  • 2012 The FDA is investigating Monster Energy since the energy drink has been linked to five deaths over the past year.
  • 2013: According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, energy drink-related ER visits have doubled in the last 4 years, however, 42% of these visits involved caffeine in combination with other drugs such as alcohol or other narcotics. src.
  • 2013 a New Zealand woman died from cardiac arrhythmia associated with her 10 liters/day Coca-Cola habit. She also smoked 30 cigarettes a day and barely ate. Caffeine was a contributing factor, but the 900-1000mg daily dose wasn’t the only factor. src.
  • 2013 A mother is suing Monster Energy for the death of her 19-year-old son, Alex Morris, after he died of cardiac arrest. She claims that he drank two 16 ounce Monsters the day before his death and at least two a day for the 3 years preceding his death. A California Coroner’s office reported that he died from cardiomyopathy and cardiac arrhythmia.
  • October 2013: John Jackson from the UK dies after eating a whole tin of HERO Energy Mints. Each tin contains 12 mints, so he consumed 984mg of caffeine. He also had cirrhosis of the liver, which prevented him from processing the caffeine properly allowing it to build up in his bloodstream to lethal levels. (src.)
  • March 2014: A 14-year-old boy from Norway was hospitalized with kidney failure after drinking 4 liters of a caffeine-laced energy drink while gaming for 16 hours straight. This would be around 1,280mg of caffeine if he was consuming a “Red Bull” similar energy drink. (src.)
  • September 2014: A Tennessee man was taken to the hospital after consuming 20 caffeine pills to “test the limits of his body” according to what the man told the paramedics. He ingested 4000 mg of caffeine at once. src.

Some Additional Caffeine Overdose Facts

Luckily for us, we have mechanisms built into the human body that let us know we’ve had enough of something.

This is true with caffeine overdose. Well before we are at a toxic level we experience side effects that prevent us from consuming more, i.e. nausea and vomiting.

This means that before the 149 or so cans of Red Bull that it would take to kill an average adult male, vomiting would most certainly happen.

For most people, that would happen after about can number 5!

However, it’s important to note that caffeine is a drug and should be respected and not abused. Since some people have an extremely low tolerance or high sensitivity to caffeine, they could – in theory – overdose quite easily.

How to Know If You’ve Overdosed?

Most people feel the “jitters” first – a sensation of tremors or shaking.

This is your signal to stop consuming caffeine for the day.

You should also be aware of the caffeine levels in what you are drinking. Please consult the caffeine database since some of the caffeine amounts might surprise you.

If you find that you’re often tired after consuming caffeine, this is a sign that you need to change your long-term caffeine habits and consider a detox.

The bottom line is to be aware of what you are consuming.

How common is caffeine overconsumption?

With the plethora of caffeinated products in the marketplace, one could assume that overdosing on caffeine is quite common.

However, if we look at the statistics gathered from The American Association of Poison Control Centers we find that, while caffeine overdose does exist, it isn’t as common as people may think.

In fact, overdosing on Tylenol is a lot more common than overdosing on caffeine.

Written by Ted Kallmyer, last updated on November 14, 2019

What to Do When You’ve Had Too Much Caffeine

And it’s important to know that the maximum tolerated dose of caffeine differs between adults and children.

“Children weigh less and are more prone to its effects. So we caution against overuse in kids,” says Sridhar.

It’s tough to standardize the measurement of caffeine in coffee because it depends on bean origin, flavor, roast and grind, not to mention water temperature, brewing time and, well, you get the idea … But a typical cup of brewed coffee has caffeine levels from 65 to 120 milligrams while a shot of espresso ranges from 30 to 50 milligrams.

“Rather than a universal set point for how much is too much, it’s when you take in an out-of-the-ordinary amount for you that you experience bad effects,” says Sridhar.

It’s not only coffee that can pole vault you over your own personal caffeine set point but also snack bars, soda, bottled water, energy drinks or over-the-counter or prescription headache or PMS medications, all of which can contain caffeine.

The symptoms of too much caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant. That’s why it helps wake you up in the morning. And it’s a big part of why you like it.

Aside from that jittery leg, there are other signs of too much caffeine. They range from relatively mild symptoms like sweating and restlessness to uncomfortable symptoms like nausea, diarrhea and anxiety.

The good news is that most of these symptoms, unpleasant as they are, won’t endanger your life. Cardiovascular symptoms, on the other hand, require vigilance.

The effects of caffeine on your heart

Caffeine stimulates your heart rate and gives a temporary boost to your blood pressure. And for most people this isn’t a problem.

But in anyone with a pre-existing heart condition (known or not), excessive caffeine can trigger fast and irregular heart rhythms, which could lead to sudden cardiac arrest.

“On a high caffeine dose, people will feel a lot of skipped beats, thumping or a noticeably fast heart rate. If your heart rate is irregular or stuck at a very high rate, if your symptoms just feel overwhelming or if you are dizzy or faint, then you should go to the emergency room,” says Sridhar.

That’s because dizziness can indicate that your body is not pumping enough blood to your brain.

If your symptoms are not overwhelming and don’t include dizziness, but you’re still concerned, then you can make an appointment with a doctor to get checked out instead, he says.

You should also discuss your caffeine intake with a doctor if you have a pre-existing arrhythmia or seizure disorder, as caffeine can trigger these conditions.

Caffeine can contribute to anxiety

It’s caffeine’s effect on your nervous system that produces the jitters. But if you have a predisposition to anxiety, that jitteriness can make you feel even more anxious.

“Jitteriness feels like anxiety to someone who is primed that way,” says Sridhar.

Any heart symptoms you experience can add to this anxiety.

“When people feel their heart thumping hard, this tends to increase their anxiety and can contribute to a feeling of panic,” says Sridhar.

So if you have a predisposition to anxiety or panic attacks, caffeine may exacerbate those feelings. That means that you’re probably not having a heart attack but having a hard time telling the difference between a heart attack and anxiety.

What you can do to feel better

Like recovering from a hangover, you’ll have to wait out your caffeine overdose to get over it completely. And this could take 4 to 6 hours, says Sridhar, unless you’re one of the unlucky few who are caffeine-sensitive, in which case you may have to wait much longer. Sigh.

But while you’re waiting, here are a few things that might help.

No more caffeine. Don’t consume any more caffeine today. Seems like a statement of the obvious, but be sure you don’t absentmindedly nosh on your usual mid-afternoon chocolate-covered snack bar by mistake.

Drink plenty of water. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means that you need to drink extra water to make up for what you’re peeing out. You don’t want to add dehydration to the unpleasantness.

Replace electrolytes. If you have been sick to your stomach or have diarrhea, you’re losing not only water but also electrolytes. You can replace those with an electrolyte replacement solution like Pedialyte.

Take a walk. If you feel a lot of pent-up energy, take a walk to expend some of it. But if you notice anything unusual happening to your heart rate — like a sudden rapid increase — then stop.

Practice deep breathing. If you’re anxious, chances are that your breathing is fast and shallow — and that will only further increase your anxiety. Take slow, deep, deliberate breaths to bring your breathing back to normal and reduce anxiety.

On the bright side, unless you have a cardiac side-effect, chances are you will recover with no permanent damage. So don’t beat yourself up too badly.

“Hopefully you’ll remember the unpleasantness the next time around and say no to that extra cup of coffee,” says Sridhar. “Caffeine is best in moderation.”

Feeling Dizzy? Coffee May Be The Culprit

Zach NewmanFollow Oct 7, 2016 · 2 min read

Odds are, if you live in America and you’re reading this article, you enjoy a hot, or iced, cup of joe in the morning.

Coffee has been a staple of my mornings for years now and is partly a reason why I enjoy getting up early in the morning so much. The smell, the taste, and the jolt I receive from it are comparable to none.

According to Statistic Brain, of the estimated 100 million daily coffee drinkers, 60% of them say they need a cup every morning to start their day, 68% have a cup within their first hour awake, and 54% say coffee makes them feel more like themselves.

Odds are, if you live in America and you’re reading this article, you enjoy a cup of hot, or iced, joe in the morning.

What people aren’t aware of about coffee is that its also a diuretic; in other words, it makes you pee. As a result you experience increased water and electrolyte loss which then leads to decreased blood volume leaving you vulnerable to dehydration ESPECIALLY on a hot day or during exercise.

This decreased blood volume, or hypovolemia as its clinically named, can cause dizziness in addition to fatigue and even fainting.

Coffee can also wreak havoc on our insides if we don’t have a solid breakfast before we drink it. On an empty stomach, coffee can cause digestive problems making it more difficult to dissolve proteins, disturb our sleep patterns, cloud our thoughts, and even cause us to crave sugar — probably why Dunkin Donuts can sell us on that .99 cent doughnut!

What does this mean for you? It means, just like you would pace your alcohol consumption with a glass of water, do the same with your coffee.

Water is crucial for optimal bodily function, it comprises 50–70% of your entire body weight and is responsible for a myriad of important functions and of them, maintaining high blood volume — key for optimal athletic performance.

In addition, make sure you eat breakfast so you’re not running on an empty stomach. Water volume is also influenced by food intake which in turn will also help maintain high blood volume, further decreasing the likelihood you feel dizzy or “lightheaded” in the morning and boosting your energy.

Remember, coffee WITH breakfast, not FOR breakfast!

Feeling Nauseous After Drinking Coffee

Do you love a great cup of coffee but sometimes feel dizzy afterward? Coffee can leave you feeling a bit queasy, especially if you drink it before breakfast. Find out the reasons why you may feel nauseous after a latte, cappuccino, or even an instant coffee and how to manage it.

Overall Dehydration

You may feel nauseated or drained when you’re not properly hydrated. So, when you wake up, don’t grab a cup of coffee immediately. Instead, drink at least a glass of water to help your body flush out toxins and hydrate your cells first thing in the morning. It is also advisable to drink eight glasses of water a day. Don’t use coffee as a substitute for sparkling clean water.

Abdominal Distress

Coffee is one of the major causes of acid reflux and heartburn. Caffeine stimulates the release of gastrin and secretion of gastric acid and may become more obvious when you take coffee in the morning on an empty stomach. The abdominal distress may make you feel nauseous. So, before you drink your favorite brew, have some food in your stomach.

Coffee contains various acids that add flavor to your brew. However, these acids, when drinking on an empty stomach, can lead you to feel dizzy. The irritation in your stomach lining can cause feelings of queasiness.

Coffee also triggers acid indigestion, but there are ways to manage heartburn and reducing the likelihood of experiencing acid reflux every time you sip your favorite drink:

  • Try a low acid coffee bean. The darker the roast, the lower the acid; so choose your coffee beans wisely. You can also buy Sumatra and Mexico coffee or decaf because they are lower in acid.

  • Reduce your consumption of sugars and, unhealthy fats, because they require more acid to break down in the stomach. Adding coffee to the mix increases acidity and the risk of heartburn. Caffeine is often considered an acid trigger, especially when taken in excess. But, avoid artificial and zero-calorie sweeteners because they could stir up your gut-bacteria, and in turn, lead to acid reflux. If you don’t like sugar, just settle for alternatives like stevia or cinnamon.

Non-dairy, low-fat and artificial creamers also contain fructose, hydrogenated oils and other harmful ingredients that can actually lead to nausea. So, just go for all-natural milk or creamer because calcium offsets acidity.

Coffee is a Stimulant

Caffeine can have various effects on your body. Aside from increasing your pulse rate and breathing, it can also cause anxiety jittery feeling and dizziness. But, ingesting a cup or so of coffee don’t usually lead to these negative reactions. Only those who consume large amounts of coffee may experience the unpleasant stimulating effects of caffeine.

To be on the safe side, just limit your coffee intake to 100 mg of caffeine. But, if you’re not experiencing adverse reactions from caffeine intake, you can take as much as 4 cups of coffee or 400 mg of caffeine without worrying about any issues.

  • Coffee is a must-have to start the day for many cyclists, but too much caffeine has been shown to raise blood pressure, and may also lead to things like headache, shakiness, or abnormal heartbeat.
  • Now, new research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found the upper limit for coffee consumption is six cups a day.

For billions of people around the planet, coffee is fuel for the daily grind. Endurance athletes swear by java to get them going (in more ways than one). For many, life without at least one daily cup is simply a no-go.

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But as with any good thing, too much coffee is a bad thing. Too much caffeine can cause high blood pressure, a precursor to heart disease, and can cause side effects like dizziness, shakiness, headache, or abnormal heartbeat.

Until now it was hard to say how much was too much. Thanks to new research from the University of South Australia, we now have an upper limit for how much coffee is safe when talking about your heart disease risk.

In the study, researchers delved into U.K. Biobank data of more than 347,000 people ages 37 to 73 years to explore how the caffeine-metabolizing gene (CYP1A2) helps carriers process caffeine, as well as identify the risks of cardiovascular disease as it relates to coffee consumption and genetic variations.

They discovered that those drinking more than six cups of coffee a day had a 22 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease than those who drank 1 to 2 cups a day, putting that ceiling for safe coffee consumption at six cups per day.

Interestingly, the amount for safe consumption did not seem to have anything to do with whether you had the genes to metabolize coffee faster.

Despite carriers of the fast-processing gene variation being four times quicker at metabolizing caffeine, the research does not support the belief that these people could safely consume more caffeine, more frequently, without detrimental health effects, study author Elina Hyppönen, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Australian Centre for Precision Health said in a press release.

“In order to maintain a healthy heart and a healthy blood pressure, people must limit their coffees to fewer than six cups a day—based on our data six was the tipping point where caffeine started to negatively affect cardiovascular risk,” Hyppönen said.

The study also suggests the heart-protective effects of drinking some coffee, since nondrinkers had an 11 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those who drank 1 to 2 cups daily. That follows in line with a 2017 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, which found low to moderate coffee consumption per day was linked to lower chances of heart incidents, while those drinking the most per day had the highest risk.

An antioxidant in coffee called chlorogenic acid may help improve blood vessel function and thwart the development of the plaque buildup that can clog arteries, those researchers believed. But too much caffeine can not only raise the chances of high blood pressure, but may also lead to artery stiffening—two factors which can raise your chances of heart disease.

It all comes down to one buzzword that can apply to almost anything in the health field: moderation.

“An estimated three billion cups of coffee are enjoyed every day around the world,” Hyppönen said in the press release. “Knowing the limits of what’s good for you and what’s not is imperative. As with many things, it’s all about moderation; overindulge and your health will pay for it.”

Selene Yeager “The Fit Chick” Selene Yeager is a top-selling professional health and fitness writer who lives what she writes as a NASM certified personal trainer, USA Cycling certified coach, pro licensed mountain bike racer, and All-American Ironman triathlete.

A sudden jolt from cortisol prompts your blood pressure to rise, heart to beat faster and energy level to soar, which no doubt enabled some early humans to escape a hungry lion in pursuit. Few of us today have to worry about becoming prey to a wild beast. Still, many live in a near-constant state of biochemical stress with the body’s alarm system turned on high all day long.

A constant outpouring of too much cortisol can result in a number of health problems, including anxiety, depression, problems with memory and concentration, trouble sleeping, weight gain and — yes, dear brother — heart disease.

Although the cortisol responses to caffeine are reduced in people who consume it every day, they are not eliminated, a controlled trial by a multidisciplinary research team demonstrated. In a report published in 2005 in Psychosomatic Medicine, the team, led by William R. Lovallo, an expert on stress at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, concluded that “chronic elevations of cortisol secretion may have implications for long-term health.”

Among the possible harmful effects the team listed are impaired responses by the immune system and central nervous system, memory deficits and changes in the workings of the brain’s frontal lobe and limbic system involved in critical factors like problem solving, judgment, motivation, attention, memory, learning, emotions and empathy.

For those at risk of heart disease, perhaps the most serious adverse effect of excessive caffeine consumption is its ability to raise blood pressure. As Dr. Lovallo’s team reported, “daily caffeine intake does not abolish the blood pressure response to caffeine” even in healthy young men and women.

Other studies have shown that in people with hypertension or at risk of developing it, cortisol responses to caffeine are exaggerated. In an earlier study, Dr. Lovallo and colleagues found that “borderline hypertensives and those with a positive family history have more rapid and prolonged cortisol responses to caffeine than do low-risk persons.”

My brother has long been treated for hypertension and is now very conscientious about staying on a low-sodium diet. But maybe it would be even more helpful if he also reduced the amount of caffeine he regularly consumes, replacing some of that caffeinated coffee with decaf, a suggestion he categorically rejected when I offered it.

Why does coffee hurt my stomach?

It’s true that coffee can leave you feeling a bit queasy, especially those of us who are reaching for our first, second, or sixth cup before reaching for our first meal of the day.

To avoid dehydration:

  • Refrain from drinking coffee on an empty stomach
  • Drink at least as much water as you do coffee and then some
  • Have some food in your stomach to avoid jitters, lightheadedness, or an upset stomach

Keep the following factors in mind when considering why you’re turning green:

The various acids found in coffee do contribute to the overall taste of your brew. However, acidity in coffee, especially when drinking on an empty stomach, can lead you to feel a bit queasy. These acids may irritate your stomach lining, and cause feelings of nausea. If you find that you’re sensitive to high acidity:

  • Go with a dark roast. Darker roasts generally have a low acidity, and the chemicals that arise during the roasting process may help in hindering your stomach acid.

Artificial and zero-calorie sweeteners are thought to stir up your gut-bacteria, and in turn, lead to potentially messy situations with your bodily-functions.

  • Experiment with alternatives like a stevia leaf extract, a sprinkle of cinnamon, or cocoa.

Non-dairy, low-fat and artificial creamers aren’t much better than the artificial sweeteners your pairing them with. These creamers tend to include harmful ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, thickeners, and other unnatural and harmful ingredients. Dipotassium phosphate, for example, an ingredient used to break down coffee acidity, can actually lead to both nausea and *shiver* diarrhea. Calcium will offset acidity.

  • If you prefer the smoother taste, or the acidity is doing you in, go for an all-natural milk or creamer to keep your insides happy both in short and long term.

If you’re feeling brave, challenge yourself to forego the additional ingredients altogether! The more you drink black coffee, the more you will begin to taste the flavor notes from the roast itself that you may have been missing out on.

Related: Navy Seal Gives One Trick To Help You Actually Wake Up Early


*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Learn More* Sometimes coffee can make us dizzy. Photo by Marco Nürnberger on / CC BY


How long does it take to flush caffeine out of your system?

I enjoy caffeine as much as the next person. In fact, I’m on my second cup of coffee right now while writing this. However, it’s known that there are certain times that you should and should not drink coffee. This is because caffeine tends to remain in your system for quite some time. According to Medical News Today, 40 milligrams of caffeine will metabolise by half (i.e., 20 milligrams) after 5 hours. The article further notes that caffeine peaks in the bloodstream in about 15 to 45 minutes after consumption. Medical News Today reports that a cup of coffee contains 95 milligrams of caffeine. Thus, after 5 hours you would have only metabolised about 45 milligrams of caffeine.

Given this somewhat extended period of time to metabolize caffeine, it seems to be smart to avoid drinking products with caffeine too late in the day. The Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that you don’t consume caffeine at least six hours before bedtime. And if you want to try to get cute and switch to decaffeinated products, beware. Healthline reports that even decaffeinated products contain trace amounts of caffeine. You may want to switch to good ole fashioned water or herbal teas that do not have any caffeine. The aforementioned Medical News Today article that labels of products with caffeine will report their exact amounts of caffeine. So be sure to read the labels, people!

Why do I get dizzy after drinking coffee?

Odds are that if you are in America and are reading this, you probably enjoy a nice cup of Joe in the morning. As reported by Statistic Brain, out of a sample of 100 million daily coffee drinkers, 60% say that a nice morning Joe is needed to start their day.

However, some people may experience dizziness when drinking coffee. As reported by Livestrong, while it can keep you alert, caffeine consumption can also cause dizziness as a side effect. There are differing possibilities why this can occur in people. Livestrong notes thats that caffeine actually decreases blood flow to the brain which may be a possibility as to why you might feel dizzy when drinking caffeine. This may just be a way your body experiences caffeine. The ADF generally lists dizziness as a side effect you may feel between 5 and 30 minutes after drinking caffeine which may last as long as 12 hours! Humans have varying levels of sensitivity to caffeine, so it may affect you differently than your friend who guzzles down a big gulp of black coffee every morning.

However, there are scarier possibilities why dizziness may occur, such as a caffeine overdose as noted by Healthline. According to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended caffeine intake is up to 400 milligrams each day for healthy adults. Teens should have even less! They should limit their intake to no more than 100 mg per day.

Are there food, drinks or exercises I can do to stop the dizziness?

You might try eating some broccoli to stop the dizziness. Photo by stu_spivack on / CC BY-SA

As mentioned earlier, there could be many different reasons why you are suffering from dizziness after drinking caffeine so it is hard to give an answer to stop something without knowing the root cause. In these cases, it’s always important to take a trip to your local doc and ask them about what’s going on.

If (and that’s a big if because I don’t know who you are and I’m not a doctor!) the cause of dizziness is due to over consumption of caffeine, this Vice article mentions trying to eat different foods to counteract the caffeine. However, the article notes that even this is not a magical cure as it’s an attempt to treat the symptoms and not the caffeine itself.

To truly treat the caffeine in your body, Vice notes that it is up to the production of the CYP1A2 enzyme. According to a study published in the Oxford Journal of Carcinogenesis, a diet rich in certain cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower increased production of the enzyme. But even eating these wonderful veggies will not help you in the immediate short term because your body needs time to break down the foods which can take up to eight hours. The Vice article notes that if you are prone to over caffeination, then you should eat the vegetables well in advance, if anything. Who knew!

Can decaf coffee make you dizzy? Why?

As mentioned earlier, without knowing the exact causes of the dizziness it is difficult to address the issue. It looks like decaf coffee may additionally make people dizzy. An article by Consumer Reports notes that certain chemicals used to decaffeinate coffee may be the culprit of making people dizzy! Apparently, these processes were used early on and have since greatly improved to alleviate the issue. However, it may just be that you are super sensitive to caffeine and as mentioned earlier even decaf contains trace amounts of caffeine.
Generally, I was unable to find much evidence to support the claim that decaf coffee may make people dizzy.

report this ad What are some other side effects of drinking too much coffee?

A potential side effect of drinking coffee is insomnia.

There are a ton of other side effects of drinking too much coffee. The wonderful WebMD, the service any hypochondriac uses to search for their own ailments which only ends up making things much worse for them, notes that side effects include insomnia, nervousness and restlessness, stomach upset, nausea and vomiting, increased heart and breathing rate, and other side effects.

To me, it sounds like if you are a naturally nervous person, you may want to avoid coffee to see if that makes things better for you! In addition, WebMD reports that if you already have a heart condition, it may not be wise to drink caffeine. You risk having a heart attack. Basically, it seems that if you have a preexisting condition, coffee may make things worse. Separately, side effects include fun things like diarrhea and high blood pressure. The Mayo Clinic reports that the way you react to caffeine depends on how much you’re used to drinking. People who don’t regularly drink coffee are more susceptible to feeling the ill-effects of caffeine. A significant side effect with caffeine is disrupted sleep. As reported by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, even doses of caffeine 6 hours prior to sleep have demonstrated significant effects on sleep disturbance relative to placebo.

How long does caffeine take to kick in?

It can take less than 10 minutes to feel that “coffee high”.

We all know the buzz you can get from a cup of coffee or downing a red bull. That’s when you’re locked in and ready to send emails to people you don’t normally send emails to. That’s the feeling when you’re ready to lift off into a journey in things you don’t normally want to, such as calling your parents.

According to Science Focus, you can start to feel the effects of that drink of choice with caffeine in as soon as 10 minutes after that drink touches your lips. However, you don’t feel the full fledged affects until later on as reported in this article on Medium by Viter Energy Mints. After just 10 minutes, the subtle effects of the seemingly universal drug of choice start to kick in, making the day seem less daunting. Apparently, you hit top gear on caffeine about 45 minutes in as reported by Viter Energy Mints. Interestingly enough, the article reports that men seem to “feel” the effects of caffeine more than women.

It also appears that the amount of time it takes for that buzz to kick in depends on how you are ingesting the caffeine. Mental Health Daily reports that taking caffeine in capsule form have a slower absorption by the body and may take a longer time to reach a peak concentration of caffeine in the bloodstream. As reported, it would take 20 and 40 minutes before you even feel an effect.

How can I reduce my caffeine intake?

If you want to reduce your caffeine intake, try mint tea. Photo by Mareefe from Pexels

So now you read this article and you have reached the door of change. This is the moment where you decide whether you’ve had enough or you want to keep going down a path filled with liquid black gold. I leave that decision up to you. In the event you’ve decided you’ve had enough with caffeine, it’s time to take a look at the possible steps to reduce your caffeine intake.
First off, caffeine withdrawal is a very real thing as reported by One Medical Group, so you need to be careful with your plan to reduce your caffeine intake! The article reports that withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, anxiety, irritability, and depressed moods. In reducing your caffeine intake, One Medical Group notes that you’d want to seek steps to also avoid the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal. The article recommends trying to start by limiting your caffeine intake gradually. For example, if you normally drink 3 cups, drink 2, then 1. You can also look into gradually decrease the amount of caffeine in your drink by switching to half caf or tea before quitting altogether. Similarly, the article posits trying herbal teas to counteract dehydration which can worsen headaches and withdrawal symptoms.

Feeling dizzy or lightheaded is a possible side effect of cancer and its treatment. You might feel as if you are about to lose your balance or that the room is spinning around you. You might also feel like you are about to faint. Dizziness may get worse when you stand up, walk, climb stairs, or simply move your head.

Some people consider dizziness as part of a specific illness, such as high blood pressure. Feeling anxious, stressed, or simply not eating for a long time can also make you dizzy. But you should tell your health care team if you feel dizzy or lightheaded for more than a couple days. This is especially important if you have cancer or are having treatment because it could be a sign of change in your health. Or it could be a side effect your health care team can help you with.

Causes of dizziness

Possible causes of dizziness from cancer and its treatment include:

  • Medication, including many types of chemotherapy

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Anemia, which is when you have abnormally low levels of red blood cells

  • A tumor, especially in the brain or another area that affects your balance

Dizziness can also be linked to vision or hearing problems, such as ringing in the ears.

Cancer treatments linked to dizziness

Some types of chemotherapy may cause dizziness. Drug-related dizziness may go away after you have taken the drug for a few days or weeks. Tell your health care team about the dizziness and any other symptoms you have during chemotherapy. Today, many medications are available to treat the side effects from chemotherapy.

Radiation therapy to the brain, spine, or other parts of the body related to the nervous system can also cause dizziness.

Other causes of dizziness

Cancer and its treatment are not the only possible causes for dizziness. Other possible causes include:

  • High blood pressure

  • Heart problems

  • Low blood sugar

  • Dehydration, which is not having enough fluid in the body

  • Infection

  • Inner ear disease or injury. Your body’s center of balance is located in your inner ear. Getting hit on the ear or side of the head, having a condition called Meniere’s disease, or developing natural crystals in the inner ear can all cause dizziness.

Warning signs of a stroke

Dizziness can also be a sign of a stroke. If you suddenly feel dizzy, check for other signs of a stroke, including your face drooping on one side, difficulty lifting or moving one arm, and difficulty speaking.

Dizziness when you change position

You might feel dizzy if you sit or stand up suddenly. This is more common if you are 65 or older, but it can happen at any age. If you already feel dizzy from cancer or its treatment, changing positions quickly can make the dizziness worse.
You can be at risk of falling if you are dizzy at any age. But older adults are more likely to have a serious injury if they fall.

Managing dizziness

Relieving side effects is an important part of cancer care and treatment. This is called palliative care or supportive care. Talk with your health care team about any symptoms you experience and any change in symptoms.

Tell your health care team if you are dizzy for more than a few hours or days. This is especially important if the dizziness gets worse or you have difficulty seeing or hearing normally. Make sure your health care team knows about all the medications you take, including medications for high blood pressure.

Here are some tips for coping with dizziness:

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Aim for 8 to 12 eight-ounce glasses of water or other fluids each day. Avoid drinking a lot of coffee, tea, and cola, because the caffeine in them could affect you.

  • Change positions slowly. For example, sit up carefully from a lying position. If you get dizzy when you stand up, hold a chair or table for balance and stand up more slowly than usual.

  • Walk slowly and carefully if you are dizzy. Hold handrails when you go up and down stairs.

  • Consider using a walking stick or cane to help you keep your balance.

  • Avoid driving if you are often dizzy.

Dizziness medications

Your doctor might prescribe medicines for dizziness. Some are available without a prescription. Dizziness medications include:

  • Meclizine (Antivert)

  • Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine)

  • Scopolamine (Transderm-Scop), which is given as a patch you wear on your skin, by prescription.

  • Prochlorperazine (Compazine)

  • Promethazine (Phenergan)

If an inner ear problem is causing your dizziness, your health care team might give you exercises to help improve your balance. If you have Meniere’s disease, you might need to eat less salt and take medicine to lower the pressure in your inner ear.

Related Resources

Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Side Effects of Radiation Therapy

More Information

National Library of Medicine: Dizziness and Vertigo

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