How to Get Rid of Dizziness After Drinking Coffee?

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Sometimes coffee can make us dizzy. Photo by Marco Nürnberger on / CC BY

[1] Can coffee make you dizzy and why?

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.

[2] 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!

[3] 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!

[4] 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.

[5] 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.

[6] 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.

[7] 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.