Did you know dehydration is one of the main causes of migraines? When you don’t get enough water into your body, a migraine is bound to come knocking into your head.
When your head feels like it’s clamped in an ever-tightening vice, an energy drink could provide you with the relief you desperately need. I’m willing to bet you didn’t know that caffeine can be used to treat migraines. That’s right, your regular energy drink could save you from your migraine pain. But without the proper amount, it could also become the same thing that triggered your migraine in the first place.
Hence, understanding how caffeine causes and relieves migraines is important to help you prevent the onset of frequent migraines in the future.
Ingredients in Energy Drinks
Caffeine is the ingredient in energy drinks that gives you a burst of energy after you’ve ingested it.
The amount of caffeine in energy drinks can differ. Some brands have higher levels of caffeine while others only contain a moderate amount or none at all.
According to the FDA, 400mg is the amount of caffeine healthy adults should stick to in a day to avoid dangerous side effects.
However, I feel it depends on your body’s tolerance for caffeine. If you’re able to go on with your day after drinking a couple or more caffeinated beverages, it means your caffeine tolerance is quite high.
Aside from boosting your energy, caffeine can also be used to cure headaches. In fact, caffeine is one of the components of many popular pain relievers. It gives these medications a better percentage of efficiency and relief.
However, it seems that using caffeine as a remedy for headaches or migraines depends on your consumption frequency.
If you have been taking this every day and in large amounts, you might become dependent, leading to less efficiency when it comes to treating migraines. On the flip side, if your intake is occasional, caffeine may treat mild types of headaches.
Sugar is present in most energy drinks (except the sugar-free ones). It’s the component that makes these drinks sweet and addictive.
When you consume sugar in moderation, your body will enjoy the benefits of having enough fuel to go about your day.
However, too much added sugar is known to cause sugar headaches and could aggravate the pain of your migraine.
Hence, the amount and type of sugar in energy drinks is something you should keep an eye on when choosing what to go for.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that men should consume a maximum of 150 calories or 9 teaspoons of sugar per day while women should take no more than 100 calories or 6 teaspoons of sugar daily.
Energy drinks typically contain other ingredients you might see on the nutritional labels such as guarana, ginseng, taurine, and B vitamins.
Guarana is a Brazilian plant that can be found in the Amazons. It contains a few types of stimulants including caffeine and has antioxidant properties. When combined with caffeine, it improves mental focus and reduces fatigue.
In one study, it was shown that ingesting a certain amount of guarana boosted secondary memory performance and mood and increased the alertness of the participants.
The variety of ginseng that is usually found in energy drinks is panax ginseng. It originates from a root of a plant and is more often used for medicinal purposes. Ginseng is said to improve cognitive functions and combat fatigue.
Taurine is an amino acid that is naturally produced by the body and is typically taken as a supplement. It can also be found in foods like milk, ice cream, clams, and scallops. Having enough taurine in your body can beneficial to your eyes, heart, brain, and muscles.
There are a few types of B vitamins in energy drinks, namely riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and cobalamin (vitamin B12). B vitamins prevent infection and bring many other benefits to the body.
Does Caffeine Help With Headaches?
Caffeine has vasoconstrictive properties which allow it to narrow blood vessels and restrict blood flow. When you experience a headache, your blood vessels tend to swell. As caffeine tightens blood vessels, it prevents you from having headaches.
In one study, caffeine effectively could be used as a treatment for hypnic headaches and postdural puncture headaches.
Cochrane Foundation stated that combining caffeine in a cup of coffee with over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or paracetamol brought 5%-10% of better relief to patients.
If you ever find yourself suffering from a severe headache, brew yourself a cup of coffee or black tea. However, there is a limited amount of caffeine that may be consumed before undesirable side effects set in. Hence, the need of moderation is emphasized, which is hardly ground-breaking information.
Can Energy Drinks Relieve Migraines?
Believe it or not, energy drinks can relieve migraines! This happens because of its main ingredient’s properties, which is caffeine. As discussed above, one of its functions is constricting blood vessels and preventing the travel of pain signals to the brain, aiding in relieving your migraine.
Aside from dulling the pain, energy drinks are also known to:
- boost memory
- improve concentration
- trigger alertness
Comes in very handy when you’ve got an important task that requires brainpower coming up!
If you’re feeling sluggish once the migraine has subsided, energy drinks will put your back on your feet in no time.
But I personally advise when taking energy drinks to alleviate your headaches, remember to abide by the FDA’s recommended daily caffeine limit.
You don’t want another headache coming your way from caffeine overdose.
Does Taking Too Much Caffeine Cause Headaches?
Taking too much caffeine can cause a caffeine overdose. This often happens when you are experiencing a withdrawal, where the blood vessels expand, allowing the pain signals to reach your brain and make you feel uncomfortable again.
Symptoms of this overdose include:
- Increased thirst
- Breathing difficulties
I suggest taking a low to moderate amount of caffeine to relieve your headache or migraine.
Once you’re feeling better, you should lay off the caffeinated beverages for a few days to allow your body to rest.
If not you’ll probably end up with a case of chronic daily headaches, a condition that refers to any type of headaches that frequently occur during at least 15 days every month for a duration of half a year or more.
Can you Drink Red Bull When You’re Having a Migraine?
Yes, you can drink Red Bull when you’re having a migraine.
A can of Red Bull (the original one) contains 80mg of caffeine, 27g of sugar and 110 calories.
I personally feel the caffeine content in a can of regular Red Bull is sensible enough to relieve the pain caused by your migraines. After drinking one, take the time to relax to allow the caffeine to work into your system.
Peak caffeine absorption usually happens 45 minutes after ingestion.
However, Red Bull shouldn’t be a cure for your migraines every time. As the amount of sugar and calories in one can is quite concerning, in the long run, it would bring you more harm than good.
Red Bull has a sugar-free version – Red Bull Total Zero – if you’re watching your sugar levels.
If you want to know more about Red Bull and its content, you can read all about it here.
Is it OK If You Rake Energy Drinks with Ibuprofen (Pain-Relieving Medication)?
Yes, it is ok if you take energy drinks with ibuprofen.
However, you must make sure you take a specific amount of ibuprofen with an energy drink of moderate levels of caffeine.
In this article, acute pain relief can be achieved by ingesting a single 200mg ibuprofen with an energy drink that contains less than 80mg of caffeine.
You can also get the same desired effect by switching with other caffeinated drinks like tea (75mg per mug) and cola drinks (less than 40mg per serving).
But I’m not a healthcare professional, so to be on the safe side, consult your physician or doctor before you attempt to do this.
Other Drinks That Can Relieve Migraines
Keeping your body hydrated is very important. It has been stated that the human body is comprised of 60% water.
That’s a lot.
Drinking enough water can prevent dehydration. This study proved that headaches and migraines were commonly caused by dehydration.
There’s even a type of headache known as the dehydration headache. A dehydration headache would feel like a dull headache or an intense migraine. It can occur from one location of the head to all over the head.
Drinking water has other benefits, which are:
- Lubricating the joints
- Forming saliva and mucus
- Delivering oxygen throughout the body
- Boosting skin health and beauty
- Regulates body temperature
- Promotes a healthy digestive system
Tea is one of the beverages you can take to provide relief from your migraines. But apparently, not all kinds of tea are suitable for treating migraines.
Healthline suggests you should avoid drinking caffeinated tea when you’re having a headache or migraine in case you will worsen or trigger it. Instead opt for teas without caffeine like chamomile tea, ginger tea, and peppermint tea.
Chamomile tea is commonly used to help with insomnia and ease upset stomachs and anxiety.
Ginger is often used as a natural pain-reliever and anti-inflammatory medicine. It is additionally used to treat nausea and vomiting. Since migraines are usually caused by inflammation, the traces of ginger in ginger tea can help relieve the pain.
Like ginger, peppermint is well-known for relieving pain and relaxing the muscles. Hence peppermint tea may be able to soothe the pain caused by migraines.
Other Drinks That Can Trigger Migraines
Alcoholic drinks can trigger migraines. According to the American Migraine Foundation, experts still can’t answer how and why alcohol causes migraines.
Some researchers believe it is due to histamine, a chemical present in alcoholic drinks. Histamine triggers your body to create more histamine which leads to inflammation.
Though everyone’s reactions to alcohol is different, it is best to stay away from alcohol if you have a migraine.
An excess of something that is generally good can be terrible for you. An excess of caffeine in your diet is one of the main reasons you are hit with constant migraines or headaches.
Beverages like coffee, tea, sodas, and even energy drinks can cause headaches especially when consuming these drinks are a habit in your lives.
If your caffeine tolerance is low, it’s advisable to keep your daily caffeine consumption to less than 100mg. For those with a higher caffeine tolerance, you should stop taking caffeine when you start to feel unwell.
Best Energy Drinks for Migraines
If you’re wondering about other brands of energy drinks that could relieve migraines, I’ve written an article about the ingredients in different energy drinks that you can check out.
Now let’s get into our list…
XS Energy Drink
XS has a reasonable amount of caffeine that can guarantee you a migraine-free after a few sips. Plus it’s also sugar-free and low in calories which won’t pose many problems for you over time.
I would recommend XS as an energy drink that can be used as a pain-reliever for migraines.
Monster Energy Drink
Monster is one of the strongest energy drinks in the market with a copious amount of caffeine and sugar to back its reputation up.
I personally find Monster’s caffeine levels to be too high for my taste. The amount of sugar in one can is also pretty alarming.
Monster might be effective against migraines in those with higher caffeine tolerances, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Reize Energy Drink
Whenever I’m down a mid headache or a killer migraine, REIZE Energy Drink is the beverage I choose to get relief.
With only a dose of 50mg of caffeine per serving, this energy drink should be able to rid you of your painful migraines without any side effects.
Plus, REIZE Energy Drink is cheap and ships right to your doorstep for only $1, including shipping.
That’s a really good deal right there.
Give REIZE a try today, and you might just find it to be the best energy drink to soothe your migraines.