Have you ever been drinking a cup of coffee and all of a sudden felt dizzy and nauseous? If the answer is a definitive ‘yes,’ you’re not alone.
Sometimes, when you sip on your morning coffee, you might suddenly feel lightheaded. But why does coffee make me dizzy, you ask?
Well, the short answer is that the caffeine content in coffee can make you pretty dizzy. However, the long answer is a bit more complicated than that.
If you’re ready to figure out the answer to this question once and for all, keep reading. I’ve done the research so that we can put these questions to rest for good!
Why Does Coffee Make Me Dizzy?
Let’s get right down to business. Every cup of coffee (yes, even decaf!) has a certain level of caffeine.
Caffeine is a stimulant, which means that it speeds up messages between the brain and the body. For some people, that means that you get nauseous or feel hyperactive. And for others, it can make you dizzy.
At the same time, caffeine also reduces blood flow to the brain. What that does is cause lightheadedness or wooziness.
Now, just because you have a cup of coffee in the morning doesn’t automatically mean that you’re going to feel dizzy.
Everyone metabolizes coffee differently, so some might not experience this symptom at all. However, if you do, don’t panic! It’s completely normal and nothing to worry about.
Other Reasons Coffee Causes Dizziness
Okay, so you know that caffeine is the general reason behind dizziness and coffee consumption.
However, there are a few more factors that are important to keep in mind when considering why coffee makes you dizzy.
Medications and Supplements
For one thing, coffee can cause lightheadedness if you take certain supplements or medications. A few of the more common ones include:
- Ephedrine: this is a substance found in decongestants that can mix with caffeine and cause dizziness
- Theophylline: this medication has similar side effects to caffeine and can enhance any lightheadedness you already feel
- Echinacea: this supplement can increase the concentration of caffeine in your system, worsening dizziness
- Ciprofloxacin: this antibacterial drug can increase the effects of caffeine and make you feel dizzy when you drink coffee
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors: these antidepressants can mix with caffeine and increase dizziness and lightheadedness
Tons of other medications and supplements aren’t on this list that could also lead to dizziness when you drink coffee.
If you take any medications or supplements, it’s not a bad idea to have a chat with your doctor.
He or she will be able to tell you if your meds are what’s making you dizzy when you drink coffee. And, they’ll be able to help recommend solutions and alternatives!
You might not be aware that stress can also make you dizzy when you drink coffee!
Stress can have some pretty devastating effects on our bodies. One of those side effects is that stress can cause dizziness, anxiety, and a racing heart.
As such, it’s probably no surprise that when you mix that with too much caffeine, you can wind up feeling woozy.
If you have high-stress levels or struggle with stress in general, it might be best to cut back on your coffee intake. That way, you can help steer clear of these types of symptoms.
Lack of Sleep
Caffeine is a double-edged sword. We use it to help us wake up, but it can also prevent us from getting enough sleep! The latter can be a big issue in terms of dizziness when you drink coffee.
You see, the thing is, caffeine interferes with your sleep. Even just having a small amount of caffeine can alter the way you function throughout the day.
What’s worse, if you’re sleep-deprived, you may already feel dizzy or lightheaded. Then, when you combine that with a strong cup of coffee packed with caffeine, those symptoms are worsened!
Not only is your body already weakened from lack of sleep, but you’re limiting the blood supply to your brain. The result is a recipe for dizziness.
How to Avoid Feeling Dizzy When Drinking Coffee
We’ve already mentioned that it’s completely normal to feel dizzy when you drink coffee. But, that doesn’t mean you have to tolerate that sensation!
In fact, there are a couple of different ways that you can avoid getting dizzy when you drink coffee. Let’s take a look at a few of those methods.
1. Avoid Coffee on an Empty Stomach
Probably the biggest cause of dizziness when you drink coffee is consuming it on an empty stomach.
When you don’t have food in your stomach, the caffeine’s effects can be a lot stronger. That’s because the food helps to dilute the caffeine so you don’t notice any unwanted side effects.
If your habit is to drink a cup of coffee as soon as you wake up, you might want to consider having some food with it. Even a small slice of toast is usually enough to help stop the room from spinning around you!
2. Stay Hydrated
Another reason why coffee makes you dizzy is that it’s a diuretic. In other words, it dehydrates you.
When your body is dehydrated, it lacks enough water and electrolytes for you to fully function. As a result, you may become dizzy.
One way to help you avoid this from happening when you’re drinking coffee is to drink water at the same time!
That way, you keep your body’s water and electrolyte levels well-stocked.
3. Don’t Drink Too Much
Another major reason why you might feel dizzy after drinking coffee is if you’re having too much.
Health professionals recommend that adults consume no more than about 400 mg of caffeine each day. In terms of cups of coffee, that’s about 4 cups of regular coffee a day.
Now, while the jury is out on this one (some people say you can have up to 6 cups of coffee!), it’s definitely a good rule of thumb to stick to.
When you drink too much caffeine, you can induce something called caffeine toxicity. Although it won’t kill you, it can cause some pretty uncomfortable side effects, dizziness included.
On top of that, there are situations in which you might want to drink even less coffee.
For example, individuals with heart conditions or who are pregnant or nursing may be advised to drink less caffeine.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve still got questions about why coffee makes you dizzy, we hear you. After all, it’s an odd situation to find yourself in and one that can leave you (literally) reeling!
To help you out, we’ve put together a couple of answers to commonly asked questions. Here’s what to know.
Why Am I Sensitive to Caffeine?
Everyone reacts slightly differently to caffeine, which could cause some people to be more sensitive than others.
However, if your sensitivity seems to have come out of the blue, it could be that you’re drinking too much in too little time. Try spacing out your cups of coffee to help reduce dizziness and caffeine sensitivity.
Does Coffee Give You Vertigo?
Although drinking coffee on its own won’t give you vertigo, it can make vertigo symptoms worse. If you’re struggling with this issue, you might want to consider switching your regular coffee for decaf.
Why Does Decaf Coffee Make Me Dizzy?
Even decaf coffee contains trace amounts of caffeine. If you’re struggling with dizziness after drinking decaf coffee, check the exact caffeine content on your label.
Try looking for swiss water decaf, which contains nearly 0% caffeine as opposed to other methods which can leave up to 5% caffeine!
Say Goodbye to Dizziness When You Drink Coffee
Even though coffee can cause dizziness in some people, there are a few ways to combat this issue. And, when you do make those small changes, you can start relaxing and enjoying your morning brew once again!
Speaking of morning brew, are you looking for other coffee guides and tips? Check out our other posts for even more helpful guides!