Our bodies react to coffee differently. This is why for those who can’t handle too much caffeine, it is important to know how to get rid of dizziness after drinking coffee.
Different individuals have different levels of caffeine tolerance. Some have a very low tolerance for coffee and end up getting dizzy after drinking coffee.
Why does coffee make you dizzy?
Short answer: Because of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it accelerates the exchange of information between the brain and the body.
Some people experience nausea or hyperactivity as a result of this. While for some, it can make them feel dizzy.
Yes, most of us won’t feel any side effects even after drinking loads of coffee, there are a few people who are just too sensitive to this beverage.
One thing about caffeine, it reduces blood flow to the brain. That is why dizziness, does not discriminate. This symptom could manifest regardless of how much caffeine you had or how fast your metabolism is.
Although it could vary in intensity for each person. Here are a few reasons for getting dizzy after coffee:
- You get lightheaded after coffee because of the caffeine
Caffeine, the main ingredient in coffee, is a stimulant. It affects our central nervous system by increasing its overall performance like boosting energy levels, improving alertness, and enhancing brain activity.
How does this answer the question: “Why does coffee make me feel like passing out?”
Bear with me here, let’s talk science for a minute. ⬇️
So the effects of the stimulants in coffee are to compensate for how caffeine antagonizes adenosine receptors in the brain.
This causes cerebral vasoconstriction, or when blood vessels in the brain shrink in diameter.
This then reduces blood flow to the brain, causing —you guessed it—dizziness. This makes dizziness one of the most common side effects of caffeine consumption.
How we metabolize caffeine differs for each person.
- Not eating can result in feeling dizzy and nauseous after drinking coffee
Some wonder: “Can drinking coffee on an empty stomach make you dizzy?”
The short answer is: YES!
This would mean that coffee drinkers may easily experience dizziness when drinking on an empty stomach.
Food helps to dilute the caffeine you consumed. You’ll notice that when you’re full, you don't notice any unwanted side effects.
On the other hand, the majority of coffee drinkers may not feel even a teeny bit of light-headedness at all. But when you don't have food in your stomach, the effects of caffeine can be a lot stronger than usual.
- You get dizzy after drinking coffee…lots of coffee. ☕☕☕☕☕☕☕
It’s not all about being sensitive to caffeine. So, unfortunately aside from the expected jitters, consuming too many caffeinated drinks can give us headaches or make us dizzy.
Can too much caffeine make you dizzy? Uh, YEAH!
Maybe you’re lucky enough not to get any unpleasant symptoms from drinking too much of your favorite coffee at first. But the moment the headaches and dizziness have manifested, take it as your sign to cut back on your caffeine consumption.
This includes energy drinks and other caffeine alternatives to coffee.
- You’ll feel lightheaded after coffee and certain meds ☕+💊
Drinking certain medications and supplements while also drinking coffee can also lead to feeling light-headed.
Common ones include decongestants like Ephedrine.
Combining ephedrine with coffee can be extremely dangerous because the caffeine in coffee is also a stimulant. It is advised that one should avoid mixing the two because it can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, or seizures.
It is also important to mention supplements that can increase caffeine concentration like Echinacea.
Echinacea is marketed as a dietary supplement for the common cold and other infections. In theory, echinacea should boost the immune system to more successfully fight infection.
Echinacea can amplify the adverse effects of caffeine, such as jitteriness, increased heart rate, and headaches.
You should also be careful with your caffeine intake if you are taking particular antidepressants.
For example, fluvoxamine, an SSRI (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) is known to enhance the effects of caffeine.
People who drink large amounts of caffeine while taking fluvoxamine may experience awful side effects such as heart palpitations, jitters, insomnia, and even nausea.
If you are taking any kind of medication I just wrote about, discussing your caffeine consumption and coffee habits with your healthcare professional should be your best bet.
Can decaf coffee make you dizzy?
Yes, you can get dizzy after drinking coffee EVEN if it’s decaf.
You must be wondering: “Why does decaf coffee suddenly make me dizzy?”
Even though decaf is way less than the usual 75 milligrams of caffeine in regular coffee, it’s still capable of bringing you unpleasant symptoms.
But if caffeine is the reason for the dizziness you experience after drinking coffee, then maybe switching to decaf should be the best answer, no?
Contrary to what you may think, the approximately 2 to 5 milligrams of caffeine left in decaf coffee can still cause dizziness and other side effects from drinking coffee.
You know, just because it’s decaf doesn’t mean you won’t go over the daily caffeine limit. But worry not, decaf is still generally safe to consume regularly.
Remember: every cup of coffee (yes, even decaf!) has a certain level of caffeine.
Can coffee make you dizzy for the whole day?
No, coffee’s symptoms usually should not last the whole day.
Like any other stimulant, caffeine reduces blood flow to the brain. Drinking coffee before you eat, especially when you drink a lot, can cause restlessness, jitters, or dizziness.
All side effects are often associated with coffee drinking.
And here I am thinking I would only get it after drinking one too many margaritas! 🍸
But depending on how your body reacts to coffee —or how much coffee you drink a day— symptoms like dizziness might take hours to dissipate.
Coffee usually takes up until 10 hours to completely leave your system. Yup, if you’re experiencing all the bad side effects, this also means your suffering will also take as long. (Ugh! Just my luck.)
For individuals who are hypersensitive to caffeine, this might take longer. While for those who seem to have developed a tolerance —maybe not as much.
Vertigo and caffeine
Caffeine can cause vertigo attacks in people who have true Meniere's disease.
To reduce attacks, people with Meniere's disease usually limit their intake of salt and caffeine. Caffeine can be a migraine trigger for some people who suffer from vestibular migraines.
Vertigo is a symptom, not a condition in and of itself. It is the sensation that you or your surroundings are moving or spinning.
The sensation you experience with vertigo can be mild or severe. Nonetheless, it can make it difficult to maintain your balance and perform daily tasks.
If you enjoy coffee but want to minimize the dizzying effect, I’ve looked up ways how to get rid of dizziness after drinking coffee. I wouldn’t want you to give up your favorite cup of joe.
How to stop dizziness after drinking coffee
Despite the possible adverse effects, some people might find the energy and brain power boosts that drinking coffee can bring too good to pass up.
Here are some tips how to get rid of dizziness after drinking coffee:
1. Does coffee make you dizzy? Cut back on your coffee intake!
Let’s be honest, slowing down on drinking coffee is the first thing you should consider. This is especially if the adverse effects have been affecting your daily life in a negative way.
An average healthy adult is recommended to consume not more than 400 mg of caffeine per day. This limit is even less for pregnant women and those with the risk of heart disease.
Roughly speaking, our daily consumption limit should be around 4 cups of black coffee or 6 espresso shots.
Can too much caffeine make you dizzy? You bet. Although, normally we won’t really have to drink that much, right? But then, caffeine isn’t only found in coffee.
For example, pre-workout supplements may contain up to 250 milligrams of caffeine for every 2 tablespoons. And this is already a third of the daily limit!
You might not know it, but the dizziness is proof that you may have been exceeding the recommended caffeine limit all along.
2. Does coffee make you dizzy? You can try changing to darker roasts.
Consider stocking on darker roasts because they have less caffeine content.
The longer coffee beans are roasted, the more caffeine is extracted from them. With this in mind, you may want to drink coffee made from darker roasts as an alternative instead of completely switching to decaf.
French and Italian roasts are some of the kinds of dark roasts you can choose from.
3. If you’re feeling dizzy and nauseous after drinking coffee —drink lots of water.
Drinking water is the best way to flush caffeine off your system fast. And with it, any dizziness.
If you’re complaining: “coffee makes me dizzy” you may just need to drink up some water.
Now, dehydration is also a tell-tale sign that you’ve been way over the recommended caffeine limit. So definitely grab yourself a glass of water by the time you get a little lightheaded after coffee sprees.
For some, coffee and other caffeinated drink may also act as a mild diuretic. This could lead to increased urination and basically more frequent trips to the toilet.
Hydration is effective to reduce some of these side effects of coffee.
4. Exercise can help avoid being lightheaded after coffee drinking.
Aside from easing the anxiety and jitters, physical activities can help expend extra energy and avoid feeling dizzy and nauseous after drinking coffee.
Since your dizziness may get in the way, start with light activities like breathing exercises and taking walks. However, make sure to monitor your heart rate while exercising.
In the case that anything unusual like a sudden rapid increase in your heartbeat occurs, immediately stop and take a rest.
5. Make sure to eat so you won’t get dizzy after coffee or other caffeinated drinks.
Make sure you fill up on food before your morning joe.
Drinking coffee on an empty stomach can cause dizziness. This could be worse, especially to caffeine-sensitive individuals. As I mentioned earlier, just like water, food can help dilute caffeine.
It’s just like grabbing a taco before going out drinking.
Aside from that, caffeinated drinks are acidic in nature, which can harm your stomach lining and cause irritation.
Eating properly before putting coffee into your system will help dial down the intensity of the possible side effects you might experience later on.
6. Eat fiber-rich food to avoid being lightheaded after drinking coffee.
Fiber-rich food can help slow down the release of caffeine in your body. This means your body won’t go on a caffeine overdrive and avoid dizziness.
This is going to work well especially if you want something other than exercise and hydrating to help deal with being overcaffeinated.
Generally, eating already helps slow down how caffeine mixes into the bloodstream. But complex carbohydrates —which are high in fiber by the way— are much more effective to slow down caffeine absorption.
So it is recommended to eat fiber-rich food like whole grains and beans. Basically anything slow-digesting.
7. How to stop dizziness after drinking coffee? Increase your vitamin D intake.
Aside from antagonizing adenosine receptors, caffeine also inhibits the absorption of vitamin D in our bodies.
So it definitely makes sense to get more of it when you feel dizzy after drinking coffee.
It’s not a surprise at all that some symptoms of vitamin D deficiency coincide with the side effects you might experience after drinking coffee. This counts sudden fatigue, energy crash, and of course dizziness.
Fortunately, staying under the sun and soaking up its rays is a quick vitamin D fix. Aside from that you can also help yourself with some egg yolk, mushroom, seafood, and tofu.
8. If you feel dizzy after drinking coffee, consider taking L-theanine.
Amino-acid supplements like L-theanine also help reduce the effects of caffeine in your system.
L-theanine is a natural compound. Although it does not counter the stimulatory effects of caffeine, L-theanine works by balancing out brain chemicals.
This would eventually relieve anxiety and reduce blood pressure.
However, make sure to check with a healthcare professional first before taking such supplements.
Do you find the above options, “meh”?
Well, you can always just wait it out. Your dizziness could take longer, but maybe it’s a sign for you to take a rest and reevaluate your caffeine consumption from now on.
Whatever it is, it is best to discuss your symptoms with a healthcare professional. This is especially if the side effects you experience already interfere badly with your everyday life.
For others, especially those with underlying conditions, it’s best to consult medical practitioners first. It helps to know the specific limit for drinking caffeinated food and drinks.
Remember, dizziness is one of the immediate signs you need to consider an intervention.
Too much caffeine will make you dizzy!
Coffee is an effective energy booster, but it doesn’t come without its side effects. Especially if you’re the type to be overly sensitive to caffeine.
It is recommended to dial down your caffeine intake. Take note of the types of food you consume for the whole day. This is since coffee or other similar caffeinated beverages aren’t the only sources of caffeine.
Meaning, if you already wolfed down a chocolate bar, that’s already part of your caffeine intake. If you already chugged down an energy drink —that is most likely caffeine too— and lots of it.
Dizziness and most caffeine symptoms are generally harmless.
But it can become a problem especially if you are in a workplace that requires alertness to prevent even more hazardous outcomes. It turns out that the adage: “drink responsibly,” doesn’t only apply to alcoholic drinks.
At the very first sign of light-headedness, try any of the 8 tips listed above and find the one that you can stick to in the long term. Don’t forget to also consider your body’s caffeine sensitivity.
Making sure you’re not hungry as well as eating fiber-rich food can help you manage the coffee side effect better. Don’t forget about exercising regularly, and reinforcing your vitamin D intake.
In my opinion, hydration is your best bet to flush out caffeine from your system. However, everything listed above will most likely reduce dizziness. It will help you become more tolerant of caffeine’s effects on your body.