The caffeine withdrawal headache. Anybody who consumes caffeine on a regular basis knows about it. And considering that caffeine is the most consumed drug in the world, a lot of people know about the caffeine headache.
The so-called caffeine headache is the most common withdrawal symptoms experienced when a person abstains from or attempts to break their addiction to caffeine. A John Hopkins Medicine study showed that 50% of people who consume caffeine on a daily basis experience a headache within 24 hours of abstaining from it.
Since between 80% and 90% of all Americans consume an average of 280 milligrams of caffeine per day, there are a lot of caffeine headaches happening across the nation at any given moment.
Furthermore, the seemingly simple caffeine withdrawal headache is cited as a major reason for continuing caffeine consumption. This strongly suggests that the caffeine headache is much more than just an annoyance, but is actually a major cause for caffeine addiction.
The cruel irony of caffeine addiction is that the more you consume, the more your body adapts to it, thereby requiring more of it to obtain the same result. Essentially, the longer you consume caffeine, the more of it you'll have to take to stave off caffeine withdrawal.
In other words, with each passing day you'll have to increase the amount of caffeine consumption just to stave off a headache. And as time goes by, the worse your caffeine headache will become, due to gradually increasing caffeine consumption, once you abstain from the drug.
Caffeine tolerance can develop very quickly. Excessive use (1,200 milligrams per day) can result in complete tolerance of caffeine's sleep depravation effect in as little as one week. Long term use in lower amounts, about 900 milligrams per day, will result in total tolerance of all of caffeine's effects within 2-3 weeks. Just imagine the headache you'll experience after that!
Caffeine's diuretic properties don't happen to help the caffeine headache either. In fact, the dehydration caused by excessive caffeine consumption actually adds to the intensity of a caffeine headache. This, of course, leads to the perception that even more caffeine must be taken to stave off the headache, despite the fact that simply drinking more water might actually reduce the headache enough so as to make breaking the caffeine habit more tolerable.
For those that suffer sever headaches, especially migraines, caffeine is a common trigger. For these people, a caffeine headache is something that is caused from the consumption of caffeine rather than the abstaining from it.
However, caffeine does have positive properties if used responsibly. The most prominent use of caffeine for medical purposes is to increase the effectiveness of pain killers. Ironically, the most popular headache medicine uses caffeine as a booster for the pain killer.