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Think you can't drink coffee because of migraines? New study says differently.

A woman drinks coffee while working at her laptop.
Blog

/ by UK HealthCare

Do you miss sipping your morning coffee because you're scared that it will trigger a migraine? New research suggests that you may be able to drink caffeine again without the fear of an oncoming headache – in moderation, of course.

The American Journal of Medicine published a study this August that revealed that one to two servings of caffeine may curb the onset of a headache, but three or more servings could push you into migraine territory. In other words, you can still drink a cup (or two) of joe, but you might want to say no to a soda or energy drink later in the day.

“This study is reassuring that people with rare headache days (less than 15 days per month) can generally do well with one to two cups of caffeine per day but no more,” said Dr. Siddharth Kapoor, director of Headache Medicine at UK HealthCare. “It starts to make sense when you think of caffeine as an 'over-the-counter' headache drug with an effect for six hours.”

How much is too much?

Caffeine servings can be defined as the following:

  • Eight ounces, or one cup, of coffee
  • Six ounces of tea
  • 12 ounces, or one can, of soda
  • Two ounces, or one can, of an energy drink

    Although regular caffeine consumers should stay headache-free with up to two servings of caffeine, the study notes that people who don’t normally consume caffeinated drinks should beware because even one to two servings could bump up your chances of getting a migraine.

    If you experience headaches that make leading a productive life difficult, it might be time to visit a specialist. Ask your primary care provider or neurologist to refer you to the UK Headache Center.

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