Why Does Coffee Make Me Dizzy And How To Deal With It?

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Why does coffee make me dizzy? – a question asked by many coffee drinkers. Should you experience this unpleasant sensation after drinking coffee, there’s no need to freak out. It is a common reaction that plenty of people encounter.

In this post, we’ll explain to you the reasons behind this phenomenon and share some tips to prevent and get rid of the feeling. Let’s get right into it!

Why Does Coffee Make You Feel Shaky & Dizzy? 

In this section, let’s look closer into the cause of the dizziness after you drink a certain amount of coffee. The question “Why does coffee make me dizzy?” can be explained with three different reasons below.

Over Sensitive To Caffeine

Caffeine hypersensitivity, also known as caffeine intolerance, is the most common cause of dizziness people encounter after drinking caffeine beverages. 

For someone who doesn’t know, caffeine is considered a stimulant. Therefore, when we consume coffee, its impact on our body is similar to any other stimulant out there, which directly affects the nervous system and the abdomen area. 

Caffeine tolerance varies from person to person. Some people can consume a large dose of caffeine without feeling any weird sensation in their bodies. Whereas the others only need a tiny amount to activate the unwanted reaction. 

If you find yourself in the latter category, it is very likely you are sensitive to caffeine. Besides dizziness and shakiness, jitters, fast heart pounds, and nausea are the other common symptoms of being oversensitive to coffee. 

The scientific answer to this phenomenon comes down to the chemical reactions the body endures while the caffeine remains in the system.

Normally, when digesting caffeine, your body will produce a certain amount of adrenaline. This chemical is responsible for elevating your mood, as well as increasing your alertness. 

However, if you are sensitive to caffeine, your body will release too much adrenaline, giving you those unwelcome symptoms mentioned above. 

Another chemical reaction that largely influences your body involves the activity of the CYP1A2 enzyme in the liver. 

When your body recognizes the presence of caffeine in the system, it will produce a reasonable amount of CYP1A2 to help break down the caffeine molecules for easier absorption. 

For people with caffeine intolerance, the CYP1A2 enzyme can’t perform to its full potential. Therefore, the body won’t properly absorb the caffeine, making your heart race and creating feelings of panic and anxiety. 

Overdose Of Caffeine

If all the unpleasant sensations don’t become visible to you until the third or fourth cup of coffee, caffeine intolerance might not be the one to blame. 

Instead, the reason for those episodes of dizziness due to caffeine overdose. In this case, you should look closer into how much caffeine you have consumed. 

According to research by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), the average recommended caffeine intake for a healthy adult is about 400mg per day. This amount of caffeine is equivalent to two to three cups of coffee. 

Depending on the tolerance, physical condition, gender, age, the suggested caffeine intake might differ for each individual. Be it as it may, it would be best to consume less than three cups of coffee per day to experience the positive effects without any health risks. 

Indeed, with a reasonable dose of caffeine, you can feel a boost in the energy level, metabolism, and processing of cognitive function. However, when the coffee consumption surpasses the healthy threshold, you will start to feel the side effects kick in.

Abdominal Distress

The less common cause of dizziness can come from the distress in your abdominal area. A rush of caffeine through your body can increase heartburn and acid reflux activity in your stomach.

Due to these chemical reactions, your stomach ends up producing a large number of harmful acids, leading to the vile, trembling feeling that you experience. 

These symptoms get worse when you gulp down an entire cup of coffee on an empty stomach. It is because a stomach with no food will release more gastric acid once coming into contact with caffeine, making the queasiness more unbearable. 

How To Prevent & Get Rid Of These Feelings?

Once you have understood the root of all those irritations happening when drinking coffee, it’s time to tackle them one by one with our guide below. You should implement each method into your daily routine to see which one works and which one doesn’t.

Reduce The Caffeine Intake

Once you find yourself asking the question, “Why does coffee make me dizzy and shaky?”, it’s time to step back and look at your coffee consumption in a day. 

The sensation might result from an overdose since your body can only consume a limited amount of coffee per day. If you currently have a coffee intake of over four cups per day and it starts to mess with your body, you should cut back the consumption by half. 

If it still doesn’t work, you can cut out more of the caffeine intake until your body feels comfortable with the portion.

Get Caffeine Out Of Your System

If reducing caffeine consumption doesn’t seem to mitigate the annoying sensations, there is a high chance that your oversensitivity to caffeine is getting in your way.

In that scenario, we recommend you to give up on coffee altogether. As long as there is caffeine in the system, your body will react negatively to it, causing more side effects than positive ones. 

For that reason, even if drinking coffee sparks joy in you, you should prioritize your health and consider permanently cutting out caffeine from the diet. Opting for healthier alternatives like tea, lemon water, or golden milk might be a good place to start.  

Eat More Cruciferous Vegetables

As we mentioned in the previous section, an enzyme called CYP1A2 plays an essential part in processing the caffeine in the stomach. The activity of CYP1A2 stimulates the caffeine absorption of your body, making your caffeine metabolism more effective.

If you are encountering trembles and jitters, your body is likely to lack this enzyme. Including cruciferous vegetables in your diet can help increase the generation of this enzyme in the body. The most common choices are broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, and cabbage.

Drink More Water

Substituting coffee for water is a common mistake many coffee drinkers have since they think these two liquids are equivalent in value. However, dehydration can be the main reason for the queasiness and trembles you feel when you take in coffee.

For that reason, drinking at least one glass of water before taking in any caffeine is a good thing to do. The water will help balance out the bad acids in your stomach and increase caffeine metabolism, making the coffee more tolerable.

Opt For The Darker Roast

This solution might seem counterproductive to some people since why would anybody think of using a dark roast coffee to minimize the effect of caffeine. However, it is exactly what we encourage you to try out. 

Since darker roasts are processed at higher heat for a greater amount of time, the caffeine in darker roasts is less present. Therefore, instead of making the irritating symptoms more visible, darker roasts can help alleviate them significantly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we will answer some common questions that we often encounter. We hope it will put an end to some of your wonders as well. 

Does Drinking Decaf Help With Dizziness?

If you have problems with reducing coffee intake, a decaf might be an amazing idea. However, if your dizziness stems from intolerance to caffeine, switching to decaf won’t help.  

To make matters worse, the chemicals in decaf coffee, such as methylene chloride or acetate, can further mess up your caffeine metabolism. 

Why Does Starbuck Drink Make Me Dizzy?

Most drinks from Starbuck contain a certain amount of caffeine. For example, a cup of grande coffee from the brand provides you with up to 330mg of caffeine, which is nearly as much as the recommended dose per day for one person.

Therefore, if you are sensitive to coffee or have more than two cups of coffee from Starbuck per day, no wonder why you might feel dizzy and shaky after drinking.

Should I Stop Drinking Coffee If It Makes Me Feel Dizzy & Shaky?

It depends on the cause of your dizziness and shakiness. If these feelings happen because you have caffeine intolerance, you should stop drinking coffee completely since the problem only gets worse over time. 

On the other hand, if coffee overdose is the root cause, trying to reduce the caffeine intake gradually is enough to help you get rid of these irritating sensations.

The Bottom Line 

Our post answering the question “Why does coffee make me dizzy” has eventually drawn to an end. With all the useful information we have provided in the article, we hope you will figure out the cause of your dizziness and the way to deal with it.

Typically, there are three major causes for the shakiness, jitters you experience while drinking coffee. If sorted by commonness, they respectively are caffeine intolerance, caffeine overdose, and abdominal distress. 

Take care, and we hope to see you in our next post!

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Almost 20 years already spent committed to coffee and more than 3 years of experience as a barista at Starbucks. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California, Berkeley. And then, I finished the Coffee Skills Program at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). ugvermont.com is a website that I dedicate my whole heart to sharing all knowledge related to coffee. Read more