Tea and Headaches

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Tea and Headaches

Postby beforewisdom » Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:09 pm

Many people I have known who drank a lot of coffee habitually and then quit, experienced headaches for the first few days. Many people attribute this to caffeine withdrawal.

I've been drinking a lot of tea lately. I will usually stop on the weekends. I will get tired and need a nap, but I haven't noticed any other "cold turkey" effects. I'm wondering if post coffee habit headaches may be about something else in the coffee rather than just the caffeine.

Has anyone here gotten headaches from abruptly stopping a significant tea drinking habit?

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Re: Tea and Headaches

Postby thestoatyone » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:38 pm

No, but I did stop a heavy coffee habit dead for a spell without too much bother. Certainly no headaches or anything that severe, so I guess YMMV.
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Re: Tea and Headaches

Postby Catt Queen » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:06 pm

I have caffeine tablets to try and ease the symptoms of coffee withdrawal - I get headaches and go completely fuzzy headed when I don't have coffee but know it is no good for me so try to limit it. The caffeine tablets don't actually ease the symptoms so I've decided there has to be something else in the coffee that I'm hooked on.
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Re: Tea and Headaches

Postby JS » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:21 pm

I think I do if I have been drinking lots and lots of tea (6 cups a day) then suddenly decide I am only going to have one a day or drink herbal tea's instead. But then sometimes it could be dehydration......or then it could just be me thinking I should be getting a headache :?
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Re: Tea and Headaches

Postby Herbsman » Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:17 pm

There are loads of chemicals in coffee, not just caffeine. Some of these include products of chemical reactions that take place during roasting.

If I take 100mg of caffeine in the form of caffeine pills, the stimulation feels 'cleaner' than taking the same amount in instant or brewed coffee. So logically I assume there are chemicals other than caffeine in coffee that affect the way I feel.

Apparently there are over 1,000 chemicals in coffee: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_eff ... ffee#Risks although with it being a natural product, that number isn't particularly surprising or inherently worrying.

On a similar note, have a look at this http://www.wired.com/science/discoverie ... /st_coffee
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Re: Tea and Headaches

Postby elixir » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:53 pm

In my experiences there are considerable differences between tea and coffee, apart from just the amount of caffeine. As you say, few people get 'cold turkey' from tea, but it's common with coffee. Plus, people who can drink loads of tea without any effect can be really over-stimulated by only a little coffee.

Interestingly, in Chinese medicine coffee is considered heating and stimulating while tea is cooling and calming, which also points to the effects of other components apart from just the caffeine.
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Re: Tea and Headaches

Postby kathyjoyce » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:32 pm

Headaches experienced from caffeine withdrawal are usually a result of drinking excessive amounts of coffee during the day and not drinking enough water. Cutting back on your coffee intake and ensuring that you keep your body hydrated will make a big difference. You could also try decaffeinated coffee and tea.
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Re: Tea and Headaches

Postby jpowell » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:37 am

At one stage I was somewhat of a caffeine addict (coffee, pills and "energy" drinks, more a product of bad habits in student years leading to worse habits while working in the business world. When I say addict, I mean 2-3g of caffeine per day, not just "I frequently enjoyed coffee". At the same time, I was also a main-liner of high sugar foods (also not that healthy and probably not that effective for energy - luckily even then I still had a relatively fast metabolism).

I eventually got off the caffeine and fairly dramatically reduced the sugar. I much later re-introduced some caffeine at lower levels from safer sources (green tea, cacao) and further reduced refined sugar to almost exactly zero, but a "reasonable" (and variable) amount from fruit, including high glucose fruit.

I did get real headaches, from any sudden reduction in caffeine intake, even when quite well hydrated. I got more acute headaches from crashing off sugar, but caffeine was much harder to give up overall. I haven't had these related headaches for a long time, and I rarely get even mild headaches now, usually only if the air pressure is very low or I am not properly hydrated AND I have stuffed up my sleep the previous day or two, e.g. a shift change. Maybe one of the many benefits of green tea over coffee is you really don't need the sugar.

To anyone giving up a lot of caffeine, I would say (anecdotally of course) go cold turkey if and only if you have 2-3 days where you can afford to be quite unproductive, and have a supply of paracetamol on hand. For lower amounts, it's probably not that drastic.
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