Why Does Coffee Give Me Hot Flashes?
The dreaded hot flash that comes after drinking coffee can be an unwelcome surprise. For many, it’s a sign of an impending headache or other health issue. But why does coffee cause such an intense reaction?
Caffeine and Adrenaline Overload
The main culprit in the coffee-induced hot flash is caffeine. When we drink coffee, the caffeine activates the nervous system. This triggers a release of adrenaline, which in turn increases heart rate and raises blood pressure. The body then compensates by increasing blood vessels in that area, resulting in flushing or reddening of the face and neck, as well as a hot flash.
The intensity of the reaction can be affected by your sensitivity to caffeine. People who don’t drink coffee regularly may be most affected. They may find that even a small amount can produce a huge reaction. On the other hand, regular coffee drinkers may develop a tolerance.
Caffeine also acts as a diuretic, meaning it draws fluids from the body. This can lead to dehydration, which can make hot flashes more intense. To reduce the intensity of the reaction, it’s important to drink plenty of water before and after consuming coffee.
Tips for Avoiding Hot Flashes
- Drink plenty of water. Staying properly hydrated can help reduce the intensity of the reaction.
- Limit your caffeine intake. Cutting back on coffee can help, or try caffeine-free alternatives such as herbal teas.
- Choose decaf varieties. Decaf coffees and teas still contain some caffeine but in much lower doses.
- Cool yourself off. If a hot flash occurs, try running cold water on your wrists or a cool cloth on your forehead to cool down.
Overall, hot flashes from coffee are a common problem that can be addressed with a few simple lifestyle changes. Try some of the tips above to find relief from coffee-induced hot flashes.