December 19, 2012 5:01 PM Subscribe
CoffeeFilter: Why does drinking coffee prevent me from getting headaches? Is there another substance that has the same headache-relieving properties, but without the stimulating effects of caffeine.
posted by deadwax to health & fitness (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I grew up getting headaches, on average about one a month. Sometimes bad migraines, often just nasty headaches. I started drinking coffee a few years ago and have had one headache like that since. The change is incredible. (Unless I don't have coffee, in which case I have the begginings of a headache by midday.)
I've done a bunch of googling on this and there are no clear answers as to why this works. Some people say caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, most say it is a vasodilator - both could have effects on headaches. Lots of sources say that caffeine helps other drugs work better and that is why it helps with headache, but I'm not taking any other drugs. Most places agree there is a link between caffeine and headache, no two seem to agree on what that is though. Any information would be appreciated.
Secondly, and this is the more important question, I don't always like the stimulating effect of caffeine - which I am very sensitive to. I always love not getting headaches though, so I keep drinking it. Is there anything else that would prevent headaches, but not have that stimulating effect?