My friend has a weird reaction to coffee. What's happening?
September 25, 2006 6:27 PM   Subscribe

My friend has a weird reaction to coffee. What's happening?

Posting for a friend without a MeFi membership.

An acquaintance of mine, whenever he drinks coffee, starts sweating uncontrollably. There is no shaking or any reactions associated with ingesting too much coffee, just heavy sweating. According to him, he continues sweating uncontrollable for about 2 hours after having each cup of coffee.

FWIW, he claims that he has no similar reaction to tea, soda or chocolate - just to coffee.

We decided to ask after I saw him after drinking a cup of coffee at a social event. He literally looked like a lawn sprinkler had gone off around him.

So what is this? A food allergy? A weird inborn coffeephobia? Other??

Inquiring caffeine lovers want to know.
posted by huskerdont to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I get a similar thing, except instead of profuse sweating, it's a light sweat and an intense feeling of discomfort, like I'm totally tweaking out on a megadose of caffeine, and as it wears off I get bad muscle aches. Tea, cola, etc. don't do this.

There are plenty of compounds in coffee aside from caffeine that can affect the body.
posted by rxrfrx at 6:31 PM on September 25, 2006

sometimes I get the same thing. It only happens with certain types of coffee and certain brands. For example, if I get some hot starbucks and drink it I'll start to sweat if I'm not in a cool area. I just assumed it had something to do with the heat of the coffee and the strength of the brew. It usually goes away within a short period of time.

Note - this never happens to me with iced coffee drinks, only hot, so I'm assuming the equation goes (hot time of year) + (extra-strong cofee) + (piping hot fresh coffee) = the sweats.

It never seemed like anything to worry about, but I'm no doctor.
posted by jourman2 at 6:34 PM on September 25, 2006

he has no similar reaction to tea, soda or chocolate

Those things do have less caffeine than coffee. One way to test for sure whether it's the caffeine: one No-Doz pill has about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee (without the other ingredients of coffee).
posted by winston at 6:54 PM on September 25, 2006

I get tweaky from a cup of coffee but not a latte or mocha. I think coffee gets absorbed too fast into my stomach and milk helps slow it down. I just think that, I don't know it. No problems with coke, but once strong tea did it too.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:05 PM on September 25, 2006

yup it's the xanthines.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 8:23 PM on September 25, 2006

It's the caffeine and is part of a condition called Hyperhidrosis
posted by thecashcow at 4:14 AM on September 26, 2006

I get exactly the same reaction from drinking anything with alcohol content (so, a derail from the caffeine, but a similar reaction nonetheless), and as thecashcow suggests, I've always put that down to Hyperhidrosis.
posted by planetthoughtful at 11:50 PM on September 26, 2006

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