Ramadan and Caffeine Headaches

You can avoid caffeine headaches during Ramadan. Don’t fall victim to the unexplained headaches in the first few days. Find out how.

Ever wonder why you are getting a strange headache at night during the first days of Ramadan? Right around Iftar (break-fast) time? Do you think it is a caffeine headache? Do you usually drink a lot of coffee or tea?

As Muslims begin fasting in Ramadan, a lot of Muslims will complain about “caffeine headaches”. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and not drinking coffee in the morning leads many to believe that they are having a caffeine headache. Is this possible? [more]

Caffeine is a drug. In fact, it is the most commonly abused addictive drug in the world. It has many effects on the body. It is found in teas, coffee, diet pills, and in other foods. A weaker form is also found in chocolate. But can a lack of caffeine cause headaches?

Caffeine has a 3 to 7 hour half life. That means that after 7 hours your body still has half the caffeine you started with. After 14 hours you still have 25% of the initial caffeine concentration in your system. Of course, caffeine clearance varies, but this is the average. In pregnant women caffeine is not recommended and has a half life of over 18 hours. Women taking oral contraceptives will clear caffeine in 13 hours.

Because caffeine takes so long to clear, your headaches are probably not being caused by a lack of caffeine. Yes, caffeine withdrawal causes painful headaches, but it may not be the culprit during Ramadan. In fact, it may take a few days to a week for your body to clear caffeine completely; hence caffeine is the least of your worries. But as the fasting period in Ramadan gets longer (longer days in the summer months), the caffeine may start to become an issue, if you are a fast metabolize of caffeine.

The most common causes of “Ramadan headaches” is dehydration. Throughout the day, you are losing water through urination, sweating, and breathing. The imbalance will usually cause a mild, tolerable headache. This is usually what you are feeling close to Iftar (break-fast) time. This is especially pronounced in the first week of Ramadan when your body hasn’t yet adjusted.

Make sure you stay hydrated. If your urine is clear to slightly yellow, you are drinking enough water. If it very yellow, to dark yellow, you need to be drinking more. Hydrate really well at break-fast time.

Another common cause of headaches is not enough sleep. Make sure you get a good night’s rest. People usually overlook this, but it causes headaches more often than caffeine does.

In order to avoid caffeine headaches, try to drink your caffeine in the evening. Reverse your daily routine. Caffeine stays in your body for a long time, so you should not experience any headaches. Start a few days before Ramadan by having a small cup of coffee at night.

Another suggestion is to slowly start drinking less and less caffeine, so that by the time Ramadan comes, you won’t be dependent on such high levels of caffeine.

Hopefully, these tips will help you out and keep you Ramadan headache free.