Humanity has evolved with the consumption of caffeine with reports that tea was first consumed in China as early as 3000 BC and coffee first being consumed in Ethiopia as early as the 9th century. Every day roughly ninety percent of Americans consume caffeine with over eighty five percent having at least one caffeinated beverage per day.
Coffee consumption in the United States is the primary contributor of caffeine consumption across all age groups 18 years and older. Recent statistics indicate the United States imports in excess of $4 Billion worth of coffee every year with over 400 million cups of coffee being consumed per day. In 2018 the globally famous coffee chain Starbucks had 14,606 locations in the United States alone.
Many patients report that coffee consumption can trigger the onset of a migraine while others report coffee can help prevent the full onset of a migraine. These descrepencies can occur due to medications, individual sensitivity, the type and reason for your headaches, or the amount being consumed as this study suggests. Coffee can help prevent the full onset of a migraine as before a migraine occurs blood vessels tend to enlarge however caffeine is a vasoconstrictor that can cause blood vessels to narrow and restrict the blood flow which can create or aid in the reported pain relief.
Researchers on this study found that among people with periodic migraine headaches consuming at least three caffeinated drinks a day was tied to a higher likelihood of experiencing a migraine on that day or the following day. However, consuming only one or two caffeinated drinks a day was generally not associated with migraines.
"Interestingly, despite some patients with episodic migraine thinking they need to avoid caffeine, we found that drinking one to two servings per day was not associated with higher risk of headache," study senior author Dr. Suzanne Bertisch, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and a clinical investigator in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston commented.
I enjoyed a cup of coffee while writing this post and you more then likely you are ok to consume your pumpkin spiced latte or preferred caffeinated drink in moderation without increasing your risk of headache.