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Coffee & Health

Why Does Coffee Make Me Dizzy and Shaky?

If you love taking coffee, you may have days when you take more than a few cups.

These are probably days when you have lots of work, or you are just feeling dull and need coffee to keep going.

You may notice that you feel dizzy or shaky after drinking coffee at such times and wonder why.

Some people also experience dizziness after drinking a cup of coffee.

If you are one of these individuals, here are some reasons for that funny feeling.


woman drinking with cup


1. The Stimulating Effect of Caffeine

Caffeine is the ingredient in coffee that perks you up and helps you concentrate better at tasks.

One of the side effects of too much caffeine in the system is dizziness and shakiness. These symptoms are generally referred to as jitteriness.

Other symptoms of jitteriness are eyelid twitches, nausea, loose stomach, restlessness, and anxiety.

A cup of coffee usually contains 80 -100 mg of caffeine. An Espresso shot contains 30 – 50 mg of caffeine.

Drinking more than 4 cups of regular coffee can cause shakiness and dizziness in some people.

That’s because it exceeds the 400 mg caffeine mark, which is what experts say is the recommended intake in a day.

Although that may encourage you to drink lots of espresso shots instead since it takes 8 to reach the 400 mg mark, that’s not the right approach.

Espresso is highly concentrated coffee, meaning a few shots may cause jitters too.

Therefore, lower your coffee intake and drink water instead to stop feeling shaky or dizzy.

You may also choose other ways to energize yourself, such as drinking coconut water or an energizing coffee alternative such as date coffee.


2. Underlying Health Issues

Coffee is not for everybody. It is hazardous for people with High blood pressure and diabetes to drink coffee. The same case applies to anyone with a heart condition.

These individuals don’t have to take too many cups of coffee to trigger uncomfortable symptoms such as dizziness and shakiness. A cup is enough.

The caffeine in coffee stimulates the heart, causing an increase in heart rate.

That may trigger high blood pressure attacks and make people suffering from severe heart conditions experience disturbing heart palpitations.

People suffering from a seizure disorder may also feel dizzy or shaky after drinking coffee. That may be due to the stimulating effect of caffeine on their nerves.

If you suspect the drowsiness and shakiness you feel is due to caffeine’s negative effect on your health, stop drinking coffee. It will resolve any issues triggered by caffeine over the long term.

The immediate solution for these adverse reactions is drinking lots of water. Caffeine usually leaves the system after 4 – 6 hours. You may flash it out faster by drinking a lot of water.

Also, avoid taking other foods or beverages with caffeine, such as cola, chocolate, or energy drinks.

Some medications, such as prescription pain medication, may also worsen symptoms of excessive caffeine intake because they contain caffeine.

Taking them to calm symptoms of excessive caffeine intake, such as dizziness or headaches, can worsen them. Therefore, focus on drinking lots of water, and you’ll feel better.


3. Dehydration and Hunger

Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it flushes water from your system. That’s why you urinate a lot when drinking coffee.

Therefore, drinking excess amounts of coffee will eventually lead to dehydration if you do not balance it by drinking water.

But most of us never think of drinking water when drinking coffee, which is why we experience symptoms of dehydration such as dizziness and shaking. Therefore, always drink water when drinking coffee.

You should also replace the electrolytes flushed out of your system due to coffee’s diuretic effects by taking an electrolyte replacement drink. Some good examples are lemon – infused water, orange juice, and Pedialyte.

Drinking coffee on an empty stomach will also irritate your stomach lining and cause jitters. It may also overwhelm your system, giving you a feeling of lightheadedness and dizziness.

That may be a result of the stimulating effects of coffee that trigger the release of too much adenosine in your system.

Adenosine is a central nervous depressant that makes us feel drowsy when released in large quantities in the body. That’s why you feel tired after drinking too many cups of coffee.

The best solution for such effects is a good meal. Accompany your coffee with a meal or have it before drinking your coffee.

High protein foods are preferable because they will keep your blood sugar balanced, ensuring you don’t get tired and reach for more coffee than necessary.


4. Excessive Energy

Coffee tastes great, but many people drink it because of its energizing properties. The caffeine in coffee stimulates the nervous system giving us a significant energy boost.

That may encourage you to reach for more coffee until you get over the recommended 400 mg caffeine limit.

Of course, you’ll feel shaky and anxious due to the excessive energy in your system caused by too much caffeine. Therefore, you should engage in activities that will get rid of that pent-up energy.

It will increase your heart rate, helping the body flush caffeine out of your system. Just ensure you drink water at the same time to keep your body hydrated and hasten the process.

Consider using a gentle approach if you suffer from heart conditions or high blood pressure such as taking a walk. You may also try some breathing exercises if you feel too dizzy or shaky to perform any activities.

It will slow down your heart rate and eliminate any dizziness, calming the anxiety triggered by caffeine in your system.


Things That May Affect Your Caffeine Tolerance

Now that you know why coffee makes you feel dizzy or shaky, you may decide to find a way of preventing these negative effects.

The first place to start is by considering the factors that contribute to your caffeine sensitivity. Here are some.


coffee pen notebook open notebook


1. Caffeine Tolerance

The main thing to consider when it comes to dealing with any adverse side effects of taking coffee is your caffeine tolerance.

That’s the amount of coffee you can take before experiencing side effects such as jitters, dizziness, headaches, and anxiety.

Some people will suffer discomfort after taking a cup of coffee, while others can take 4 without any problem.

You should monitor yourself to find out the amount of coffee you can drink without negative effects and stick to that quantity.

If you combine that with healthy measures such as drinking water, eating well, and staying active, you won’t suffer dizziness, shakes, and other unpleasant feelings.

Then you can enjoy your daily cup of coffee or two without worrying about your health or feeling awful.


2. Caffeine’s Half-Life

You may think it’s okay to drink as much coffee as you like because you are not sensitive to caffeine.

But its effects build up over time, eventually causing problems such as heart palpitations, exhaustion, and migraines.

Caffeine has a half-life of around five hours. That means half the quantity of caffeine you take remains in your body after five hours.

Therefore, if you drink a cup of coffee, half of its caffeine content will be in your system five hours later. By that time, most people have taken two more cups of coffee.

That adds up to a dangerous level of caffeine after a day or even two, depending on your caffeine sensitivity.

It may be why some people experience dizziness or shakiness in the morning after drinking a cup of coffee.

They’ve built up a high level of caffeine in their systems over the previous day, and that cup takes their system over the edge.

Therefore, habitually take your last cup of coffee by 3 pm. That will give your body enough time to flush the caffeine you’ve taken out of your system before you drink more the next day.


3. What Else Are You Taking?

You may not consider your diet, medication, or any supplements you are taking when drinking coffee as a cause of your jitters, but it matters.

Some supplements contain caffeine and ingredients such as Guarana or Echinacea that can enhance the effects of caffeine in your system.

Some types of medication can also increase the caffeine levels in your body, such as headache medication.

You may also be a fan of snacks and beverages that contain caffeine, such as chocolate and coke. Even if you don’t consider the caffeine in these substances, it adds to what you get from coffee.

If you take too many foods or beverages with caffeine and minimize your coffee intake, you’ll still suffer the negative effects of excess caffeine.

Therefore, always consider your whole diet when drinking coffee and any caffeine-rich product if you want to avoid problems such as dizziness.



Now you know a little more about caffeine sensitivity. You don’t have to wonder why you shake or feel drowsy after drinking coffee.

We’ve also given you some solutions to help you overcome these negative feelings, such as drinking a lot of water, eating well, practicing deep breathing, and staying active.

However, the best solution remains to drink as little coffee as possible. Also, ensure you drink your last cup of coffee or any caffeine-rich product at 3 pm, and you’ll never suffer from the side effects of taking excess caffeine.