Having a freshly brewed coffee or a strong tea should have helped many tired warriors to get back on their feet again:
Even chocolate is considered a popular Wachermacherquelle by some.
In addition to an energy boost, many of us also expect relief from headaches.
But there are risks: not every headache has the same causes, warns Kiran F. Rajneesh, director of the department of neurological pain at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center.
Caffeine only in moderation
If the headache is caused by a swelling of the blood vessels in the brain, a dose of caffeine can cause these blood vessels to contract again.
The pain subsides. In addition, the active ingredient can also cause the muscles around the head to relax.
But it all depends on the measure: Who takes too much caffeine causes the opposite, Rajneesh emphasizes. The pain consequently intensifies or returns.
The dose is far from the only factor that affects how our body reacts to the stimulant.
People react differently
Caffeine affects each person differently. "Some people are genetically predisposed to be more responsive to caffeine than others," Rajneesh notes.
In these cases, the scientist generally advises against using coffee & Co. as a painkiller. In general, however, the source of caffeine also plays a role.
If somebody already drinks one or two cups of coffee anyway in the morning, it is not necessarily advisable to fight later headache with further swallowing – the already described effect of the cramped muscles sets in.
The expert also advises against caffeine-containing energy drinks, as the neurostimulators they contain would rather heat up the pain.
No magic recipe
So is there any miracle cure for the piercing pain between the ears? Unfortunately, no.
Some swear on tablets, others prefer to lie down for an hour, others prefer a cold washcloth on their forehead.
The remedies for headaches are as varied as the causes of this ailment. Anyone who suffers from chronic pain, should definitely consult a doctor. But even then, some lifestyle changes can work wonders:
It does not always have to be medication.