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Excessive consumption of cola and headache: Caffeine in Cola and Its Role in Headache

The soft drink consumption is a major threat and may develop various diseases and disorders in people habitual of excessive drinking. The United States of America ranks first among countries having highest per capita soft drink consumption. The per capita consumption of US is approximate 150 quarts per year. Children are at higher risk of various diseases due to increased consumption of soft drink by these children.

Caffeine in cola and its role in headache

  • Soft drinks are one of the largest sources of caffeine and a 12-ounce can of cola may contain 45 mg of caffeine.
  • Caffeine act as stimulant of central nervous system and if consumed by people in excess may lead to headache or migraine.
  • People when suddenly stop consuming caffeine, get headaches and migraine. These are the withdrawal symptoms of central nervous system stimulants.
  • Caffeine induces headaches are also taking place in kids and it looks a substance of abuse in children and adolescents.
  • A recent report says that a 55% of caffeine intake in American children is in the form of soft drinks.
  • Bromism, excess of bromine in blood serum occurs due to intake of cola with brominated vegetable oil. The symptoms may include headaches, fatigue, and alaxia and memory loss.

Other problem associated with excessive consumption of cola

  • Soft drink contains lower calcium level and high phosphate level, in such situation calcium is pulled out of the bone. In children the consumption of cola poses a high risk for impaired calcification of growing bones. The constituents further increase the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Sugar in soft drink may damage the white blood cells. Saccharine, a sweetening agent used in diet cola, may have adverse affect on bladder and female reproductive organs.
  • The consumption of cola increases the risk of obesity. Sugar and phosphoric acid in soft drinks is capable to dissolve tooth enamel.
    People over 40 years of age are unable to excrete excess phosphorous through kidney, which may result in depletion of calcium.

Caffeine in human body

  • Caffeine in our body is absorbed very fast. After consuming soft drinks, it is absorbed within one hour in the body. Once it passes to the blood streams, it is distributed throughout body.
  • Half of the caffeine metabolizes in the body during 3 to 7 hours and female metabolizes caffeine faster than male. Women during ovulation may take twice the normal time for breaking down the caffeine.
  • Low concentration of caffeine may cause a decrease in heart rate, but high concentration increases the palpitations significantly.
  • If you are consuming high soft drinks and then suddenly you stop drinking, caffeine in brain may constrict the blood vessels causing headache and migraine. These are also known as withdrawal symptoms.
  • Some people may feel tremors after excessive consumption of soft drinks; this may be due to over-activation of central nervous system.
  • A recent study indicates women consuming higher level of caffeine are 50% less likely to conceive as compare to those taking very small amount of caffeine.
  • Higher amount of caffeine intake by pregnant mother also increases the risk of giving birth to a low birth weight infant.
  • Some studies also indicate that pregnant women on high caffeine consumption are more likely associated with prematurity and poorer neuromuscular developments.
  • Pregnant women on high intake of caffeine if suddenly stops, foetus may also feel withdrawal symptoms. Similarly babies after birth may show withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms in newborn babies include cry, sleepless, restless and higher sweating.


  • The best treatment is to avoid taking cola and consequently caffeine.
  • Gradually the doses of cola should be reduced and after 2 to 3 weeks, it should be stopped.
  • Withdrawal should be under the supervision of your doctor.

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