We’ve all been there. Running that final mile after however many, and then—out of nowhere—a dreaded cramp. Or, perhaps (for the ladies), it is simply your time of the month, and your menstrual cramps are acting up.
The worst part about cramps? Nothing seems to help.
Enter coffee. Is it the answer for everything? It can certainly energize us through that last mile, or give us the boost we need to make it to work on time. But does coffee actually help with cramps? Let’s find out. Unfortunately, coffee does not help with cramps and may even make them worse.
Caffeine and Cramps
The short answer to our question? No. Coffee does not help with cramps. In fact, it can make your cramps worse.
No matter their origin, menstrual or exercise-based, the caffeine content in coffee can make your cramps worse. Caffeine is sometimes inflammatory and can block the blood flow in and around the uterus, making cramps grow in severity.
Likewise, these inflammatory properties can cause bloating, and further any exercise-based cramps, too!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is coffee the answer to all of our problems? We’d like to think so, but let’s also be realistic. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details, and consider all angles of whether coffee can, in fact, help with cramps.
Is Caffeine Good for Cramps?
No! Coffee is objectively bad for your cramps. Whether you get them from menstruating, or from exercise, coffee will actually make your cramps worse! The caffeine content in coffee can exacerbate your already existing cramps, or even create new cramps for you to endure.
Can You Drink Coffee When You Have Menstrual Cramps?
Technically, yes, you can drink coffee when you have menstrual cramps, but we recommend avoiding anything with caffeine content. If you must have your cup of joe, pick up the decaf instead!
Can You Drink Coffee When You Have Cramps from Exercise?
Likewise, you can technically drink coffee whenever you like. However, we recommended avoiding your caffeinated option, and opting for the decaf instead in this scenario.
Does Caffeine Make Muscle Cramps Worse?
Yes! Caffeine makes muscle cramps worse. Caffeine can act as an inflammatory agent, causing your blood vessels to restrict, and therefore, create new cramps or worsen already-existing cramps.
Does Caffeine Reduce Pain?
Caffeine can be a useful aid in blocking pain. Despite the fact that it can create and worsen cramping, it can also alleviate pain at times. Oftentimes, you will see pain-blockers, such as Ibuprofen and Aspirin, with caffeine added.
If you are looking for pain relief, a cup of coffee might not do the trick, though. As always, we recommended seeking professional medical advice for proper pain relief methods.
As much as we want coffee to be the answer to all of our problems, today, it is not. Caffeine and coffee do not help with cramps. They actually make them worse!
But tomorrow, when the cramps are gone—it’s coffee time!
Featured Image Credit: Anna Nekrashevich, Pexels