Three cups of coffee may be enough to trigger a migraine in those who experience them regularly, new research shows.
The study, published in The American Journal of Medicine, found drinking three or more serves of caffeinated beverages per day was linked with the onset of a headache on that day or the following day in patients with episodic migraine.
Other contributing factors such as alcohol intake, stress, sleep, physical activity and menstruation, were taken into account when making the finding.
“Based on our study, drinking one or two caffeinated beverages in a day does not appear to be linked to developing a migraine headache, however, three or more servings may be associated with a higher odds of developing a headache,” lead investigator of Boston’s Chan School of Public Health Elizabeth Mostofsky said.
The research involved 98 adults who suffered episodic migraines.
Participants completed electronic diaries twice a day for six weeks; reporting on their caffeinated beverage intake, other lifestyle factors and the timing and characteristics of each migraine headache.
The study compared the incidences of migraines on days that caffeinated beverages were consumed with the number of migraines experienced on days they were not.
A typical serving of coffee or tea contains 25mg-150mg of caffeine.
Study participants on average experienced five headaches per month: 66% usually consumed one to two servings of caffeinated beverages daily; and 12% consumed three or more cups.
During the six week study period in 2016-17, participants experienced on average 8.4 headaches.
All reported having caffeinated beverages on at least one day during the study, with an average of 7.9 serves per week.