How Caffeine Helps Relieve Aches and Pains
Caffeine is an active ingredient in many medications that contain acetaminophen and aspirin, which comes as a surprise to some people. However, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that caffeine can increase the effectiveness of other pain relievers while also reducing the amount of those pain relievers needed to bring relief. In fact, the researchers found that 40 percent less of the pain reliever drug was needed in a pill when caffeine was included in the product.
A more recent study published in The Journal of Pain also showed that caffeine can help reduce muscle pain during exercise. It can help athletes push themselves and overcome exercise-induced stiffness and soreness to perform at their peak level. This article will take a detailed look into how caffeine helps alleviate pain, specific to aches and pains.
How Caffeine Helps Painkillers Enter the Bloodstream
When adding a substance like caffeine to painkillers, it’s important to understand how they interact with each other and why those interactions occur.
Upon review of 19 studies involving over 7,2000 patients regarding pain conditions and pain medications, researchers at The Cochrane Library concluded that caffeine helps painkillers enter the bloodstream more quickly and more efficiently. The stimulant may also help painkillers remain in the bloodstream for longer periods of time.
This particular stimulant is considered to be a vasoconstrictor, which means that it helps narrow blood vessels and restrict the amount of blood flowing to part of the body. Aches and pains can occur when there is too much blood flowing to a body part, and caffeine helps to reduce that flow, thereby reducing the pain. As a central nervous stimulant, caffeine may also relax muscles which optimizes blood flow.
How Caffeine Exerts a Mood-Boosting Effect
Not only does caffeine help relieve aches and pains, but it also has a positive mood-boosting effect. When mood is elevated, less pain is often felt. While this effect may be relatively small in most people, it is significant when aches and pains are unbearable.
Coping with severe and prolonged aches and pains can lead to depression. An Archives of Internal Medicine study established that women who drank two or three cups of coffee per day were 15 percent less likely to develop depression. Although its mood-boosting effects have been well-established, it’s important to note that high doses of caffeine can lead to negative effects like anxiety.
How Caffeine Helps Acetaminophen and Aspirin Work Faster
Another benefit of caffeine is that it helps to increase the speed that acetaminophen and aspirin enter the blood so they can start to work faster in the body.
Caffeine may boost the absorption of pain relieving drugs, like acetaminophen and aspirin, so the body can begin to process them quicker. This may also mean that fewer doses of the medication are required to achieve relief and thus have a lower risk of side effects.
How Much Caffeine is Needed to Achieve this Effect
Only a low dose of caffeine is needed to increase the effectiveness of pain medications. The amount of caffeine needed for this purpose won’t make cause a jittery feeling and won’t cause a caffeine habit when taken as directed. It’s important to avoid consuming caffeine in excess or unnecessarily because caffeine withdrawal can actually cause aches and pains, as well as stomach pains and acid reflux.
Vanquish contains 33 milligrams of caffeine to accompany the 194 milligrams of acetaminophen and 227 milligrams of aspirin. Whether you suffer from muscle aches, backache, arthritis, or menstrual cramps, this combination of ingredients can deliver the temporary relief needed to keep moving.
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