Are you noticing an increase in caffeine sensitivity? Perhaps an increase in heart rate and/or blood pressure after drinking one or more cups of coffee?
It could be due to a wide range of things. However one of the less frequent reported causes is what I would to address in this post:
- Vitamin B deficiencies, especially B12
- Calcium deficiency
- Iron deficiency
- Magnesium deficiency
- Potassium deficiency
- Unnoticed dehydration
If you are under high levels of stress, chances are you need more of the above and especially more than diet alone can provide. A supplement is definitely needed for all of the above except maybe calcium if you simply increase your diary intake. A glass of milk (250 ml) provides about 300mg of calcium, which is only 1/4 of your recommended daily intake (1,200 mg are recommended per day). If you wanted to take in all your calcium from food, you should definitely watch the calories as milk and cheese are a bit on the heavy side.
B12 and iron levels are incredibly difficult to increase with diet alone. My recommendation is to take the following:
- Extremely important and effective: Niacin 2x a day 250mg (Flush-free as inositol hexanicotinate) just before the coffee
- Vitamin B5 about 100mg to 250mg daily. I found it’s very effective in normalizing heart rate and preventing a stress response, same as with the niacin above.
- Magnesium 400-500mg a day
- Calcium 500mg a day in supplement form or at least two pints of milk a day for a while, then one pint daily. Consider that some mineral water, like S. Pellegrino contains about 170mg/l whereas Deer Park merely provides 7 to 70mg/l. If your water provides very little calcium you will need to supplement more or eat more dairy, which may require you to increase your workouts to offset the calorie load.
- Children’s chewable multivitamins: I use children’s multis because they contain very good amounts of iron (18mg), zinc 15mg, vitamin D (600IU) and 100mg calcium. You will find that most adult multis are way too weak, especially zinc and iron.
- Vitamin B complex with extra B12. I recommend Vitamin B complex 50mg, and 1,000 mcg B12 daily. Some people took 4,000 to 7,000 mcg daily for about two months for the levels to reach normal.
- Vitamin C (3-5 grams per day)
- Drink at least 3 liters of water a day
- The recommended daily intake of potassium is 4,700 mg. You would need to eat more than two pounds a day, or 1 kilogram, in order to reach the 4.7 gram daily requirement. Most people are in fact potassium deficient and it may become evident in various subclinical symptoms, such as elevated blood pressure and sometimes heart rate.
- Daily consumption of red beets (as much as you can handle). This helps increase nitric oxide, which acts as a vasodilator
You may also want to check out this incredibly useful resource on Vitamin B12. Apparently B12 is really hard to absorb. I use sublingual B12 and it works really well.
Back to the caffeine sensitivity, I can say that if any of the above deficiencies are present, an increase in BP may be observed. Once the above minerals and vitamins are at their normal levels, the sensitivity should disappear, unless there are additional underlying issues to address. This is, naturally, not to say that all caffeine sensitivities originate from nutrient deficiencies; however, especially if you work long hours, do frequent workouts, and use coffee a bit more than average users 😉 you might benefit from the nutrient boost in many ways beyond curing your caffeine sensitivity.
Update April 22, 2021: It Works With Lasting Results!
I have to say the above treatment works miracles. Not only does the heart rate stay the same or even go down with coffee consumption, my blood pressure is now completely unaffected by caffeine when measured in several 30 min intervals after the coffee. So to conclude, if you notice a blood pressure rise with coffee, or a heart rate increase, and you see this happening consistently, then something is up and you would likely benefit from trying the above supplement regimen.
Hope this helps! Please use the comment section to share your thoughts!