Sunday, May 28, 2006

Crystal Light Gives Me a Headache

I don't get headaches very often, and I can count on one hand the number I've had in my life that would return as soon as the Tylenol wore off. I had one of those today.

There are a few things I've noticed that do seem to cause a headache. I get one after smoking too many cigarettes (more than two packs in one day, which is extremely rare). I get one if I don't ingest anything with caffeine in it for a day. It's not my imagination--headaches result each and every time either of these things happen.

So for the first time in years, I bought two bottles of pre-mixed Crystal Light raspberry because there was a good two-for-one deal at the supermarket. A couple of hours after I started drinking the first bottle I developed a headache, and assumed it was caused by not having caffeine. I drank coffee and took two Tylenol gelcaps, and the headache dulled a bit but didn't go away. I took a nap, and when I woke about an hour later the headache was worse than ever. I took three Tylenol and drank a Diet Coke, and the headache went away. After a few hours of feeling okay, I drank more of the Crystal Light--and the pain returned.

It occurred to me to look on the internet to see if there was some known link between Crystal Light and headaches. I found many articles claiming that Aspertame caused headaches, and a few that said Splenda (one of the sweeteners in my Crystal Light) did so as well. There were many others who claimed that changing to a low-sugar diet (often including Crystal Light) gave them a headache which they attributed to "sugar withdrawal," without making any connection between Crystal Light and headaches.

Since I constantly drink Aspertame and Splenda sweetened sodas, and use at least eight packs of Splenda a day in my coffees without trouble, I must conclude that there's something in Crystal Light besides Splenda which causes me, and possibly others, headaches. Beware of it.