There is no guaranteed cure for a hangover, especially not coffee. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it actually dehydrates the body. Diuretics cause excess urination and therefore result in losing excess fluid from your body, despite frequent drinking. Well, coffee is also a diuretic, so it does the exact same thing.
Rather than curing your hangover, it will only cause further dehydration, potentially prolonging or even worsening your hangover symptoms. Trying to cure yourself of a diuretic with a diuretic is not going to work.
When people are hungover, they often suffer from the following symptoms; fatigue, headache, and nausea. It’s common to think that coffee could help with this as it’s a known energy booster, so even if it gives you a ‘pick me up’ for a short while, it cannot reverse the effects of alcohol.
Does Coffee Help Hangover Headaches?
The caffeine in coffee may not be friendly to your headache. When you consume caffeine, it reacts with the body to narrow blood vessels and raise blood pressure. This is because it triggers your adrenaline glands, giving you a rush of energy.
So, despite coffee being a popular energy boost, it’s not a great remedy for your headache.
With this being said, some people drink coffee regularly enough that if you try to skip it, you can suffer from caffeine withdrawal.
Caffeine withdrawal in itself can also cause headaches. Therefore, if coffee is part of your daily routine, you are likely better off having a cup even when you’re hungover – just make sure it’s a small one.
Does Coffee Help Hangover Nausea?
Unfortunately, the answer here is still no. Caffeine, dairy, or anything sweet can actually worsen your nausea. This is a triple whammy if you take your coffee with milk and sugar!
There is no scientific evidence that suggests coffee can help with hangover nausea or any of the other hangover symptoms for that matter.
If you’re feeling nauseous the day after drinking, the best thing to do is to take small, frequent sips of cold water. You could also have drinks with added electrolytes to help your body rehydrate again.
Can Coffee Sober You Up?
Coffee cannot sober you up. In a legal sense, it will not make it possible for you to drive. The compounds in coffee will not prevent or slow down the effects of alcohol.
Although coffee may increase your alertness after alcohol, it will not interact with the same receptors that alcohol affects.
So, despite being more awake, the alcohol levels in your blood will not be any lower. Therefore, even if you feel recovered, you are not any less drunk.
Should You Mix Caffeine with Alcohol?
Most of the research and knowledge surrounding this subject refers to mixing energy drinks with alcohol, however, the same side effects and risks come with coffee as well.
Firstly, it can be dangerous to mix caffeine (of any kind) with alcohol as it may mask the feeling of getting drunk, making it harder to know your limit. Basically, people feel more alert and sober than they really are.
By reducing interoceptive cues, people who mix caffeine with alcohol are more likely to engender risky behavior.
Another very important side effect to be aware of is that alcohol and caffeine mixed together can cause an irregular heartbeat. Anyone who already suffers from a heart condition should take extra caution.
And above all this, drinking coffee with alcohol will not even prevent a hangover.
Although we may want to believe it, coffee is not the magic cure to a hangover. The only benefit that coffee really has is increased energy and alertness, but it can actually worsen headaches and nausea.
The best thing you can do to cure a hangover is hydrate, sleep, eat a balanced diet, and wait it out.