Does Coffee Help Hangovers?

Real Truth About Drinking Coffee to Cure An Ugly Hangover

Have you ever woken up the next morning only to feel a raspy dry throat, throbbing headache and lurching stomach after a long serious night of partying? Well, in case you’re experiencing this for the very first time, don’t call a doctor to diagnose the problem - you simply have a serious hangover.

Truth is that when you’re in such an agonizing state, you will most likely take anyone’s hangover remedy to see whether it can alleviate the spikes of alcohol you’re feeling. Although most people are left disappointed, one remedy for alleviating a hangover is taking a fresh cup of coffee.

So, in this post we will be talking about what is a hangover, remedy's and does coffee help hangovers.

Girl With A Hangover

What really is a hangover?

In simple terms, a hangover is basically a bad effect caused by excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages.

After taking too much alcohol, what happens is that alcohol acts as a diuretic that depletes the body of water needed to push and flush out chemicals and toxins (caused by alcohol) from the body.

Also recognized by a medical name veisalgia, a hangover has many effects some of which include:

  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Muscle Pains
  • Dry Throat
  • Headaches

If you’re not familiar with a hangover, among the major causes of this effect include:

Dehydration: since alcohol has a tendency of depleting the body of water, its diuretic characteristic is one major factor that causes a hangover.

Chemical accumulation: alcohol can cause chemical imbalance in the body by encouraging accumulation of a compound NADH which is known to compromise with your metabolic system.

Harmful toxins: too much alcohol can result to increase of a toxic compound acetaldehyde in the body. This compound, which is a byproduct of alcohol after processing, is the major cause of vomiting and nausea when you’re in a hangover.

Do common remedies for hangover really work?

Now, most people swear by a greasy breakfast as a way of curing a morning hangover. Unfortunately, this remedy doesn’t seem to work as excessive fatty meals will only make your stomach more upset.

Other people believe that drinking more alcohol can help alleviate the effects of alcohol. Although some say it works, this remedy causes a numbing effect that makes your condition worse.

Note: According to most experts, this cure comes with a serious risk of becoming alcohol dependent and might increase the rate of alcohol abuse.

Cup Of Coffee Being Stirred

So, is coffee the way to go?

As we all know, most avid coffee connoisseurs take coffee to stay caffeinated. The substance that causes this effect is caffeine which is found in the coffee.

Since caffeine is easily absorbed into your system, taking coffee the first thing in the morning will help to alleviate the harsh spikes of a hangover especially if there are some assignments you need to work on.

How does coffee help hangovers?

Caffeine works by releasing chemicals known as neurotransmitters (most preferably dopamine). These neurotransmitters are responsible for stimulating your brain giving you an energy boost that’s required to kick-start a busy day.

Boosts your energy

In case you’re in a hangover, this energy boost will be enough to enhance your brain to respond effectively. However, one drawback with this stimulating effect is that it’s short-lived and only lasts for about 4 hours.

Increases your heart rate

Another effect of caffeine on a hangover is that it increases your heart rate and stimulates metabolism. This effect helps to spike up the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles giving you an energy boost while reducing feelings of nausea and sluggishness while in a hangover.

Gives you quick relief

Finally, caffeine works fast. Since it gets absorbed in the body pretty quickly, you’ll begin feeling its effects within 30 minutes time. Therefore, if you’re in a hangover and you need to get a relief really quick, brewing a cup of coffee will help to spike up your moods while increasing mental focus and alertness.

Hands On A Stomach

Are there any downsides to coffee?

Although there are many positive aspects of drinking coffee, there are some negative pointers you need to know about. Earlier on in this article, we stated that caffeine will only boost your energy levels for a short while.

Note: This means that coffee will NOT make you sober in an instant.

Increases acidity on empty stomachs

If you consume too much alcohol on an empty stomach or without taking any food, brewing a cup of hot joe will only make your condition more excruciating!

As caffeine will only increase the acidity in your stomach causing excessive vomiting and possibly an increased heartburn.

Increases issues with sleeping disorders

For those who are susceptible to the effects of caffeine, taking coffee to cure an ugly hangover will most likely prolong your misery and hamper your chances of recovery. 

For those with sleeping disorders, taking coffee will most certainly prevent you from ‘sleeping it off’ or cause a blood pressure due to rapid heartbeat.

Increases dehydration

Finally, we all know that coffee is a natural diuretic. Therefore, consuming too much caffeine with an aim of curing a morning hangover will most probably dehydrate you more making your condition even worse.

Girl Drinking A Glass Of Water

How should I make coffee work for me then?

From what we’ve seen, it’s true that coffee has its own merits and demerits. When it comes to curing a hangover, you, of course, have to dig deeper to make your cup of coffee instrumental and capable of improving your condition.

Two ways you can improve your cup of joe include:

  • 1
    Drinking a lot of water and eating bland foods. Since one cause of a hangover is dehydration, re-hydrating your body through drinking a lot of water before consuming your cup of hot coffee will help settle stomach acids, regulate blood sugar levels and of course alleviate the effects of a hangover.
  • 2
    If paired with painkillers such as aspirin, coffee has been discovered to help alleviate the huge hangover effects caused by chemical acetate produced by alcohol.

According to a study conducted by Michael Oshinsky of Thomas Jefferson University, it was discovered that a concoction of coffee paired with aspirin was indeed a perfect remedy for curing a hangover.

Lab Rat In His Container

In his study, Prof. Oshinsky induced lab rats with small amounts of alcohol to see the effect. After about 4 hours, the rats developed sensitive skin in areas around the eyes revealing they were in a headache.

Later, Oshinsky gave the rats a combination of caffeine and an anti-inflammatory dose. To his surprise, the rats were relieved from the headache revealing that indeed a combination of coffee and painkillers was a perfect remedy for lowering headache caused by the harsh spikes of a hangover.

Final thoughts

Avid coffee lovers have something to smile about now that their favorite beverage has been found to be a surefire way of curing a hangover. However, to prevent the aftereffects of alcohol early enough, the best approach is to have a full meal before drinking alcohol. Through this, you’ll be able to slow the chemical reactions caused by alcohol.

Another approach is to avoid mixing alcoholic drinks and most importantly, keep off from alcoholic beverages high in congeners (such as whiskey) as they can amplify your hangover making you feel worse off.

Finally, we believe this article was informative. In case there’s a point or two we left out on does coffee help hangovers or maybe you’d like to add something, please don’t hesitate to send over your thoughts in the comment section below.

About the Author: This post was purely written by Pure It Fresh. With the help of our prolific team of experts, our website prides on being one of the best in researching and writing detailed reviews and guides related to small appliances and best hot and cold beverages. Through our writings, we’ve managed to save most avid readers both time and stress of figuring out what exactly they need to buy.

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