Coffee and Alcohol

Coffee and alcohol.

We’ve all experienced the absolute rush that is mixing caffeine and alcohol, be it via gap years living on Irish coffee or girls’ nights filled with Tia Maria. But what happens when you mix coffee and alcohol?

Can I Mix Coffee and Alcohol?

Sure, you can mix coffee and alcohol — but you probably shouldn’t. From prolonged hangovers to strokes, the side effects quickly go from minor to detrimental. Caffeine is a stimulant whilst alcohol is a depressant, and when you mix the two, some weird reactions can occur. Namely, heart issues.

Mixed coffee and alcohol.

Mixing Coffee and Alcohol Effects on the Heart

Mixing caffeine and alcohol raises your blood pressure, increasing your risk for stroke, heart attack, and heart disease. Long-time alcohol use can wreak havoc on the heart anyway, and when you mix this with the stimulating coffee, you could end up with an irregular heartbeat. This is especially dangerous for those who have pre-determined heart problems.

One of the biggest downsides of mixing caffeine and alcohol is that they may come together to affect the chemicals in your brain that help to regulate sleep. A lack of sleep is shown to increase the likeliness of anxiety, depression, and stress, all of which can cause further health problems down the road.

A cup of coffee and brandy.

Does Coffee “Sober You Up”?

The scariest negative of mixing alcohol and coffee is that caffeine can mask the depressant effects of alcohol. This makes drinkers feel more alert than they are, resulting in them staying awake for longer and consuming more alcohol.

Whilst this momentarily makes you feel more awake, the second the caffeine has worn off, you will feel the effects of alcohol even more. If you do this often, this can create a vicious cycle that is hard to break. Not just that, but caffeine does not affect the metabolism. This means that those who drink coffee after alcohol to reduce their breath or blood alcohol levels will not be “sobered up”.

It won’t give you that prolonged energy boost that you need and can make a hangover hit you much harder. Plus, it makes over-drinking more likely.

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