Why shouldn’t you start drinking coffee after drinking alcohol?

In this article, we will answer the query “Why shouldn’t you start drinking coffee after drinking alcohol?”. In addition, we will discuss the effects of coffee on those who consume alcohol.

Why shouldn’t you start drinking coffee after alcohol?

You shouldn’t start drinking coffee after alcohol because when alcohol is mixed with caffeine, the caffeine can mask the depressant effects of alcohol, making drinkers feel more alert than they would otherwise. Therefore, people can have a false sense of alertness and drink more alcohol than they should, increasing the health risks of alcohol.

There are contradictory conclusions about coffee and alcohol?

Unfortunately, nothing is that simple. Historically, studies of caffeine’s effect on a person’s ability to drive when drunk (in a lab, not on the street) have yielded mixed results.

Some suggest that caffeine reverses the sluggish reflexes caused by alcohol, but others don’t prove it. More recently, research published in 2009 showed more detailed evidence about combining alcohol with caffeine: Scientists gave alcohol to lab rats and then offered the animals the equivalent of eight cups of coffee. After that, they seemed much more alert but still had a harder time navigating a maze than sober mice.

Therefore, caffeine can improve alcohol-induced tiredness, which may explain why a cup of coffee after a meal is so popular in some countries. But the substance can’t take away the feeling of being drunk or improve some of the cognitive problems caused by alcohol.

How does coffee and alcohol work in my body?

Most of the time, alcohol is broken down in the liver by two enzymes, alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase. After many other steps, the alcohol is finally excreted in the form of water and carbon dioxide.

The body takes about an hour to metabolize one unit of alcoholic beverage, but in some people, this process is faster or slower, depending on their genetics, their diet and how often they drink.

Caffeine does not accelerate the metabolism of alcohol. However, its effects vary according to the analyzed function. A  large dose of caffeine can counteract the negative effects of alcohol on memory but the dizzy feeling remains and you won’t be alert anymore.

There are any misleading signals about the consumption of coffee with alcohol?

There is also evidence that caffeine can make things worse. When you’re feeling tired it can be easier to tell you’re drunk, but since caffeine takes away the fatigue, you might think you’re sober when you’re not.

Those who chose drinks containing both substances, such as vodka mixed with an energy drink, were twice as likely to be injured in an accident or more than twice as likely to accept a ride from someone who doesn’t respect the speed limit. Caffeine can trick people into feeling like they’re regaining sobriety and the potentially disastrous consequences of this.

What is the effect of drinking alcohol with coffee?

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant because it reduces its activity by hindering communication between neurons in the brain. In this process, alcohol changes the composition of the nerve membrane, making the transmission of nerve impulses difficult. This makes the person uncoordinated, sleepy and unbalanced.

The duration of the effects of alcohol on the body is related to the time it takes the body to metabolize alcohol, since the average metabolization of a can of beer of beer of 350 ml by the body is 1 hour, that is, if the person drinking 8 cans of beer her body will be metabolizing alcohol for approximately 8 hours.

Meanwhile, caffeine has the exact opposite effect. It intensifies the passage of messages between neurons, mitigating the effect caused by drinking alcoholic beverages.

Well, the scientific community is pretty much convinced of the sedative effects of a lot of alcohol. In the first two hours, when the concentration of alcohol in the blood is higher, the person is more alert. After that, and up to about six hours after consumption, objective signs of sleep increase.

Caffeine does the opposite, making you more alert, which probably led to the seductive idea that a cup of coffee can counteract the effects of a pint of beer. However, this is not true.

Caffeine does not accelerate the metabolism of alcohol. However, a large dose of caffeine can counteract the negative effects of alcohol on memory. But the dizzy feeling remains. In fact, it is worth remembering that drinking coffee after drinking alcohol can make it more difficult for the person to realize that they are still under the influence of alcohol. 

This feeling can put the alcoholic in danger because he thinks he can drive, for example.


In this article, we answered the query “Why shouldn’t you start drinking coffee after drinking alcohol?”. In addition, we discussed the effects of coffee on those who consume alcohol.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.