Does Coffee Help with Hangovers?

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coffee hangover

Coffee has been known to have a lot of healing qualities and health benefits in the human body, but does coffee really help with hangovers?

After a long night of drinking, one of the most common things for people to do in order to help alleviate the symptoms of a hangover is to drink coffee. Feeling groggy in the morning with a splitting headache is no way to go through the rest of the day, so a cup of coffee in the morning along with a nice big breakfast is one way that people try to balance out what the alcohol did to their system.

The only problem is there isn’t a true cure for a hangover.

So regardless of what you may have heard, or what you think you may have experienced in the past, drinking coffee in the morning is not a cure for a hangover.

Drinking Coffee and Hangovers

What is a Hangover?

To understand why coffee itself doesn’t necessarily help with a hangover, but sometimes seems like it might, we must first take a look at what a hangover is and why your body feels this way after drinking alcohol.

Consuming alcohol does a number of things to your body which can lead to the terrible feelings you get the next day. It can irritate the lining of your stomach, it produces more urine, which can cause you to go to the bathroom more often, which in turn can make you dehydrated, and it can also cause your blood vessels to expand.

Hangovers can manifest themselves in a variety of symptoms that vary from person to person.  The most common issues that people experience after a night of drinking is headaches, fatigue, digestive discomfort, sensitivity to light and sound, and irritability.

These effects can last for hours depending on how much you had to drink, how much food and water you’ve consumed, and how your body handles alcohol. And because these effects can last for hours, and can put a damper on your day, people are always looking for that magical hangover cure.

Drinking Coffee for a Hangover

While most people claim that a large cup of coffee after a night of consuming alcohol can help cure their hangover, the truth is that there is really no cure for a hangover. There are ways to help try to avoid a hangover (like consuming more water while drinking), but coffee is not going to make the hangover disappear the next day.

Similar to alcohol, the caffeine in coffee is a diuretic, which means that it can cause you to go to the bathroom more often, which can also lead to dehydration. So while you are taking in liquids, which is a great way to fight a hangover, liquids with caffeine are probably not the best option. However, since coffee is 95% water, it’s still better than drinking nothing the next day.

Speaking of caffeine, while alcohol can cause your blood vessels to expand, caffeine can cause them to narrow, which can lead to headaches. So if you’re already experiencing a headache, drinking caffeine could exacerbate the pain and make things worse.

The only time that caffeine may make your headache a little better is if you consume a large amount of coffee on a regular basis and by refraining from drinking it, you’re experiencing caffeine withdrawals. Caffeine withdrawals often times cause headaches, so if you think that may be part of the issue, then having a cup of coffee may help alleviate those symptoms.

Anyone who’s consumed alcohol has more than likely experienced a hangover and we’ve all looked for that magical cure to get us back up and moving the next day. Unfortunately coffee is not some magical hangover cure, and in some cases can actually make you feel worse.

The best thing you can do for a hangover is to consume lots of water, get some rest, and just give it time to work itself out of your system. You can also try consuming more water as you’re out drinking to try and keep yourself hydrated. This can help lessen the effects of the alcohol the next day.

While we all wish that coffee could magically make the hangover feeling go away, unfortunately we’ll just have to keep searching for that elusive hangover cure.

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