Consuming excessive quantities of alcohol can result in a hangover. There is currently no cure for a hangover. Coffee might help with some symptoms, but it is unlikely to provide substantial relief.

Many people experience symptoms the day after drinking more alcohol than they can tolerate. These symptoms may include a headache, nausea, and feeling groggy and unrested.

There are many anecdotal claims that certain rituals or substances, such as coffee, can help cure a hangover. However, there is little to no evidence to suggest that drinking coffee can reverse the effects of consuming too much alcohol.

In fact, while it may ease some symptoms of a hangover, drinking coffee can actually prolong other symptoms. At present, the only way to prevent a hangover is to avoid drinking alcohol or drink it in moderation.

In this article, we discuss whether coffee can reduce or worsen a hangover and outline tips for dealing with hangover symptoms.

Despite what many people may believe, coffee is unlikely to help a hangover.Share on Pinterest
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A hangover happens when a person drinks in excess. It often occurs the morning after a night of drinking.

Researchers are still unsure about the exact causes of hangovers. However, research indicates that biological factors, such as dehydration, gastrointestinal irritation, inflammation, chemical exposure, disrupted sleep, and mini-withdrawals, likely contribute to the symptoms. Some research also suggests that genetics may play a role.

Hangover symptoms can include:

  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • headaches
  • increased thirst
  • sensitivity to light and sound
  • sweating
  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • muscle aches
  • dizziness
  • increased blood pressure

The symptoms that occur during a hangover may vary significantly from person to person. Furthermore, the same amount of alcohol will affect people differently, so it is impossible to predict how much alcohol will cause hangover symptoms.

Some types of alcohol may also increase a person’s risk of experiencing hangover symptoms. For instance, research indicates that congeners, which are present in dark-colored spirits such as bourbon, may worsen a hangover.

If a person notices worse symptoms after drinking wine, particularly white wine, it is possible that they have an intolerance to sulfites.

Currently, there is no cure for a hangover, and consuming coffee is unlikely to provide much, if any, relief.

Similar to alcohol, caffeine, which is present in coffee, is a diuretic. Therefore, it may further dehydrate the body, potentially prolonging or worsening certain symptoms of a hangover.

There is not much research on the effects of coffee on hangover symptoms. Instead, most research focuses on the consumption of alcohol and caffeine, such as mixing caffeinated energy drinks with alcohol.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn of the dangers of mixing alcohol and caffeine. Drinking caffeine and alcohol can mask the effects of alcohol, causing people to feel more alert and sober than they would otherwise.

According to a 2011 review, people who mix alcohol and caffeine are more likely to engage in risky behavior than those who drink alcohol alone. A 2013 study also notes that mixing alcohol and caffeine does not prevent a hangover.

The best strategy to avoid a hangover is to avoid alcohol altogether, but not everyone wants to cut out alcohol completely. If people do choose to drink, it is advisable that they drink in moderation.

People can try to manage and reduce their symptoms by rehydrating, eating nutritious food, and getting plenty of rest.

Home remedies are another option. While coffee may not help, research suggests that some natural substances may help with hangover symptoms. These may include:

  • kudzu
  • fructus evodiae
  • Korean pear
  • asparagus
  • ginger
  • water dropwort
  • pear cactus
  • ginseng

However, although there is some evidence that these natural substances may help with hangover symptoms, the research is scarce and remains inconclusive.

Beverages containing these ingredients may provide some relief, as may certain teas or electrolyte drinks. However, the simplest and most effective drink to help hangovers is water.

Regular hangovers are likely to be detrimental to health, as they indicate that a person is regularly drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Heavy, binge, or inappropriate drinking can significantly harm health.

Potential short-term effects of excessive alcohol consumption include:

The long-term health risks of excessive alcohol consumption may include:

Some people may recommend coffee as a hangover cure, but it does not treat a hangover and is likely to provide little, if any, benefit. In some cases, it may even make the symptoms of a hangover worse.

There is currently no cure for a hangover, and the only way to avoid the symptoms is to avoid alcohol. People with a hangover may be able to ease the symptoms by drinking plenty of water, eating nutritious food, and getting lots of sleep.