Have a Hangover? Here's the Fix.
By Lisa Frania — / Lifestyle
Can Coffee Help my Hangover?
The best night of your life just turned into your worst nightmare—the morning after. We've all been there, right? Your throat gets raspy, you’re dehydrated and your head hurts as if someone kicked you in the brain. You're no doubt willing to try anything to feel better.
What’s the famous saying? “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Well, avoiding alcohol completely just isn’t very fun advice when you’re doing a bar crawl with your pals. Others will tell you the best medicine to get rid of a full-on hangover is to just give it time. But for the impatient, coffee-obsessed caffeinds, now there’s a tastier, more enjoyable fix for those nasty hangovers. It’s the coffee in your mug.
Coffee doesn’t sober you up, unfortunately. But when combined with ibuprofen or another painkiller, that java works in several surprising ways to help your body recover from those bad decisions that seemed like great ones at the time.
What is a Hangover?
Overindulging in alcohol the night before can lead to a number of not-so-fun symptoms. These symptoms may include: fatigue, weakness, headaches, sweating, anxiety and nausea, just to name a few. Genetics and biological factors like dehydration, stomach irritation and inflammation, disrupted sleep and even withdrawals may also contribute to the severity of those hangovers. In other words, hangovers really make it personal.
Sadly, there is no guaranteed cure for a hangover, but here’s the deal to help relieve the hangover symptoms: Drink a cup of coffee, preferably The World's Strongest Coffee.
How Does Coffee Help With a Hangover?
Alcohol produces acetate, which gives you headaches. When you drink more alcohol than your body can handle, not only do you get drunk, but you also end up with a massive headache several hours after the imbibing occurred.
Caffeine from coffee can block the acetate, which can relieve a headache caused by withdrawal symptoms if you're a heavy coffee drinker. So don’t skip those cups if you are experiencing a hangover—keep ‘em coming! However, keep in mind that the same coffee you drink to prevent a withdrawal headache may also make your hangover headache worse. Caffeine narrows blood vessels, which then raises blood pressure. If your head is already in bad condition, this could intensify the effects.
When you wake up and feel like you might hurl—pray to the porcelain god—then have a cup of joe. Coffee can help more than just your hangover headache. That caffeinated cup also stimulates your metabolism and gets you craving some grub—greasy and fried will hit the spot—the day after (or even before) your bender. That’s a good thing because eating will help your body fuel back up and give you the energy it needs to recover.
Besides a rotten gut and pounding headache, those hangovers may leave you feeling dehydrated too. If you wonder whether your night also included a cotton ball eating contest, then drink a cup—or two or three—of strong coffee. Don’t blame the coffee for your mouth that feels like the Sahara Desert—it’s the hangover that made you dehydrated. Since dehydration is a huge side effect of drinking too much alcohol, it makes sense to start alternating your coffee with additional water to amp up the hydration process.
4. Poor concentration and alertness
Thanks to the half-dozen tequila and Fireball shots you enjoyed last night, your hangover likely has left you in a deep fog and lacking any amount of focus. Here’s another reason to reach for your mug. Coffee contains organic compounds like adenosine, adrenaline and caffeine—you need all of these to bring you out of hangover hell and help you get out of bed, feel more alert and able to function again.
5. Can’t sleep or experiencing restless sleep
Alcohol-induced sleep—aka passing out—after a night of cocktailing contributes tremendously to how hungover and awful we feel the next day. You usually don’t sleep as long, and it’s definitely not the quality sleep you crave on a regular basis. But that can all be reversed with a cup of your favorite coffee—that caffeine is what you need to bounce back and make plans for the next time you decide to overindulge.
Unfortunately, there's a catch-22 for coffee drinkers when it comes to a hangover. You'll most likely need some of your brew to squash those hangover symptoms and rejoin the living. But if you just can’t rally and have to take a nap to sleep off the hangover, then here's what to do so you can fall back asleep.
- Drink a full glass of water before your feet hit the ground.
- Have a half a cup of coffee, perhaps.
- Drink another glass of water.
Be sure to wait 30-60 minutes before consuming more coffee until your H2O starts to set in. If you need more coffee, stick with another half cup and then continue to drink endless amounts of water throughout the rest of the day.
The only not-so-fun way to avoid a hangover is by avoiding alcohol. If that’s not your favorite option, then the next time you hit it too hard, pop a couple Advil and brew a cup of coffee—or a whole pot. The coffee will help that headache go away, rev up your appetite, clear the fog and haze and help you rejoin the land of the living. Just remember to listen to your body. Coffee might be a solution for some, but not everyone responds to it in the same way.
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