Does Coffee Help Hangovers?

Does Coffee Help Hangovers?

In the United States alone, Americans drink 146 billion cups of coffee. Imagine if that standard household drink could cure a hangover!

Hangovers are the unpleasant aftermath of consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. From pounding headaches to fatigue and nausea, these symptoms can make the morning after a night of drinking miserable. Many people turn to coffee as a potential remedy for their hangover woes. But does coffee help with hangovers, or is it just a myth? In this article, we will explore the scientific evidence behind the effects of coffee on hangovers.

Understanding Hangovers: Causes and Symptoms

Before diving into the coffee-hangover connection, it's important to understand the causes and symptoms of hangovers. When you consume alcohol, it leaves behind toxic byproducts in your body. Dehydration is a major factor contributing to hangover symptoms. Alcohol is a diuretic, causing increased urine production and fluid loss from the body. This can lead to electrolyte imbalances and dehydration.

Common hangover symptoms include headaches, fatigue, nausea, increased thirst, sensitivity to light and sound, irritability, anxiety, stomach pain, and muscle aches. The severity of these symptoms can vary from person to person, depending on factors such as the amount of alcohol consumed and individual tolerance.

The Diuretic Effect of Coffee: Coffees Help with Hangovers

One popular question people ask is, “does coffee help with hangovers?” However, it's essential to note that coffee is also a diuretic, which means it can contribute to further dehydration. Just like alcohol, coffee increases urine production and can lead to fluid loss from the body.

Drinking coffee when you're already dehydrated from alcohol consumption may not provide the relief you're seeking. In fact, it could potentially prolong the dehydration process and worsen certain hangover symptoms. It's crucial to prioritize rehydration by consuming water or electrolyte-rich fluids instead.

The Role of Hydration in Hangover Relief

When it comes to finding relief from hangovers, hydration is key. Replenishing lost fluids and electrolytes can help alleviate symptoms and support the body's recovery process. While coffee may not be the best choice due to its diuretic properties, other fluids like water, sports drinks, or electrolyte-rich beverages can aid in rehydration.

Drinking a glass of water before bed and upon waking up can help replenish fluids and mitigate the effects of dehydration. It's important to remember that rehydration is not an instant process, and it may take time for your body to recover from the alcohol consumed.

Caffeine and Hangover Headaches: Does Coffee Even Help with Hangovers?

Another reason people turn to the question, does coffee help with hangover relief, is the belief that caffeine can alleviate headaches. Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase alertness and temporarily improve energy levels. However, when it comes to hangover headaches, the situation is more complex.

Caffeine narrows blood vessels and raises blood pressure, which could potentially intensify the pounding headache associated with hangovers. Additionally, coffee is known to be a trigger for migraines in some individuals. Therefore, the question, “does coffee help with hangovers” is answered with the fact that consumption may not be the best choice if you're already experiencing a headache.

Natural Remedies for Hangovers

While coffee may not be the go-to solution for hangovers, there are other natural remedies that may offer some relief. These remedies are not backed by extensive scientific research, but anecdotal evidence suggests they may help alleviate hangover symptoms for some individuals.

  1. Ginger: Ginger has been used for centuries to soothe digestive discomfort and nausea. Consuming ginger tea or ginger supplements may provide relief from hangover-related nausea.
  2. Watermelon: Watermelon is high in water content and contains essential electrolytes like potassium, which can aid in rehydration.
  3. Coconut water: Coconut water is naturally rich in electrolytes, making it a popular choice for rehydration. It can help replenish lost fluids and electrolytes during a hangover.
  4. B-vitamins: Alcohol consumption can deplete B-vitamins in the body. Taking B-vitamin supplements or consuming foods rich in B-vitamins may help with hangover recovery.

It's important to note that these natural remedies may not work for everyone, and their effectiveness varies from person to person. It's always best to listen to your body and choose remedies that work best for you.

The Importance of Moderation and Prevention

While seeking remedies for hangovers is common, the best approach is to practice moderation and prevention. Limiting alcohol consumption and knowing your limits can help minimize the likelihood and severity of hangovers. Drinking in moderation and spacing out alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic ones can also help prevent dehydration and mitigate hangover symptoms.

Additionally, consuming a meal before drinking alcohol can slow down its absorption into the bloodstream, reducing the intensity of hangover symptoms. Eating nutrient-rich foods can also provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals necessary for recovery.

Coffee and Alcohol: A Dangerous Combination

Mixing coffee with alcohol is a common practice, especially in cocktails like Irish coffee or espresso martinis. However, it's essential to be aware of the potential risks associated with this combination. The stimulating effects of caffeine can mask the sedative effects of alcohol, making you feel more alert and sober than you actually are.

This can lead to a false sense of confidence and impair judgment, increasing the likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns against the dangers of mixing alcohol and caffeine. It's crucial to be mindful of your alcohol consumption and avoid relying on coffee to "sober you up."

Seeking Professional Help

If you find that you frequently experience severe hangovers or struggle with alcohol misuse, it's important to reach out to a healthcare professional. They can provide guidance, support, and resources to help you address any underlying issues related to alcohol consumption.


While coffee is a beloved beverage for many, it may not be the ultimate solution for curing hangovers. Its diuretic properties and potential exacerbation of headache symptoms make it a less-than-ideal choice for hangover relief. Prioritizing hydration, consuming nutrient-rich foods, and practicing moderation are key strategies for minimizing the impact of hangovers.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure, and responsible alcohol consumption is essential for overall health and well-being. If you choose to consume alcohol, do so in moderation and always prioritize your safety and well-being.


Health Line- The Effects of Caffeine on Your Body

Harvard School of Public Health- Is Coffee good or Bad for Your Health

John Hopkins Medicine- 9 Reasons Why (the Right Amount of) Coffee is Good for You

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