Is It Okay To Mix Coffee and Alcohol?

crazy by Editorial Staff | Posted on February 23rd, 2023

It’s a controversial question that many people struggle with: is it okay to mix coffee and alcohol? There are seemingly endless debates on the topic, yet no concrete answer exists.


Some say mixing coffee and alcohol will produce a more potent and enjoyable drink.

Black Russian Cocktail with Vodka and Coffee Liquor. Homemade Alcoholic Boozy Black Russian drink with coffee beans on wooden background with copy space.

On the other hand, many point out potential dangers associated with the combination. But what can be said for certain about combining coffee and alcohol?

In this blog post, we aim to look at coffee and alcohol and explore the possibilities arising from the combination. From considering the effects it might have on the body to exploring the different recipes, we’ll explore the many dimensions of this question.

We’ll also include expert opinions and research within the post so you can draw your conclusions about whether you should mix coffee and alcohol. So read on to learn more about this controversial topic and look into whether it’s okay to mix coffee and alcohol.

Is It Okay To Mix Coffee and Alcohol

In 2010, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a warning to alert consumers of the potential dangers of combining caffeinated drinks and alcohol. The FDA warned that even if one is not feeling the effects of alcohol, it does not mean their blood alcohol content levels are lower. Caffeine does not affect how fast your body metabolizes alcohol, so it does not sober you up.

Are some combinations less risky?

It is important to note that some combinations of caffeine and alcohol may be less risky than others. Drinking caffeinated beverages before or after consuming alcohol can reduce the amount of alcohol consumed.

Additionally, some caffeinated alcoholic beverages have lower alcohol content than regular alcoholic beverages, which can help to minimize the effects of alcohol. 

However, it is important to remember that even the lower-alcohol content drinks should still be consumed responsibly and in moderation. Ultimately, it is best to avoid combining caffeine and alcohol altogether.

Pouring irish cream in a glass with ice, surrounded by coffee beans on a dark black background

What does the research say?

Research on the effects of combining caffeine and alcohol is still ongoing. However, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that combining these two substances can make it difficult for people to judge their intoxication level accurately. 

Furthermore, the combination can instantly affect mood and behavior, such as increased impulsivity and risk-taking. As such, people must be aware of the potential dangers before combining caffeine and alcohol.

Effects of caffeinated alcoholic beverages on blood alcohol content

When it comes to an understanding the effects of combining caffeine and alcohol, it’s important to understand how it affects the blood alcohol content (BAC). Studies have shown that consuming caffeinated alcoholic beverages can lead to an increase in BAC levels. Caffeine can speed up the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, leading to a more rapid rise in BAC levels. 

It is important to note that these effects do not necessarily mean that mixing caffeine and alcohol is riskier than drinking either one alone. Still, it does mean that it is important to be aware of the potential dangers when consuming caffeinated alcoholic drinks.

The instant effects of mixing alcohol and caffeine

 Research shows that there are instant effects of mixing caffeine and alcohol that may seem very positive and will make you feel more energetic. Some of these effects are;  

Overconsumption and alcohol poisoning 

The stimulating effects of caffeine can mask some of the sedative effects of alcohol, leading to a false sense of sobriety and making it more difficult to judge one’s level of impairment accurately. This can lead to overconsumption of alcohol, which can cause various negative consequences, including impaired judgment, blackouts, and increased risk of accidents. 

In severe cases, overconsumption of alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning, a condition in which the body’s ability to function is severely impaired and can lead to coma or death. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include confusion, vomiting, seizures, slow breathing, and loss of consciousness. If you suspect someone is experiencing alcohol poisoning, seek medical attention immediately. 

Disrupting Sleep and Circadian Rhythms

Mixing alcohol and caffeine can disrupt sleep and circadian rhythms, negatively affecting overall health and well-being. Caffeine is a stimulant that can interfere with the body’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, leading to insomnia or poor-quality sleep.

Alcohol, on the other hand, is a sedative that can initially make it easier to fall asleep but can disrupt sleep later in the night, leading to fragmented and poor-quality sleep. 

The combination of alcohol and caffeine can further disrupt sleep, as the stimulating effects of caffeine can counteract the sedative effects of alcohol and interfere with the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. This can lead to fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating during the day and can have long-term consequences for overall health and well-being.

Interferes with medications and health conditions

Mixing alcohol and caffeine can interfere with medications and health conditions, seriously affecting overall health and well-being. Caffeine can interact with various medications, including antidepressants, birth control pills, and some antibiotics, leading to reduced efficacy or increased side effects. 

Additionally, caffeine can exacerbate certain health conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, and heart problems. Alcohol can also interact with medications, including painkillers and sedatives, leading to increased sedation and impaired cognitive and motor function.

Mixing alcohol and caffeine can further complicate these interactions, leading to unpredictable effects and increased risk of negative consequences.

Espresso Martini Cocktail based on coffee, liqueur and vodka. Served with orange chips and raspberry. Space for text

How to minimize the risks

It’s important to remember that the risks of mixing alcohol and caffeine are real. To minimize these risks, practicing moderation and drinking responsibly is best.

Avoiding drinks that contain high levels of caffeine and alcohol is also wise. In addition, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day and alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. 

Additionally, it’s important to be aware of how your body is responding to the combination of caffeine and alcohol, as well as how much you’re drinking. Finally, if you’re consuming caffeinated alcoholic beverages, limit your intake since excessive consumption can increase the risk of adverse health effects.

Alcohol tolerance and caffeinated beverages

Studies have found that consuming caffeinated drinks while drinking alcohol can cause you to develop a higher tolerance for alcohol. This means that it can take more drinks to feel the desired effects or to reach a state of intoxication. This is because caffeine can make a consumer not feel drunk, so people may be unaware of how much alcohol they have consumed. 

Consequently, this can lead to drinking more than what would be safe normally, increasing the risk of alcohol poisoning and other adverse effects. Therefore, it is important to be aware of this potential effect and to pay close attention to your alcohol consumption if you mix caffeine and alcohol.

Can caffeinated beverages help with hangovers?

Studies have stated that caffeinated beverages can help with a hangover. While coffee might help with some hangover symptoms, it is unlikely to provide substantial relief and even worsen some symptoms. Caffeine is a diuretic that can cause dehydration and worsen hangover symptoms. 

Additionally, caffeine makes you more alert, making it difficult to get the rest you need to recover from a hangover. So, while coffee might help with some symptoms, it’s unlikely to provide much relief and should not be relied on as an effective cure for a hangover.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be stated that mixing coffee and alcohol can both have positive and negative effects on the body. Using caution and moderation when mixing these two substances and understanding their associated risks is important. Additionally, recipes should be followed carefully to ensure the most enjoyable and safe experience. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide if they would like to mix coffee and alcohol or not.

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Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.