Can Coffee Sober You Up? The Untold Truth

We All Have Been In This Situation

You’ve had way too many cocktails and are out past midnight. You’re getting a little tipsy and think if a cup of coffee would help. All of us were in that scenario.

So, here’s the secret: Although a cup of coffee or a dose of espresso will help you wake up, it won’t help you sober up. In reality, the mixture of caffeine and alcohol can be dangerous in several cases.

can coffee sober you up

But Why Coffee Helps us After Alcohol ?

Caffeine in coffee works as a stimulus, whilst alcohol depresses the central nervous system. While you may be drunk till the alcohol is absorbed by the body, the caffeine will help you start waking up. But you’re definitely buzzed, but not as hungover as before.

Well, some espresso may be good after your zombie cocktail!

So, basically coffee can help a lot! It’s not that it makes you completely sober, but it just helps you to get it over quicker and feel a lot better!

Let's Start From The Basics


What Happens to The Body when You Drink Alcohol?

Caffeine blocks the function of a molecule called adenosine, which is a muscle relaxant. Adenosine continues to be sedative… and one of the signs to take a nap, is that adenosine building up in your brain. Caffeine does have the potential to help you feel less sleepy by stopping the reaction of adenosine.

Why Alcohol Makes Me Feel Happy?

Alcohol causes the brain to produce more dopamine, a feel-good receptor, as soon as you begin drinking. Dopamine then stimulates the development of a chemical known as cyclic AMP.

When you just start drinking, alcohol will cause the production of dopamine that has a sedative, relaxing impact.

What Happens When You Drink Coffee While Drunk?

If you drink a cup of coffee after your cocktail, the caffeine blocks the various enzymes that influence cyclic AMP. This increases the feel-good effects of alcohol while decreasing the calming effects. So, despite the fact that drinking makes your brain tired, you begin to feel more refreshed and less drunk. You could be more motivated to enjoy another round of drinks or drive back home.

Drinking coffee when drunk has the potentially risky side effect of making the person under the influence believe he is much more sober than he was before the coffee.

People seem to confuse getting exhausted with being drunk, according to a survey published in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience. They cannot realize they are already drunk if they are not tired.


The Main Problem With Coffee And Alcohol

can coffee sober you up

That’s a concern since caffeine hides the sedative effects of alcohol while doing little to lower the level of alcohol in your blood. So, don’t be fooled and drive after you feel better with coffee, because you are still tipsy…but you don’t realize it. You just feel more alert, that’s it.

How Coffee After Alcohol Affects Sleep?

This booze-and-coffee mixture messes with the body in sleeping. Alcohol triggers an energetic restart of your brain a few hours after you finish consuming it, that may trigger you to wake up in the middle of the night. Caffeine’s calming properties last longer in the body (approximately 6 hours), making it more difficult to fall asleep again.

The Big Danger of Coffee And Alcohol Mixing


Are Alcoholic Energy Drinks Good For Health?

Researchers are greatly worried about the advertising and selling of pre – mixed drinks involving alcohol and caffeine.

Let’s Check A Cool Experiment

Even if your metabolism is quicker, studies have found that drunk people that consumed coffee and drunk people without the coffee consumption had not a huge difference on driving skills. But this was a small study.

Why so limited research? Well…. it’s kinda dangerous.

There seems not to be a lack of volunteers able to consume alcohol and caffeine in the name of research. I wouldn’t participate either as I’m really scared!


I don’t support animal tests… but here is a study about alcohol and coffee mix.


Caffeine’s intoxicating properties aren’t exclusive to humans. Danielle Gulick, from the University of Dartmouth, compared a group of healthy adult mice injected with various doses of alcohol and one injected with caffeine and alcohol vs to a test group injected with salt and water, to see how easily they could pass a labyrinth.

While the intoxicated and caffeinated mice walked around much more and were much more comfortable than their sober teammates, they did not finish the labyrinth too though.

They seemed to have no trouble exploring the labyrinth, but they couldn’t find out how to stay away from areas with flashing lighting or noisy sounds. Although the report doesn’t say, it’s likely that the mice were actually careless with such issues because they were drunk.

 In either case, as contrasted to how mice behaved when treated to alcohol only, alcohol with caffeine had little positive effect on their behavior.

Can I Drive Carefully If I Drink Coffee After Alcohol?

The influence of drinking coffee on the ability to drive of drunken participants has been studied (no, the car drivers were never on public roads). So far, the findings are mixed. Coffee appeared to partly eliminate the relaxant effect of alcohol in some situations, resulting in faster response times. Coffee did not increase driving quality in other studies.

In How Many Hours Do You Sober Up?

It takes about 5 hours to have all of the alcohol out of your bloodstream after you’ve had 5 cocktails. According to doctors, the best way to get sober is to wait. The exact time it takes for alcohol to clear your bloodstream varies by person and the type of alcohol you had, but on general, people metabolize one drink every hour.

If your drink was really strong, for example has an alcohol volume of 40%-60%, it probably needs double the time to leave your bloodstream than a mild drink of 5%-20% volume of alcohol.

Is Black Coffee Good For A Hangover?

Caffeine, it’s a fact that, expands blood vessels and raises blood pressure. Each of these things will worsen a hangover. If you normally drink coffee, try a tiny amount first thing in the morning. Wait 60 minutes and see how you feel.

How To Not Get Drunk With Alcohol? -My Personal Tips


Will Food Make Me Sober Up Faster?

  • When you drink with food in your mouth, the amount of alcohol in your body rises more slowly, making you less affected than when you drink on an empty stomach.


  • Some other good technique is to alternate alcoholic drinks with fizzy soda or pure cold water.

What Is The Best Way to Get Alcohol Out of Your System?

  • Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water, to avoid dehydration and rehydrate your body.


  • Gatorade (water with vitamins) contains electrolytes, which help the body retain the water you drink.


  • Tea: relieves nausea and dizziness; apply ginger or whatever high in sugar to help the body process alcohol faster.

Does Caffeine Help With A Hangover?

Coffee will help you get out of a hangover.

A little caffeine can help wake you up whether you’re fatigue and have had poor sleep due to alcohol. However, two major symptoms of a hangover are discomfort and muscle spasms, all of which are worsened by caffeine.

So, What Are Our Thoughts Now?

Can Coffee Sober You Up?

Coffee really wouldn’t ‘wake you up.’ It would not remove alcohol from your body. When the blood alcohol level is higher than the acceptable limit you might drink all the caffeine you want, but the blood alcohol level will never suddenly drop lower than it would if you hadn’t drunk the coffee.

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