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How does caffeine affect alcohol consumption?

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

When it comes to drinking, you probably have heard a lot of different myths. You may have even heard about how caffeine impacts alcohol consumption.

According to Healthline, you can consume alcohol and caffeine together, but you may need to be careful.

Can caffeine help you sober up?

Alcohol is a depressant that can make you feel less alert and groggy. Since caffeine is a stimulant, it can make you feel more energetic and many people think it can cancel the effects of alcohol. In reality, caffeine only masks the effects of alcohol. You feel more alert and feel more energetic, but it does not keep alcohol from impacting you.

Instead, you are more likely to act dangerously when mixing the two. Since you do not feel less alert, you may think you can get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, you may still have a slower reaction time and can still injure yourself or others in an accident.

Are caffeine and alcohol harmful together?

One of the biggest concerns when mixing caffeine and alcohol is the dehydrating effect. Both substances are diuretics. If you mix the two, you may feel more thirsty, experience a dry mouth and feel dizzy or lightheaded.

Additionally, because caffeine makes you feel soberer, you may overdrink. Alcohol poisoning becomes a major risk when you mix the two. Stop drinking immediately if you feel any of the following symptoms of alcohol poisoning:

  • Confusion
  • Severe lack of coordination
  • Irregular breathing
  • Clammy skin
  • Difficulty remaining conscious

If you drink coffee after alcohol to lower your blood alcohol concentration, it will not work. Instead, your BAC will remain high, regardless of the caffeine that you consume.