If you’re still feeling a little loose after waking up early from a big night of boozing, you’re not alone if you attempt to ease the effects of the night before by hitting up the local coffee shop. However in sobering news today (pun intended), this go-to hangover fix isn’t as effective as you would have hoped.
Coffee does nothing to decrease blood alcohol levels, or to counteract the effects alcohol is having on your gross motor skills. That’s the official word from professor Tony Moss of the London South Bank University when appearing on Food Unwrapped in the UK.
In what was probably the greatest study to be a part of in the history of science, 5 students subjected themselves to a personally tailored vodka tonic, adjusted to their height and weight to make sure that each reached a similar level of intoxication. (We’re assuming and hoping this was done safely, as getting loose in a lab doesn’t sound ideal.)
Whilst intoxicated, the students were asked to conduct a coordination test, by guiding a metal hoop along the length of a metal wire, with all subjects failing without coffee. When the students were then given coffee in an attempt to sober up, they were asked to partake in the test again, with all failing further.
To provide more objective measures, their alcohol levels were measured via a breathalyser test, which showed no variance pre or post coffee.
“The only thing that’s going to sober you up in that respect is a bit of time,” said Professor Moss.
However don’t write off coffee’s superpowers just yet, as drinking it regularly could still hold benefits to support your boozing. Drinking coffee may protect your liver, the organ responsible for the breakdown of alcohol, says research from the University of Southampton in the U.K.
After analysing data on 432,000 people from 5 separate studies, the researchers concluded that people who drank one cup of coffee a day were 22 per cent less likely to develop cirrhosis – scarring of the liver that eventually causes it to fail – than those who didn’t drink any.
And the more coffee they consumed, the better their livers fared; People who drank two cups a day were 43 percent less likely to get the disease.
Our take away from today’s coffee news; keep up your daily coffee, but don’t expect it to sober you up when you’re recovering from a bender. Only time can help you there buddy.