How To Sober Up Fast From Alcohol
Drinking a strong black coffee is sometimes suggested by helpful friends as a means of ‘sobering up’. Fast track to sobriety? No, sorry! – The stimulating caffeine in coffee may make you feel more alert and aware of your surroundings, but it won’t make you any less intoxicated. It also contains powerful anti-intoxicants that may help reduce the severity of your alcohol induced symptoms. However, caffeine can act as a diuretic, causing you to become more dehydrated, and prolonging your hangover.
Drinking a strong black coffee is sometimes suggested by helpful friends as a means of “sobering up”. Fast track to sobriety? No, sorry! – The stimulating caffeine in coffee may make you feel more alert and aware of your surroundings, but it won’t make you any less intoxicated. It also contains powerful anti-intoxicants that may help reduce the severity of your alcohol induced symptoms. But caffeine can act as a diuretic, causing you to become more dehydrated, and prolonging your hangover.
Caffeine works quickly (about an hour), so if you are feeling hung over or ill from alcohol then this could be helpful, but only if taken with food. If you have been drinking heavily for several hours before taking caffeinated products, wait at least 2 hours. In other words, don’t drink a couple cups of Joe when you’re already wasted. This will only exacerbate your condition.
The best time to take caffeinated products is immediately after waking up, or about two hours after last consumption, depending on how much you drank. Caffeine works fast and has no side effects when taken properly.
For those who want to know the truth behind some myths regarding caffeine, here’s our quick guide:
It reduces anxiety levels.
It helps prevent motion sickness, jet lag, and sleepless nights caused by travel.
It makes us smarter. Studies show that caffeine improves memory performance.
It increases athletic endurance.
It prevents altitude sickness.
It relieves headaches, migraines, and muscle aches.
It gives us the energy we need for exercise.
It lowers heart rate and blood pressure.
It raises body temperature.
It slows down aging.
It helps fight cancer and diabetes.
It inhibits bone loss.
It protects against sunburns and skin damage.
It increases concentration.
It causes weight loss because it burns fat faster than carbohydrates.
It helps you fall asleep faster.
It relaxes muscles, especially skeletal muscles.
It stimulates endorphin production which makes us happy.
It boosts brain function.
It decreases stress hormones.
It does not cause hair loss.
So now let’s look at what happens when these substances interact with alcohol:
Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, particularly its higher centers. When combined with stimulants such as caffeine, they produce greater stimulation. They also depress nausea, vomiting, vertigo, and sleepiness. Stimulant drugs do not usually increase the amount of intoxication produced by alcohol; however, their effect on mental activity often tends to counteract the sedative action of alcohol. Stimulants tend to enhance certain types of behavior associated with mania, excitement, hostility, and depression while suppressing others closely related to euphoria, drowsiness, relaxation, and sexual inhibition. Sedatives tend to inhibit certain types of behavior associated with excitation, elation, talkativeness, and self-confidence while enhancing others closely related to stupor, inertia, amnesia, and pain sensitivity. Both classes of drugs combine synergistically to alter mood, affectability, motor coordination, reflexes, and intellectual capacity. Synergistic action between barbiturates and alcohol produces marked impairment of judgment, physical coordination, speech, and even thought processes. Combined use of alcohol and tranquilizers results in increased toxicity due to displacement of water from plasma by the drug and resulting dilutional hypovolemic shock. When used together, aspirin and alcohol produce torsades de pointes—a form of irregular heartbeat—and should therefore never be given concurrently. Other serious complications include respiratory depression, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, convulsions, hypertension, hyperglycemia, and coma. Extremely high doses may result in death. Withdrawal symptoms occur within 24 hours following discontinuance of chronic therapy with most psychotropic agents. These include restlessness, tremor, perspiration, yawning, headache, diarrhea, nausea, insomnia, irritability, tension, confusion, agitation, hallucinations, sweating, nightmares, and depression. Emotional reactions range from mild to severe distress. Depression occurs frequently during early withdrawal from all major tranquilizers. Severe cases require hospitalization and treatment with antidepressive medication. The patient must learn to cope with the emotional changes without resorting to addictive behaviors like smoking, overeating, excessive sleeping, or compulsive shopping. Physical dependence develops rapidly upon prolonged administration of many psychoactive medications, including benzodiazepines. Dependence appears to develop more slowly with tricyclic antidepressants. Many patients experience cravings for alcohol even after stopping treatment, which indicates the presence of underlying alcoholism.
As you can see, there are definite risks involved with combining alcohol and stimulants. As always, please consult your physician if you have questions.
Here’s another interesting factoid about caffeine:
Pregnant women shouldn’t consume more than 200 mg per day.
Children under age 6 shouldn’t consume more than 100 mg per day.
Elderly people should consume less caffeine than younger adults.
If you are a regular smoker, try to quit. Smoking interferes with the metabolism of caffeine, and vice versa.
Avoid drinking fluids containing caffeine, such as tea, colas, chocolate, etc.
Do not drink more than 3 cups of coffee per day.
Consume caffeine through foods rather than supplements.
Limit intake of dairy products, since they contain calcium which competes with caffeine for absorption into the bloodstream.
Keep away from alcohol and nicotine.
Some herbal teas contain caffeine.
Consuming too much caffeine can cause gastric problems, intestinal blockages, and/or kidney stones.
Exposure to sunlight and heat can destroy caffeine.
Hopefully, that’s enough information to keep you sober for a few days… until you get bored and decide to go out and find yourself a new addiction!
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with one final piece of advice:
“Never mix alcohol with anything stronger than milk!” — Frank Sinatra
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