By James Madeiros
The question of whether coffee actually cures a hangover is one that always earns the shady lawyer’s most favored (and annoying) response: it just depends.
But, it’s true. It depends on the person drinking the coffee for a number of reasons.
Since caffeine is a vasoconstrictor it can help reduce the size of swollen veins in the head that are caused by alcohol. Thumping veins contribute to hangover headaches, so this is definitely a plus. The problem, however, is that coffee is also a diuretic, so whatever gains are made in reducing swollen veins, it’s lost by causing even more dehydration – and therefore more headaches.
The other big issue that will determine coffee’s success in curing a hangover is whether the hangover sufferer is a coffee drinker. Adding a caffeine withdrawal headache on top of a hangover is a recipe for disaster, which means coffee drinkers are going to find it more effective.
Any way you slice it, most people agree that if you’re going to go the coffee route you should swallow a couple aspirin along with it. Aspirin has both anti-inflammatory and pain-relief properties, and that combined with the caffeine in coffee can really take the sting out of a hangover.
As for coffee on its own, though, the overall verdict is without argument – it’s too much of a crapshoot to be anything but fiction.
Of course, I should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, you should work with your medical professional to determine what’s best for you. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).