We’ve all been there.
The morning sun gently peeps through the blinds, and jabs a beam of radiation right in your pupil.
You try to sit up—only to find you have a throbbing headache, a throat as dry as a desert, and a storm raging in your gut.
The neighbors’ children have decided to try out their new toy jackhammers directly on your property line.
For some reason, there’s a hedgehog crawling loose on the floor.
Yep—You’ve got a hangover.
When you’re in this state of agony, you’ll try anything to get rid of it.
And you probably don’t want to stare at a screen for 40 minutes sifting through comical business trying to find an answer—so let’s get right to it.
In short: Yes, coffee can help a hangover.
If you have it in you, read on to find out how. (If you don’t, go have a cup and some aspirin and come back later to find out why it worked.)
Great! You’re back. So here’s why that worked.
One of several reasons we all feel so horrific after we soak our internal organs in alcohol is how it affects our sleep.
When we sleep after we drink, the alcohol still in our blood can make us sleep for shorter durations—on top of making the overall quality of our sleep poor. However, the tiredness you end up feeling can be combated and largely reversed with everyone’s favorite drink—coffee. Well, the high amount of caffeine in coffee, to be specific.
Don’t get me wrong, coffee isn’t a miracle cure for every hangover situation. But as everyone knows, those of us who drink caffeine on the reg have a hard time going without our morning cup. So if you regularly drink coffee and you have a headache, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a cup.
(And there’s also evidence to suggest that people who don’t usually consume caffeine don’t get the same effects of improved alertness and performance seen in regular caffeine consumers/coffee drinkers.)
So that being said, a landmark headache study by Dr. Michael Oshinksky at Thomas Jefferson University, found that caffeine—delivered in strategic conjunction with aspirin—may be the best thing to fight hangover head pains.
Very basically, alcohol causes headaches due to the acetate it produces when we ingest it. Dr. Oshinksky’s study found that the simple combination of caffeine and aspirin was enough to block the acetate and help relieve headaches.
It certainly helps a lot more than a raw egg and worcestershire sauce—which does absolutely nothing, and was probably thought up by some boring, self-righteous dolt who wanted to punish other people for having fun without them.
So next time you find yourself questioning last night’s decisions, clutching a pillow over your face, and wondering if the local pet store even carries hedgehog food—first, drink some water and try some aspirin or ibuprofen. Second, fix yourself a cup of Black Insomnia. And who knows, coffee may even help with regular headaches.