Generally being a beer kind of guy, I rarely, if ever, mix alcohol and caffeine. Not because I’m against the idea in principle, but because I refuse to order an anything-bomb. And because once at a friend’s party I drank six and wandered home to pass out, but instead I laid in bed, unable to sleep, rocking myself back and forth, swearing that if I could just sober up I’d never drink again.
I was lying.
But what about after you have a few? Isn’t a cup of coffee supposed to sober you up a bit? A British study published in Behavioural Neuroscience and reported on today by the Daily Telegraph reports that downing that cup of joe after you’ve knocked back a few isn’t only a bad idea, it could actually make things worse. For one thing, the alcohol counteracts the caffeine jitters and anxiety, but the caffeine doesn’t alter the mind-altering properties of the booze. So although you feel aware, you’re less likely to acknowledge that you’re drunk. That means that if you’re drinking that coffee to sober up and drive, you’re more likely to overestimate your level of sobriety and try to drive. Or so says a group of guys who get paid to get mice drunk to find out what happens.
But that’s not all. Mixing alcohol with caffeine — a la Jägerbombs and Sparks — can further impair your judgment, leading to a situation where some douchebag exploit you for his own monetary gain.