A hot cup of joe has for years been a quick fix for sobering up — or so you thought. But a new study has found that it has the opposite effect.
Coffee and other beverages heavy on the caffeine don’t sober people up and actually give drunk people the perception that they can handle situations they normally would avoid, according to a study by a Temple University psychologist.
“People may think they’re not as impaired as they are and it actually leads to even worse decision-making,” Temple professor Thomas Gould said.
The study reiterates what Gould said other researchers have found over the last decade: Coffee does make a drunk more alert, but not any more sober.
Other studies also have found that certain drinks — like rum and coke, for instance — which combine caffeine and alcohol lead people into potentially worse situations more often than people who stick to straight liquor or beer.
“It is a myth that coffee sobers you up and this [study] shows that,” said Gould, director of Temple’s Brain and Cognitive Sciences. “You may feel more aware, but you still have the same blood-alcohol level.”
The Food and Drug Administration last month asked several leading energy drink companies to show how safe their products are when combined with alcohol.