Sorry, but coffee will not sober you up, according to a new study

According to a new study, coffee does not sober you up if you are drunk — it’s not the miracle elixir we thought it was.

You’ve seen it in scenes in movies. When someone is super drunk and usually flailing about someone suggests getting them a cup of coffee and maybe taking a cold shower as that will sober them up right away. Well, apparently that is just the stuff of movies.

Tony Moss, a professor of addictive behavior science at London South Bank University, said coffee will not sober a drunk person up because it doesn’t decrease blood alcohol levels. So if you got drunk during a business lunch or a work function and are trying to sober up quickly, coffee is not your best option.

Moss ran an experiment with 5 students in which he gave them enough vodka tonic to get them tipsy. They were asked to do a simple hand-eye coordination test but all failed. After drinking a cup of coffee they still failed but they were more alert. So there you go, you will just be in an alert state of drunkenness.

So what should you do? Have patience and wait it out (it usually takes about 3 hours for a large glass of wine or beer.)

“We know from wider research that coffee isn’t an antidote to alcohol,” Moss said. “Taking coffee is a stimulant that will reverse that feeling of being slightly tired as your blood alcohol is coming down. The only thing that’s going to sober you up in that respect is a bit of time.”

Meredith Lepore|is the Deputy Editor of Ladders and can be reached at mlepore@theladders.com.