Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute

What Actually Happens When You Combine Alcohol and Caffeine?

Much like caffeine, alcohol is associated with a temporary increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Does that mean drinking the two together could spell extra trouble for your cardiovascular system? Possibly.

When you consume both alcohol and caffeine at the same time, your heart rate and blood pressure could increase more when you consume them separately. Susan Stoner, PhD, a research consultant at the UW Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute tells SELF Magazine there does not appear to be a synergistic effect here, meaning there’s no special, mysterious interaction between alcohol and caffeine that exponentially increases the effects of the other. Basically, the effects of drinking alcohol and caffeine together shouldn’t be greater than the sum of the two combined. But if you’re drinking enough alcohol or caffeine to already experience ill effects on your heart, adding the other can just make it worse. Read more…