Feeling coffee drunk is a thing and here's why

By Kristen Underwood — / Death Wish Coffee Blog

Drunk in love coffee.
Why can coffee make us feel drunk? 

A new season is on the horizon and we’re all craving hot beverages with a delectable twist of spices and an extra shot of espresso to get us going on those cooler mornings. But have you ever felt like that extra shot of espresso felt more like an extra shot of bourbon? Word on the street is, coffee can make you feel intoxicated.

What is caffeine intoxication?

While the recommended amount of caffeine for adults is 400 mg per day — about 4 cups of your average cup of coffee — "caffeine intoxication" may occur if you consume more than this amount. This usually won’t take effect until a person has consumed 1,000 mg of caffeine, and most likely in one sitting. However, for the average person, it would take eight cups of coffee to experience that “drunk” feeling.

According to a new study, it may be a result of genetics. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh and University of Trieste studied the DNA of an estimated 3,000 coffee-drinkers when finding that some had a variation of a gene called PDSS2, which reduces the body’s ability to break down caffeine. As a result, it stays in their system while consuming your second, third, and fourth cup. Those without PDSS2 metabolized the caffeine in a timelier fashion.

Why do I feel drunk when I drink coffee?

Caffeine, in general, makes your heart beat faster. If you focus on your heart rate, you start to release more adrenaline. In turn, this can make you feel anxious, hyper, and dizzy — similar to what you may feel during a night on the town with a few shots involved.

Some scientists believe your drunk-trip could be a blamed on your taste buds. Back in the day, bitter tastes were identified as threatening. A lot of strong coffee out there can be bitter (besides Death Wish Coffee), and it may be sending messages to your body, warning that danger is near. For tips on how to make a smooth cup of strong coffee, check this out.

Hydration is key

Where there’s a problem, there’s usually a solution, right? I’ll never tell you to stop drinking coffee because that’s just not the type of nonsense advice I want to hand out. If you’re finding that drinking coffee is causing your body sensitivity, maybe cut down the amount you’re consuming and make sure to throw a glass of water in there. Hydration — when drinking alcohol OR coffee — is key, people. 

Important to note: Coffee to many, is a lifestyle. And if you can’t take the heat — you know what to do.

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