Mixing Wine & Coffee: Is it Good For Your Health?


The first thing that comes to my mind when someone says coffee and alcohol or wine is fabled and often joked about Irish coffee. The combination of whiskey, sugar, and coffee topped off with cream on top.

The infamous Irish coffee has a story behind itself, or rather stories. There is evidence that a couple of cafes in Germany and Denmark served this drink around the 1900s.

There is a war story that talks about the invention of the Irish coffee. Joseph Jackson was fighting in World War 2, and keeping the morale and the awakeness of his comrades, he started mixing whiskey and coffee. After the war, he came back to his home and made the first official Irish coffee.

The truth is that everybody who has claimed that they came up with the idea to mix coffee and whiskey is all probably correct – they had no idea that someone on another continent had the same idea as they did.

Another popular mixed drink in Eastern Europe is a mix of Vodka and Red Bull or any other energy drink. It doesn’t have such exciting stories for its creation as Irish coffee does, but it has many more consumers. 

People have been trying to mix alcohol and coffee for some time now. Some wanted to see if it tastes good, others wanted to know if they can get drunk faster, but what does mixing alcohol and coffee do to you?

The Relationship between Alcohol And Coffee

Two key players in this story are adenosine in alcohol and caffeine in coffee. Adenosine is produced by the body and accumulated in the brain throughout the day. When adenosine reaches peak levels, your brain sends the information to your body, and you are tired and need sleep.

Caffeine, on the other hand, can be found in coffee and energy drinks. There is a common misconception that drinking these beverages will stop you from feeling tired. Unfortunately, they won’t. They will only prevent you from feeling more tired because caffeine masks the brain’s information flow to adenosine and slows down its production. 

The adenosine acts on your central nervous system and controls your wakefulness and sleepiness. Ethanol or alcohol makes adenosine levels rise – so basically, what happens if you mix wine and coffee? There’s no much effect on your brain as their effects cancel each other. Therefore, your adenosine levels go up naturally.

How Does Mixing Wine and Coffee Influence Your Heart?

Drinking caffeine is associated with high blood pressure, a higher rate of heartbeat, and anxiety. However, it depends on the person and the external factors that influenced the said person that day.

Thus, the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines set the healthy upper limit for daily caffeine intake at about 400 milligrams a day, which translates – 3 to 5 spoons of coffee is the upper limit.

Drinking alcohol can also slow your reaction times. It also reduces your balance and impairs your cognition in a way that causes poor judgment. On the other hand, it fastens your heartbeat temporarily, just like coffee. However, mixing the two won’t make your heart go twice as fast. It will most likely go the same rate or higher by a margin. The same happens if you drink just coffee or just wine, marginal jumps in a heartbeat.

The real issue with mixing wine and coffee is that their effects on the heart are not only temporary but long-lasting. For that reason, scientists are urging not to mix wine and coffee recklessly.

According to the researchers, there is no connection or synergy between mixing wine and coffee. Drinking wine and coffee together has the same effects on the heart when you are drinking them apart. However, if you drink them together in excessive amounts, the strain on the heart might become permanent.

The biggest issue in the research analyzing the effect of wine and coffee mix is that there’s no enough data for analysis. Therefore, it is hard to conclude how mixing wine and coffee affects your body.

However, what is certain is that drinking wine and coffee will make you feel dehydrated as they are both diuretics. It’s advisable to be wary of the symptoms that might result. These include:

  • Feeling thirsty
  • Having a dry mouth
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Benefits of Mixing Coffee and Wine

Until now, we have been talking about drinking coffee and wine at the same time. What about drinking coffee in the morning and wine later in the day? The science points out that a glass of wine a day is more than beneficial.

Drinking wine daily in moderation can increase your life span, lower the risk of depression, and boost your blood flow. It contains antioxidants that can prevent diseases.

Coffee contains antioxidants, which means that drinking a coffee and a glass of wine separately is quite beneficial. However, drinking a glass of each simultaneously still provides the same beneficial effects when done in moderation.

Wine and Coffee Cocktail Mix

The mixing of coffee and wine started a long way back in the 80s. The inventors of this mix were monks from the UK who mixed the two to create the caffeinated fortified wine, which can be connected to the invention of Irish coffee.

Adding coffee beans to red wine is a familiar cocktail mix in bars and restaurants in the UK where the idea comes from. Things that are not crucial to the mix but add to the taste and the experience are a stick of cinnamon and a touch of vermouth.

The drink’s name is Buckfast and was mostly consumed for medicinal purposes at the Buckfast monastery. It was initially invented here and is still produced to date.

How Do People Perceive Wine and Coffee

We have talked about facts, technicalities, and science, but the last thing we should talk about is how do people see wine and coffee – how it makes them feel?

They slow us down

In the fast world that we live in and the everchanging concept, we need something that makes us slow down a bit – relaxes us and makes us look around ourselves and value the things we have.

Both coffee and wine are meant to be sipped, savored, and enjoyed slowly. They relax us and settle the chaos, even if just temporarily.

Both beverages are meant to be drunk slowly – sipped and enjoyed. They tend to be associated with some exquisite moments and close friends. Maybe most importantly, they tend to be associated with good experiences and memories.

They Build Relationships 

Drinking coffee and wine by yourself doesn’t feel right. However, having someone to drink with and talk it out with is how they are meant to be drunk.

This way, you get to share your experience and with others. In short, coffee and wine bring people closer. Just think about how many people you got to know over coffee and wine.

These kinds of everyday gatherings are your comfort zone. They’re places where your inner and outer chaos is even out—a sanctuary where you feel relaxed and in the zone.

Final Thoughts

When drunk together, wine and coffee can cancel each other out due to alcohol-containing adenosine and coffee caffeine, which negates the effects they provide on their own.

The consequences the mix produces are far from beneficial. When used in moderation, they will have neither beneficial nor harmful effects. However, if consumed separately, they can prolong your lifespan and even fend off some possible diseases. Both contain antioxidants, which are hugely beneficial to our bodies.

The cocktail, which originated from the UK like other alcoholic drinks infused with caffeine, might look nice and feel good when consumed. Still, like anything done about alcohol, moderation is key. Do not overdrink either.

However, the scientists’ and researchers’ final word is that the two shouldn’t be mixed excessively. There isn’t enough data to provide us with a conclusive answer, but the current records indicate that the mix might have some not so beneficial impact on your heart.

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