For many, there's nothing sweeter the morning after an epic late-night mid-week concert than a tall, dark cup of coffee. After a few warm sips, it may start to seem like the restless, truncated sleep won't hurt that bad today, and all the lingering tinnitus was totally worth it.
Unfortunately, science is a cruel is mistress. A new study suggests that cup of coffee may actually be making the physical post-concert fallout a whole lot worse. Caffeine may actually prevent the body from recovering following exposure to prolonged loud noises.
This study conducted at the McGill University Auditory Sciences Laboratory and published in JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surgery via PubMed, uses female guinea pigs as its test subjects. Two groups of guinea pigs were exposed to 110-dB of "pure tone sound" — a comparable volume to concerts, which generally range from 100- to 120-dB — on two days of a 15-day period, for an hour day. One experimental group was also administered caffeine every one of those 15 days.
Researchers found that the caffeine-stimulated guinea pigs actually recovered their hearing at a significantly slower rate than the group that was only exposed to the sound. Moreover, the severity of hearing changes only got worse after the second sound exposure.
It's not good news for all those concertgoers that feel they need that pick-me-up the morning after. But for those who actually want to hear Beyoncé's Formation 25-year anniversary reunion tour or Young Thug's Vegas residency, skipping the brew may be the way to go. That, and always wear a good pair of ear plugs. You're never too cool for earplugs.