Dunkin', Eggo debut alcoholic drinks. What are the impacts of getting a morning buzz?

Experts weigh in on how drinking in the morning might not be the best idea.

A photo illustration shows a row of Dunkin' Spiked drink cans and a photo of a hand pouring an Eggo drink into a cocktail glass.
Early drinking can be fun, but how does it affect our bodies in the short and long term? (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: courtesy of Dunkin' and Eggo)

Mornings are getting "spiked" courtesy of two iconic breakfast companies: Dunkin' and Eggo.

Dunkin' debuted its line of alcoholic drinks featuring eight coffee and tea flavors like caramel, mocha, vanilla, strawberry dragonfruit and mango pineapple. Eggo, meanwhile, came out with Eggo Brunch in a Jar Sippin' Cream, which blends the flavors of toasted Eggo waffles, maple syrup, butter and bacon. Both companies have made their products available only in select grocery and retail stores across the nation.

"Parents often struggle to find moments for themselves where they can enjoy some 'me time,'" Joe Beauprez, senior director of marketing for frozen foods at Kellogg's, the owner of Eggo, tells Yahoo Life. "We know our fans love brunch, and for parents, going out to brunch can feel like a treat. So, we set out to help them re-create that special occasion at home.

"As with any alcoholic beverage," he stresses, "Brunch in a Jar is meant to be enjoyed responsibly and in moderation by adults 21 and older."

Of course, while the idea of day drinking isn't exactly new, the temptation of such delectable treats inspired us to ask experts about the effects of morning alcohol consumption — and how it impacts our bodies in the short and long term. Here's what we found out.

Morning alcohol and overall health

While there is no sacred time one should or shouldn't consume alcohol, Dr. Gabe Ortiz, an internal medicine physician in Texas, tells Yahoo Life that morning drinking leads to "quicker absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, which in turn can increase the likelihood of liver cirrhosis and heart damage," especially when ingested on an empty stomach.

Alcohol is primarily metabolized in the liver, he explains. In the morning, our liver is already busy processing the previous night's toxins and recalibrating for the day. Interrupting that process could lead to higher blood alcohol concentration as a whole, which causes a person to feel the effects more quickly and intensely. It may also delay our productivity for the rest of the day.

"Alcohol has already been shown to decrease cognitive function and decision making," Ortiz says. "I can imagine that once a consumer starts, it would be a very slippery slope to be productive — no matter what the agenda for the day is."

Dr. Alana Biggers, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, agrees, telling Yahoo Life that "people who drink early in the day will be more impaired and unable to function throughout the day" and will likely "not be able to work or take care of other responsibilities."

Furthermore, she says: "Drinking in the morning is also considered a sign of excessive alcohol use and possible alcohol dependency."

Drinking on an empty stomach

"Drinking on an empty stomach can cause the alcohol to pass quickly from the stomach to the small intestine, to be absorbed into the bloodstream," Biggers says, which "hastens the alcohol's impairing effects."

Food, however, prevents alcohol from passing so quickly since it essentially slows the alcohol on its way to the small intestine. As Healthline points out, the longer alcohol stays in the stomach (rather than the small intestine), the slower it takes to absorb — and the slower it impacts the body and causes overall cognitive delays.

While "light to moderate drinking" on an empty stomach might not be cause for concern, Healthline notes, "drinking large amounts of alcohol fast on an empty stomach can be very dangerous."

What about mixing alcohol and caffeine?

The consumption of alcohol and caffeine should be limited or avoided, says Ortiz. "Reason being that the caffeine will mask the depressant effect of alcohol, thus giving the consumer a false sense of alertness, leading to more drinks and increased likelihood of the deleterious effects of alcohol," he notes. "Additionally, caffeine does not do anything for the metabolism of alcohol."

Even more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, caffeine "has no effect on the metabolism of alcohol by the liver and thus does not reduce breath or blood alcohol concentrations" — meaning it does not "sober you up" or reduce impairment resulting from alcohol consumption.


The extreme heat might inspire you to have a piña colada in the morning, but you're more likely to get dehydrated if the sun is extra hot. That may intensify the alcohol's effects and cause some to feel fatigued throughout the day, notes Dr. Jean Touchan, a New Hampshire cardiologist.

"Alcohol, in general, increases dehydration, especially in the hot weather, in the sun or on the beach," he tells Yahoo Life. "One option to decrease the risk would be to increase water intake to compensate."

As noted in the New York Times, if you're sweating while drinking, you're likely to lose more fluids than you're able to replenish — as well as sodium and minerals that help with memory, judgment and overall mood and blood sugar levels, most of which are flushed out of our system more frequently when we drink, which is why we tend to urinate more often when we consume alcohol.

Diarrhea and other digestive issues

Early drinking, especially without food, can cause irritation in the stomach lining that may lead to inflammation, increased acid production and potentially gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining).

As Dr. Alicia Shelly, an internal medicine doctor in Georgia, explained to HuffPost, "Alcohol in general can increase the speed of digestion and put the individual at risk for diarrhea." In the same article, Dr. Anna Shannahan, an assistant professor of family medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, noted that drinking "can irritate the digestive system no matter the time of day, even potentially leading to stomach inflammation over time, which can affect how your body processes nutrients."

How day drinking impacts sleep

Drinking "causes your sleep quality to decrease and the effects are worse with the more you drink," says Biggers. "Alcohol also leads to more sleep disruptions and less sleep overall."

More specifically, early drinking can disrupt your internal body clock (or circadian rhythm), which can potentially make it harder to fall asleep at night. It may also increase production of adenosine, a sleep-inducing chemical in the brain, which might lead to a "rebound effect" when the alcohol wears off, causing wakefulness or disrupted sleep later in the night, Ortiz explains.

"This will affect overall REM sleep [a critical stage of the sleep cycle associated with dreaming and cognitive functions]," he says. "Additionally, it can affect someone's ability to breathe at night by relaxing their throat muscles, causing a potentially blocked airway, otherwise referred to as sleep apnea."

Other disruptions can include changes in body temperature or bad interactions with medications, which can also lead to poor sleep patterns. Even then, it's about quantity.

"As long as the amount of alcohol during the day is small, such as one serving," adds Touchan, "its effect will potentially be minimal."