Can I drink before getting a tattoo?

Can I drink before getting a tattoos?


In this article we’ll focus on what kind of beverages are best to drink before getting a tattoo. And whether you should avoid alcohol or not. What are the risks for the final result if you abuse alcohol before your session? How much does drinking impact the final result? We’ll guide you and  help you prepare yourself before your appointment.

What am I allowed to drink before I get a tattoo?

There is no hard and fast rule around not drinking something, so you can technically drink anything.

However, if you’re drinking a lot of caffeine or alcohol then you do need to be careful as it could create complications for you.

What about alcoholic drinks?

Most tattoo artists and tattoo shops will let you know beforehand to avoid the use of substances before the application of the ink on your body. How much you can drink is a question between you and your body type. For some people one alcohol drink will be too much, when others can handle more.

At the end of the day, it is your responsibility. Most shops will refuse the session and not refund you the deposit if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol on arrival. Remember  that a tattoo experience can be stressful and drinking will impact negatively on your overall  experience.

So, it’s no problem to drink sparkling water or a soda?

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to drink these. Carbonated drinks will have no effect on the session whatsoever.

Is it risky to drink energy drinks before my tattoo?

Energy drinks contain a lot of caffeine so like coffee we wouldn’t recommend it, because it increases your heart rate and makes you jittery. It is preferable that when you get a tattoo, you are in your natural, relaxed state. It’s not just a question of you being relaxed but also so that the expert has the perfect conditions to give the best quality tattoo.

Should I not drink hot beverages like Coffee?

There’s nothing wrong with drinking coffee or tea from the tattoo application perspective – but you should not be abusing it too much or be too jittery when coming in. You’ll already be a little nervous or excited about getting your tattoo. And you need to feel relaxed when in the studio with your tattoo artist. So, it goes without saying that too much caffeine will not help create a sense of harmony.

I drink a lot of coffee and I get easily stressed – will I experience complications?

It’s possible if the coffee gives you too much nervous energy that the session may be difficult or the artist might make a mistake due to a sudden movement. The process for doing a tattoo needs to be meticulous and it needs full concentration, so you can imagine how easily something could go wrong if you’re a little too wired. Our advice would be to try to skip your coffee hit before you come in.

How much liquid should I drink before my tattoo?

You can drink as much as your body needs. But just remember it takes time to get a tattoo, and you may need to use the bathroom during the session. So try not to overdo liquids and get into a good hydration routine in general anyway, so your body is nicely regulated.

What about alcoholic drinks and tattoos?

We’ve all seen those movies or TV programs where people find the courage to get a tattoo when drunk. But they almost always regret them afterwards. If you’re serious about getting an amazing tattoo, then we’d advise not to drink any alcohol for at least 24 hours beforehand. Then afterwards we’d ask that you avoid it for 48 hours more. Of course, taking one glass of wine or a beer during lunch or dinner won’t make a huge difference but overdoing it is a different issue.

It has been proven that drinking alcohol changes the blood flow making it more liquid during a small period of time. But when the artist is working on the skin, the place where the tattoo is applied gets irritated and the body pumps more blood to the affected zone. If the blood is more liquid there is more possibility for the ink to be diluted or mixed with the blood.


This has a negative effect in the healing process; it may make your tattoo look worn out or less vibrant. Early fading or blowout are the possible impacts of having too many drinks before the tattoo. It doesn’t mean that early fading or blowout is only the result of too much drinking before a tattoo experience but they are a compounding factor.

On top of this effect when we drink alcohol, we get more tired, our reflex decreases and we become easily distracted and restless. That won’t make it easy for us artists to apply the ink.

What about drinking the night before you get a tattoo?

It all depends on how much you drank the previous night. If you drank a little there is little difference. The problem is if you drank too much, because alcohol takes several hours to leave the body – approximately an hour for every unit drank.


So the risk is that your body will be more tired and more sensitive. And this will make it unpleasant for you during the tattoo session. So it’s worth bearing in mind that being naturally sober will mean a better tattoo session for both you and the artist.

It is important that your body is at its best without stimulants or depressants.  Or anything else that will prevent proper healing.

Can I have a glass of wine at lunch if I’m getting a tattoo later that day?

Some wine if possible, but if you drink so much there may be a risk of complications concerning your blood clotting then this is not good for the tattoo. Just try to keep it to one glass.

Can I drink during the tattoo session to keep calm?

During the session you can drink water no problem. All we want during the session is that you feel relaxed and good. If the tattoo is done on an area which allows you to drink or eat, then it’s no problem. Some people do it to relax, to think about something else or simply because they are thirsty or a little hungry during the session.

Should I speed up my pace of drinking water before the tattoo?

No it won’t change anything. If you’re good at keeping hydrated in the long term there is no obligation to drink a certain amount of water before getting a tattoo. So it’s up to you how much you’d like to consume, bearing in mind cutting down on toilet breaks.


Finally, what are positive points around becoming nicely hydrated before a tattoo?

The positive points of staying hydrated are:

  • It helps you when you are stressed as your body loses water in this state.
  • It allows your body to be less sensitive.
  •  It helps your body regenerate and heal faster.
  • It helps you lead a happier and healthier life. Water is one of the key things for our survival, so you should ensure you are always consuming a healthy amount of it, tattoo or not.

Got more questions?

We hope this gives you all the information you needed around what to drink before you get a new tattoo. If there’s something in particular we haven’t covered, we’ll be more than happy to discuss that with you.

If you wish to learn more about how to get ready for your next tattoo session, read Should I shave before my tattoo and Where does tattoos hurt the most.