- Hangover Headache
- How does alcohol affect the brain and the rest of the body?
- How little is enough to make an impact the next day?
- How long do the effects last?
- Are there any effective treatments?
- What Is a Hangover?
- What Causes Hangover Symptoms?
- When Does a Hangover Peak and How Long Does It Last?
- Are Hangovers Dangerous or Just Painful?
- Are There Any Remedies for a Hangover?
- For more information, please visit: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov
- Hangover: Symptoms, Remedies, Cure, Prevention
- When does a hangover start?
- How much alcohol causes a hangover?
- How common are hangovers?
- What are symptoms of a hangover?
- How long does a hangover last?
- Can I speed up hangover recovery?
- When does a hangover need emergency care?
- What else should I ask my healthcare provider?
- Why Do We Get Hangovers? — Healthy Living Center
- Blame Your Hangover On the Congeners
- The Science Behind the Symptoms
- Why Do Some People ‘Never’ Get Hangovers?
- So, How Do You Prevent a Hangover?
While not a disease we treat at the Johns Hopkins Headache Center, delayed alcohol-induced headaches are extremely common, disabling and costly to society. This material is provided for general education purposes.
How does alcohol affect the brain and the rest of the body?
Alcohol adversely affects the brain, the liver, the kidneys, the heart, blood vessels, the lining of the stomach, and various hormonal and regulatory systems. Even the word “intoxicated” indicates alcohol’s true nature: a toxic substance.
The first symptoms of ethanol intoxication on the brain are quite pleasurable for most people. You feel relaxed and happy, and with another drink or two you become boisterously enthusiastic — the life of the party.
With increased alcohol consumption, your vision blurs, your reaction times slow, your perceptions are unreliable, and you become unsteady and uncoordinated. You start to lose your inhibitions, which can lead to another consequence of drinking: poor judgment. Speech begins to slur, and concentrating and “thinking straight” becomes impossible.
At higher concentrations in the blood, hiccups, vertigo, confusion, lethargy, memory “blackouts,” vomiting, stupor, coma, slowed breathing and even death can result.
No one is exactly sure how ethanol causes its various effects, but once absorbed from the stomach into the bloodstream it can freely cross the blood and into nerve cells of the brain.
Once in the brain it causes a chemical release that leads to pleasurable feelings, and it lessens inhibitions by depressing certain frontal lobe functions. Motor pathways become overactive, and blood sugar is processed less efficiently in the brain.
As more and more ethanol molecules enter the membranes of the nerve cells, sedating effects develop. The effects of alcohol intoxication are relatively predictable measured blood alcohol content.
Some of these effects are caused by ethanol itself, and others are from an even more toxic byproduct of its metabolism called acetaldehyde. This chemical builds up in the blood as the liver breaks down the alcohol into a form that can be eliminated from the body.
The effects on other body systems are also important in the symptoms of alcohol intoxication. The kidneys increase urination substantially, leading to dehydration. Blood vessels in the skin dilate, causing flushing and increased cardiac output. The liver starts working overtime to detoxify the blood of ethanol and acetaldehyde, and cannot keep blood sugar adequately regulated.
Repeated drinking can lead to liver scarring, known as cirrhosis. Certain inflammatory chemicals increase in the blood and affect various natural hormonal pathways. The stomach lining may become irritated, increasing nausea and the chance of bleeding. The extra calories consumed often become converted into fat.
Many of these disturbances of the body’s natural physiology persist the next day, long after the alcohol is gone. Dehydration plays a significant role, as does acetaldehyde. Effects on hormones, blood chemistry, the sleep-wake cycle and inflammatory chemicals are also important in the thoroughly lousy feeling we have come to know as a hangover.
Most people are well aware of the presence of headache, malaise, diarrhea, loss of appetite, tiredness, nausea and sensitivity to light, sound and motion the day after binge drinking. What may be less well recognized is that manual dexterity, memory, reaction time, visual-spatial skills and attention are all adversely affected, even when your alcohol level has fallen back down to 0.
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How little is enough to make an impact the next day?
so many other answers to science questions, “it depends.” Body weight and gender are very important factors.
While five to eight drinks for the average man, and three to five drinks for the average woman, are enough to cause some degree of hangover, specific effects will vary greatly between individuals.
Certain ethnic groups (Japanese, for example) have a genetically reduced ability to break down acetaldehyde, the main byproduct of alcohol, as it is first processed in the liver. This results in more reddening of the skin («“Asian flush”) and hangovers at lower amounts of alcohol.
People prone to migraines tend to have more problems with hangovers. People who drink alcohol regularly, or those who are taking certain specific medications that affect liver enzymes, may metabolize alcohol more quickly, having fewer problems with intoxication and hangover as a result.
Conversely, there are many medications that interfere with the breakdown of alcohol and acetaldehyde, worsening the consequences of drinking.
A thin, Japanese teetotaling woman taking prescription painkillers will clearly have more problems with a few drinks than a 250 pound linebacker who regularly drinks four beers a night.
How fast you drink is also important. Most of us can break down about one drink’s worth of alcohol each hour.
What you drink is far less important than how much, but there’s some evidence that darker beverages — whiskey, brandy, red wine, tequila — cause more problems than clear drinks such as gin and vodka.
They are thought to contain chemicals called congeners that add to ethanol’s harmful effects.
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How long do the effects last?
Hangovers can last up to 72 hours after drinking, but most are shorter in duration. Again it depends on how much was consumed, how dehydrated you became, nutritional status, ethnicity, gender, the state of your liver, medications, etc.
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Are there any effective treatments?
If you’ve consumed too much alcohol and have to work the next day, what do you do? In short, you suffer, and so does your job performance. Thinking about calling in sick? You’ll be in good company.
Estimates of lost revenues due to reduced job productivity and absenteeism from alcohol run as high as $148 billion a year in the U.S. alone.
Much of this expense is related to hangovers in light to moderate drinkers.
A quick Google search for «hangover cure OR treatment OR remedy OR prevention” pulls up over 2 million webpages. There are countless commercial products (Cheerz, Chaser) and homemade recipes with wildly unsubstantiated and pseudoscientific claims of benefits.
It is important to note that a recent study from the British Medical Journal concluded that there was essentially no substantial scientific evidence that any substance has proven effectiveness in preventing or treating a hangover.
That being said, the authors themselves admit that very few well-designed scientific studies have ever been conducted on the subject, so it is more than possible that some of these unproven treatments might work.
There is some evidence that vitamin B6 taken before drinking can be mildly helpful. An anti-inflammatory drug called tolfenamic acid has been shown to be somewhat helpful when taken during alcohol consumption. While this drug is not available in the U.S.
, other related medications, including ibuprofen, naproxen, and prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be similarly helpful. However, when combined with alcohol they might increase the risk of stomach bleeding.
Staying well-hydrated with plenty of water is helpful. Gatorade or other fitness drinks may be better than water alone, but there is no scientific proof.
A chemical called N-acetyl-cysteine may be useful in detoxifying the body from acetaldehyde buildup, but this too is an unproven treatment. Light exercise may be helpful, provided you stay well-hydrated.
Here’s some advice on what to do after an evening of “overdoing it”:
- Avoid more alcohol (“hair of the dog”) — this will only increase your misery.
- Avoid further dehydration by drinking liquids (other than alcohol!) — water, chicken soup, Gatorade, whatever works for you.
- Avoid acetaminophen (Tylenol) at all costs — it can overtax your already hard-working liver, leading to dangerous swelling or even liver failure.
- Avoid unpalatable “recipes” that combine such ingredients as eggs, raw fish, Tabasco and sausage. You wouldn’t eat that when you are at your best, so what makes you think you’ll stomach it when you’re hungover?
The very best prevention of a hangover? Don’t drink. The best cure? Time.
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For many people, a night of drinking can lead to a painful morning after and the dreaded effects of a hangover. What does science tell us about this phenomenon? What causes the typical symptoms of a hangover? And the question perhaps as old as hangovers themselves—are there any real remedies?
What Is a Hangover?
A hangover refers to a set of symptoms that occur as a consequence of drinking too much. Typical symptoms include fatigue, weakness, thirst, headache, muscle aches, nausea, stomach pain, vertigo, sensitivity to light and sound, anxiety, irritability, sweating, and increased blood pressure. A hangover can vary from person to person.
Alcohol is the main culprit in a hangover, but other components of alcoholic beverages might contribute to hangover symptoms or make a hangover worse.
- Congeners are compounds, other than ethyl alcohol, that are produced during fermentation. These substances contribute to the taste and smell of alcoholic beverages. Darker spirits, such as bourbon, which tend to have higher levels of congeners than clear spirits, could worsen hangover symptoms for some people.
- Sulfites are compounds that are added to wine as preservatives. People who have a sensitivity to sulfites may experience a headache after drinking wine.
What Causes Hangover Symptoms?
A number of factors can contribute to hangovers:
- Mild dehydration: Alcohol suppresses the release of vasopressin, a hormone produced by the brain that sends signals to the kidneys causing them to retain fluid. As a result, alcohol increases urination and excess loss of fluids. The mild dehydration that results ly contributes to hangover symptoms such as thirst, fatigue, and a headache.
- Disrupted sleep: People may fall asleep faster after drinking alcohol, but their sleep is fragmented, and they tend to wake up earlier. This contributes to fatigue, as well as lost productivity.
- Gastrointestinal irritation: Alcohol directly irritates the lining of the stomach and increases acid release. This can lead to nausea and stomach discomfort.
- Inflammation: Alcohol increases inflammation in the body. Inflammation contributes to the malaise that people feel when they are sick, so it may play a role in hangover symptoms as well.
- Acetaldehyde exposure: Alcohol metabolism, primarily by the liver, creates the compound acetaldehyde, a toxic, short-lived byproduct, which contributes to inflammation in the liver, pancreas, brain, gastrointestinal tract, and other organs.
- Mini-withdrawal: While drinking, individuals may feel calmer, more relaxed, and even euphoric, but the brain quickly adjusts to those positive effects as it tries to maintain balance. As a result, when the buzz wears off, people can feel more restless and anxious than before they drank.
Because individuals are so different, it is difficult to predict how many drinks will cause a hangover. Any time people drink to intoxication, there is a chance they could have a hangover the next day.
When Does a Hangover Peak and How Long Does It Last?
Hangover symptoms peak when the blood alcohol concentration in the body returns to about zero. The symptoms can last 24 hours or longer.
Are Hangovers Dangerous or Just Painful?
Hangovers can be both painful and dangerous. During a hangover, a person’s attention, decision-making, and muscle coordination can all be impaired. Also, the ability to perform important tasks, such as driving, operating machinery, or caring for others can be negatively affected.
Myth: Certain actions, such as drinking coffee or taking a shower, can prevent or cure a hangover.
Fact: The only way to completely avoid a hangover is to not drink alcohol at all or to keep alcohol intake to a minimum. There is no cure for a hangover other than time.
Myth: The order of drinks will affect a hangover—as captured in the expression, “beer before liquor, never sicker.”
Fact: In general, the more alcohol a person drinks, the worse the hangover will be. This is true regardless of whether a person drinks beer, wine, distilled spirits, or a combination of these.
Myth: Having an alcoholic drink in the morning after a night of drinking will help avoid a hangover—a practice known colloquially as “a hair of the dog that bit you.”
Fact: While this might temporarily minimize some symptoms, it could contribute to and prolong the malaise and other symptoms of the hangover.
Are There Any Remedies for a Hangover?
Although many remedies for alleviating hangovers are mentioned on the web and in social media, none have been scientifically proven to be effective. There is no magic potion for beating hangovers—and only time can help.
A person must wait for the body to finish clearing the toxic byproducts of alcohol metabolism, to rehydrate, to heal irritated tissue, and to restore immune and brain activity to normal.
There is no way to speed up the brain’s recovery from alcohol use—drinking coffee, taking a shower, or having an alcoholic beverage the next morning will not cure a hangover.
Some people take over-the-counter pain relievers (often acetaminophen) before going to bed to minimize hangovers. It is important to recognize that the combination of alcohol and acetaminophen can be toxic to the liver.
alcohol, certain over-the-counter pain relievers, including aspirin and ibuprofen, can increase acid release and irritate the lining of the stomach.
Proceed with caution when using these medications before or after consuming alcohol.
To help ease their hangover symptoms, some people turn to electrolyte-rich sports drinks or other products, or even intravenous (IV) treatments, in an effort to treat electrolyte imbalance caused by increased urination and fluid loss as a result of drinking.
Research has not found a correlation between the extent of electrolyte disruptions and the severity of hangovers, or the impact of added electrolytes on hangover severity.
In most people, the body will quickly restore electrolyte balance once the effects of alcohol subside.
Ultimately, the only surefire remedy for a hangover is to avoid getting one by drinking in moderation or choosing not to drink.
For more information, please visit: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov
Hangover: Symptoms, Remedies, Cure, Prevention
You drank too much last night, and now you feel it all over your body. You may be tempted to try quick hangover remedies, a shower, coffee or greasy breakfast.
But the best hangover cure is to wait it out and drink lots of water. Hangover symptoms usually get better within a day.
A hangover is when you have unpleasant physical and mental symptoms after drinking too much alcohol.
When does a hangover start?
Hangovers usually begin several hours after you stop drinking. The symptoms can vary in intensity, depending on the person and the type and amount of alcohol consumed.
How much alcohol causes a hangover?
Having more than one drink per hour can cause problems. Your body needs about an hour to metabolize, or process, one drink, which is:
- 12 ounces of regular or light beer — about one can (5% alcohol).
- 8 to 9 ounces of malt liquor or many types of craft beers — approximately half a pint glass (7% alcohol).
- 5 ounces of table wine — about one glass (12% alcohol).
- 1.5 ounces of liquor — approximately one shot (40% alcohol).
How common are hangovers?
Hangovers are very common in people who consume too much alcohol. In one study, researchers found that about 75% of people who drank excessively the night before reported hangover symptoms. The researchers concluded that 25% to 30% of people who drink may be resistant to hangovers.
Alcohol causes hangovers — but it’s not simple. Drinking affects your body in several ways:
Direct effects of alcohol
- Dehydration: Alcohol is a diuretic. It causes you to pee more, so you lose a lot of fluid. (You can lose up to a quart of urine in the hours after having four drinks.) Alcohol also reduces the release of the hormone vasopressin. This hormone balances your body’s fluids. Dehydration causes thirst, fatigue and headaches.
- Electrolyte imbalance: Your body needs certain chemicals, called electrolytes, to perform at its best. Passing large amounts of urine throws electrolytes balance.
- Gastrointestinal problems: Alcohol irritates the lining of your stomach and intestines. It slows the rate of digestion, increasing fatty substances in your liver and stomach and pancreas secretions. All these processes lead to an upset stomach and nausea.
- Inflammation: Alcohol increases inflammation throughout your body. It can contribute to the general unwell feeling of a hangover.
- Low blood sugar: This effect usually happens in people who have alcohol use disorder. They may binge drink and fail to eat properly over a few days. As the body processes alcohol, it produces lactic acid. Lactic acid reduces blood sugar production, resulting in fatigue, sweating, hunger and shakiness.
- Disruption of sleep and other processes: While alcohol is a sedative and can promote sleep, hangover symptoms usually interfere with sleep. You may have insomnia as your blood alcohol levels get lower, so you feel fatigued. Alcohol also makes it difficult for your body to regulate its temperature and interferes with hormone production.
Effects of alcohol withdrawal
A hangover is a milder form of alcohol withdrawal. Both have similar effects and symptoms. Drinking helps you feel calm, relaxed and even happy. Your nervous system adjusts to these effects. But when the alcohol wears off, your nervous system has to readjust. You may end up feeling more restless, anxious and irritable than before you drank.
Effects of alcohol metabolites
When the body processes alcohol, one of the byproducts is acetaldehyde. This substance can cause a fast pulse, sweating and nausea. In most people, the body breaks down acetaldehyde before it causes problems. But it can cause inflammation in organs, leading to uncomfortable symptoms.
If you have alcohol intolerance, you may have a genetic inability to process the acetaldehyde fast enough. You may feel the effects after drinking even a small amount of alcohol.
Effects of factors other than alcohol
- Congeners: These compounds contribute to how alcohol tastes, smells and looks. Researchers think they also contribute to the intoxicating effects of alcohol and a hangover’s severity.
- Using other drugs: Cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine and other drugs also produce intoxicating effects. Using them while consuming alcohol can affect hangover severity.
- Personal differences: Researchers have found that feeling neurotic, angry, defensive or guilty over drinking can increase the hangover risk. If you have a family history of alcohol use disorder or are at high risk of developing it, you may also get more hangovers.
What are symptoms of a hangover?
Symptoms of a hangover include:
- Depression, anxiety or irritability.
- Disturbed sleep.
- Dizziness and vertigo (a sensation of moving when you’re not).
- Fatigue and weakness.
- Headache, red eyes and sensitivity to light and sound.
- Increased pulse and blood pressure; rapid heartbeat.
- Muscle aches and weakness.
- Nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.
- Sweating and thirst.
- Tremor (shaking).
You’re also more ly to have memory, concentration and coordination problems when you have a hangover. In general, the severity of your symptoms depends on how much you drank and for how long. But your health and other factors also play a role. Some people get a hangover after even one drink. Other people who drink heavily don’t get symptoms.
How long does a hangover last?
Typically, your symptoms are the worst when your blood alcohol level returns to zero. Symptoms can last about a day or possibly longer.
Most people who get hangovers can diagnose themselves their alcohol consumption and symptoms. If you feel sick after consuming alcohol, you most ly have a hangover.
Many hangover remedies claim to treat a hangover. But they’re often not based in science, and some can be dangerous. For example, drinking more alcohol (“hair of the dog”) will not cure a hangover. More alcohol just increases the toxicity of the alcohol already in your body.
Steps you can take to improve hangover symptoms include:
- Eating bland foods with complex carbohydrates, such as toast or crackers. You’ll boost low blood sugar levels and reduce nausea.
- Drinking water, juice, broth and other nonalcoholic beverages to reduce dehydration.
- Getting sleep to counteract fatigue.
- Taking antacids to help settle your stomach.
- Trying aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, to help your headache or muscle ache. However, use them sparingly since they can upset your digestive system. Do not take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) — it can be toxic to your liver when combined with alcohol.
- Being patient. Hangover symptoms tend to ease up over eight to 24 hours. Your body has to clear the toxic byproducts of alcohol, rehydrate, heal tissue and restore functions and activity to normal.
Can I speed up hangover recovery?
While people may claim that coffee or a shower helps you recover faster, there’s no way to truly speed recovery. The brain and body need time to recover and heal, and there’s no way to fast-track that.
If you want to enjoy a drink without unpleasant hangover symptoms, you can try hangover prevention steps:
- Drink less: Symptoms are less ly if you drink small amounts of alcohol. Drink less than the amount it takes to make you feel intoxicated. Even if you do become intoxicated, drinking less can make hangover symptoms less severe.
- Drink slowly: If you’re having carbonated alcoholic beverages such as champagne, drink them slowly. The carbon dioxide bubbles can speed the rate of alcohol absorption in the bloodstream and compete with oxygen absorption.
- Choose wisely: Consume drinks with lower amounts of congeners. Lighter-colored drinks such as vodka, gin, light beer and white wine typically result in less severe hangover symptoms. Darker-colored drinks with high levels of congeners, such as bourbon, scotch, tequila, brandy, dark beers and red wine, cause more severe symptoms.
- Drink water: Alternate alcoholic beverages with plain water. The water helps prevent dehydration.
- Eat: Food helps slow the absorption of alcohol. It’s best to eat before drinking, and a heavier meal can offset alcohol’s effects on your body. Even adding non-diet cola, ginger ale, fruit juice or punch to your drink can help slow absorption.
- Pace yourself: Limit consumption to one drink per hour. That’s about how much your body can process. You’ll help keep your blood alcohol levels from reaching the point of intoxication.
Hangovers can cause more than just unpleasant symptoms. With a hangover, you’re not thinking clearly. Alcohol impairs your attention, decision-making processes and muscle coordination. You might engage in risky behavior you wouldn’t ordinarily do. For example, driving during a hangover can be dangerous or even deadly. People can also injure themselves at work.
When does a hangover need emergency care?
Call 911 if you’re with someone who’s been drinking and has any of these signs:
- Breathing that’s slow (fewer than eight breaths a minute) or irregular (if there’s a gap longer than 10 seconds between breaths).
- Cold to the touch (hypothermia).
- Passing out (unconscious) or having trouble staying conscious.
- Severe vomiting.
- Skin that’s pale or blue (in people with dark skin, check the gums, lips and whites of the eyes).
Hangovers tend to go away on their own, even if you don’t do anything. As the body readjusts to the lack of alcohol, you start to feel better.
However, talk to your provider if you have signs of alcohol use disorder. Your provider can talk to you about options for treatment. Signs include:
- Frequent episodes of heavy drinking.
- Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
- Hangovers and drinking affecting your quality of life, including your relationships and your job.
What else should I ask my healthcare provider?
If you are concerned about hangover symptoms, ask your provider:
- Do I have risk factors for alcohol use disorder?
- Do I have alcohol intolerance or alcohol allergy?
- What can I do to prevent or reduce hangover symptoms?
- How much alcohol is safe for me to drink?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A hangover is unpleasant, but symptoms tend to go away within a day or so.
If you drank too much alcohol and feel sick, try at-home hangover remedies such as drinking plenty of water, eating some carbs and sleeping. There’s no quick cure for hangovers.
You need to let your body rid itself of the alcohol and heal. If excessive drinking and hangover symptoms are interfering with your life, talk to your healthcare provider.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/24/2020.
Why Do We Get Hangovers? — Healthy Living Center
Pounding headache, dry mouth, queasy stomach: You feel you’re dying. But if you had a few too many drinks last night, you probably just have a hangover.
Beyond the fatigue and massive headache, physical symptoms of a hangover include increased sensitivity to light and sound, muscle aches, eye redness, and thirst, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. You may also find yourself feeling sweaty, dizzy, and extra- irritable.
Such side effects usually set in several hours after you’ve stopped drinking, as your blood alcohol level (BAC) falls, and they peak when your BAC reaches zero.
Some researchers explain the correlation as a “kind of mini withdrawal,» Robert Swift, PhD, professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University and director of research at the Providence Veterans Administration Medical Center, told Newsweek.
Hangover symptoms, which can last the entire following day, are similar to those that alcoholics experience when they stop drinking.
Blame Your Hangover On the Congeners
Congeners are chemical byproducts of the alcohol fermentation process, found more prominently in darker liquor such as red wine, bourbon, brandy, whiskey, and dark-colored beers. Think of them as your worst hangover nightmare.
While they enhance the taste and smell of the alcohol, researchers believe congeners, essentially toxins to the body, also lead to hangovers.
A 2009 study found that people who drank bourbon (which contains 37 times more congeners than vodka) experienced a more severe hangover than those who drank similar amounts of vodka.
But that doesn’t mean you should go around slugging vodka sodas all night. You can still get a hangover from drinking clear alcoholic beverages (vokda, gin, white wine, light-colored beers) if you drink too much of it.
The Science Behind the Symptoms
Biologically, hangover woes mostly come down to dehydration. «Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it helps the body get rid of fluids.
When you have a severe hangover, you're often severely dehydrated, and the body can't get rid of the byproducts of metabolizing alcohol (metabolites).
And those metabolites are irritating,» Brandon Browne, MD, a staff physician in the department of emergency medicine at Scott & White Healthcare in Round Rock, Tex., told HealthDay. It’s the dehydration that causes the fatigue, dry mouth, nausea, and vomiting.
Aside from the severe lack of water in your body, Yul Ejnes, MD, chair of the American College of Physicians Board of Regents, notes that drinking heavily irritates the stomach lining, relaxes the muscles of the lower esophagus (causing reflux), and has a depressing effect on brain cells (hence the lack of coordination, decreased response time, and dizziness). It also lowers your blood sugar, and being hypoglycemic can also leave you feeling weak.
Why Do Some People ‘Never’ Get Hangovers?
Everyone has at least one friend who claims to never get hangovers. While it might be genetic, it’s more ly those people simply drink smartly.
Individuals respond differently to alcohol, factors body size, how fast you drink, and the amount of food and water you consume during a night out. Metabolism has something to do with it, too, Dr. Ejnes points out.
The speed at which alcohol and its byproducts are metabolized can affect your level of drunkenness and the severity of your hangover.
On the other hand, some people may be genetically prone to get hangovers. “Some people break down a product of alcohol metabolism called acetaldehyde slowly, resulting in flushing and nausea from drinking alcohol,” says Ejnes. Research shows that this genetic trait occurs in almost half of people of Asian descent.
So, How Do You Prevent a Hangover?
The only surefire way not to get a hangover is to watch how much you drink (sorry). But chugging a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage is a great way to combat the dehydration. And it makes things a lot more bearable if you don’t have to wake up early the next morning.
Getting enough sleep after a night of drinking can also help mitigate symptoms such as fatigue and headache, given the disruption of sleep caused by the alcohol, Ejnes says.
You should also try to eat a meal before you hit the bar, so your body doesn’t absorb the alcohol as quickly as it would on an empty stomach. In the morning, drink lots water and eat something high carb and high sugar, such as toast with honey, to boost your blood sugar.
Don’t overdo it on caffeine, but if you’re a java-addict, remember to have your morning cup of joe to avoid going through coffee withdrawal on top of your hangover.
A number of so-called hangover cures and preemptive products, from patches to effervescent tablets, have also hit the market. They claim to ease and prevent the dreaded morning after, but the health benefits aren’t proven.
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