How to Get Over a Hangover

Any time people drink to intoxication, there is a chance they could have a hangover the next day. Not drinking alcohol is the only surefire way to prevent a monster hangover in the future. Mild dehydration can give you a headache, dry mouth, and make how long does a hangover last you feel dizzy and tired — all common symptoms of a hangover. Alcohol has a diuretic effect that makes you pee more, leading to dehydration if you’re not also drinking water. If you drink enough alcohol to vomit, then that’s even more fluid lost.

Hangover symptoms don’t need to be caused directly by alcohol. Dehydration is often one of the most common reasons we tend to feel unwell after drinking, as a study from Kyushu Dental University explains. You’ll get a hangover if you drink too much alcohol, but ‘too much’ is different for every person. It all depends on how quickly your liver can process ethanol, the chemical name for alcohol.

Why does alcohol do this?

Another contributing factor that impacts the length of a bad hangover is how quickly you consume red wine, tequila, or other alcohol. However, if your liver isn’t able to properly process those by-products, known as acetaldehyde, your system will experience something called oxidative stress. This causes your immune system to have an inflammatory response, in addition to being unable to adequately process and excrete these toxic by-products. So, if you’re intoxicated and wary of a hangover in the morning, then it’s best to call it an early night. This can lead to alcohol dependency, and ultimately withdrawal if the brain has adapted to functioning with alcohol present.

Limit how much you intend to drink and stick to it, no matter how much alcohol your friends consume. Your liver is often an unsung hero, fulfilling over 500 jobs without complaint — follow these five tips to avoid liver disease and keep yours running at maximum efficiency. Your body’s already under a little bit of strain during your period, and since alcohol can dehydrate you, it can deplete your energy even more on your period, says Dr. Cox. So why do some hangovers last an appropriate amount of time and others…don’t? To make the answer even more complex, bodyweight and size also make a difference in how you metabolize alcohol.

Inpatient Treatment

Unlike alcohol withdrawal, a hangover can occur after just a single episode of drinking. It typically takes a 140-pound woman who consumed five drinks more than 10 hours to reach a blood alcohol level of zero. By comparison, a 180-pound man who consumed five drinks would have no alcohol in his blood after about six hours.

how long does a hangover last

It simultaneously increases the number or sensitivity of receptors that bind to glutamate, another neurotransmitter, in a bid to counter the sedative effects of alcohol. Because of genetic differences, Asian people often have a harder time breaking down acetaldehyde, the main byproduct of alcohol. As a result, they can develop a hangover after consuming smaller amounts of alcohol than people of other ethnic backgrounds. Individuals who suffer from migraine headaches are also more likely to experience hangovers, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Dehydration also appears to play a significant role in hangovers.

How Much Alcohol is Too Much?

The presence of food in the stomach reduces the rate of alcohol absorption into the blood. Slowing the rate of alcohol absorption will reduce the risk of a severe hangover. An over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication may relieve hangover headaches and muscular pains. Take these medications with a meal to avoid stomach irritation or further harming your stressed liver. Even if you fell asleep after drinking, the chances are that it was not restorative.

how long does a hangover last

As such, it’s best to eat before drinking as a heavier meal can offset alcohol’s effects on your body. Even adding cola, ginger ale, fruit juice or punch to your drink can help slow absorption. The key ingredient to hangovers is “drinking to intoxication”, as getting to this point will often result in a hangover, regardless of how much you drank to get there. People with hangover-related anxiety may have other hangover symptoms, such as thirst, fatigue, feeling slow or less alert, stomach problems, or body aches. In a 2017 study, 1,837 people between the ages of 18 and 30 completed a survey that included questions about various hangover symptoms. Although anxiety was the least common reported symptom, it still affected 22.6% of the participants.

Are there any effective treatments?

As widespread as hangovers are, scientists aren’t precisely sure what causes them. Their best guess is that multiple factors — including dehydration, inflammation and byproducts of the way the body processes alcohol — contribute to the unpleasant experience of being hungover. Once you stop drinking alcohol, your body tries to get back in balance. As it recalibrates, you experience a mild withdrawal from alcohol, which briefly impacts your nervous system and causes mood disturbances—even causing hangover anxiety for some people. Most hangover symptoms disappear independently after your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) drops significantly. However, it’s not unusual for the symptoms to last up to 24 hours.

  • Everyone’s body handles alcohol differently, so whether or not you get a hangover depends on several things.
  • Time is the most essential factor in determining how long withdrawal symptoms will last.
  • “There aren’t many strong scientific studies into the reasons why hangovers worsen with age, but it’s likely that many different factors are involved,” says Dr Gordon.
  • A hangover officially kicks in several hours after you stop drinking alcohol.
  • Physiologically, there are a wide variety of symptoms of a hangover with diarrhea, fatigue, headache, nausea, and shaking being the classic few.

As the body readjusts to the lack of alcohol, you start to feel better. There’s no quick fix when it comes to hangovers, but there are several things you can do to make things more manageable as you wait it out. The more dehydrated you are, the worse you’ll feel, and longer. There are several factors that influence how long a hangover lasts and how bad you feel.

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