Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What causes a hangover?

You know that feeling: you woke up in bed and it feels like someone is hitting you with a hammer.  The room seems as if it is spinning.  Your head is pounding, and your whole body is aching.  Your mouth is dry, and you are dying for a drink.  It is the morning after a night of drinking, and you have a hangover.


But what causes a hangover?

Well, you will be surprised to learn that science is still undecided on the exact mechanisms by which alcohol causes hangovers.  There are several things that contribute to a hangover, but one of the main factors is simply dehydration.  Alcohol has a dehydrating effect that causes your body to produce more urine than normal, resulting in the feeling of dehydration: dry mouth and general feeling of lethargy. 

Drinking alcohol that contains impurities or preservatives can also contribute to giving you a hangover. 

Cogeners are chemical compounds other than alcohol and water which are found in alcoholic drinks.  They are added to alcoholic beverages as they can contribute with a pleasing color, flavor and smell.  The more congeners consumed, the worse a hangover is likely to be.  Darker spirits (such as soctch) contain more congeners than lighter spiritis (such as vodka).  Similarly, cheaper spirits generally tend to have fewer of these impurities removed, resulting in a stronger chance for hangovers. 

Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules stating a set amount of alcohol that will cause a hangover.  Each individual reacts to alcohol differently, but generally, the more you drank, the more severe the hangover symptoms. 

Preventing a hangover:
  • Eat before, and while you are drinking.
  • Drinking lots of water to remain hydrated.
Hangover remedies
Left alone, hangover will usually go away after some time.  But if you are seeking some fast relief to ease your pain, here are some suggestions that reportedly can help:
  • Drink water.
  • Eat something simple like eggs.
  • Exercise.
Hangover Don't
Although it may be ok to take a couple of aspirin to help you deal with the headache, avoid taking Tylenol tablets.  Alcohol combined with acetaminophen (the active ingredient found in Tylenol) can prove to be very damaging to the liver.

45 comments:

  1. Imo hangovers are for real men. It means you had a great night :D

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  2. great tips! for some reason, i never get hang overs. my friends hate me for it. i can out and get absolutely hammered 5 days in a row and wont feel any kind of hang over. it's awesome.

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  3. I never usually drink, but when I do it's only if I'm home alone and it's usually to the point where I fall asleep with the smell of porcelain in my face (which is the WORST).
    The next day has never really been that bad for me.

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  4. Interesting information. I've only had like two hangovers in my history of drinking and I almost always eat beforehand and drink plenty of water during

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  5. damn i used to hate hangovers when i was younger. i know my limits now to avoid any hangover.

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  6. Never ran into hangovers too much. I've found that drinking water almost always keeps it from happening (on top of not drinking non-stop).

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  7. Exercise is always a good remedie. Following

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  8. I know that feeling so well. Even cigarette smokes causes really cruel headaches
    http://baxxmans.blogspot.com/

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  9. Yeah, really hate hangovers =D Don't we all?

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  10. Tequila gives me to WORST hangovers. Ugh -_-

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  11. Man wish I had time to go out :( Too busy! Thanks for recent support!

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  12. thinking i'm happy i never had a hangover thanks for the information

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  13. this would have been useful, a couple of years ago....lol

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  14. For some strange reason, I've never found my hangovers to be worse from darker drinks like whisky. They're all equally bad.

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  15. I hate hangovers. It seems that if I eat after a night of drinking I definitely don't feel as bad the next day.

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  16. That water thing works. If you down a bottle of water before you sleep, and then you down another bottle when you get up to piss. You will be great

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  17. I've never had a hangover before. Is it fun?

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  18. Hangovers are just God's way of telling you to man up

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  19. Meh. Hangovers aren't that bad. I've never had a problem with them...

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  20. Thanks for the advice. I find that with red wine, I'm left in the morning feeling great and extremely laid back. Never have I had a bad hangover from red wine.

    I follow and support those who do likewise.
    toastburnt.blogspot.com

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  21. Never really had a Hangover, I tend not to over do the alcohol.

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  22. thanks for the tips. but most important is: drink water while and after you are drinking alcohol

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  23. water water water....
    but i always forget!

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  24. I'm a big fan of electrolytes. I keep a few bottles of vitamin water in the house for this very reason. "Recover" works best for me, and it tastes like purple... mmmm...purple...

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  25. When I drink water along with alcohol I never have hangovers. So it's true.

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  26. That's why I never get hangovers, I always eat while I drink.

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  27. Awesome, hangover info is ALWAYS helpful.

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  28. Ok I got a better solution for preventing a hangover, don't drink like charlie sheen.

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  29. One of the reasons I slowed my drinking down from every day to once every 2 weeks was because of hangovers.

    I would feel like shit, and drink lots of kool-aid for some reason.

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  30. Oh man that sucks! followed!
    alphabetalife.blogspot.com

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  31. ever since i learned hangovers are caused by dehydration i've never had once since. after every beer or shot or drink i drink a glass of water. no more hangovers.

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  32. I hear greasy food is good for a hangover. Im not sure if its true tho.

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  33. So which one is having the hangover? The dood or the chicken?

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  34. I'm working on a red-wine + Ibuprofen plan:
    prevents heart-disease, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's all at the same time.

    (May need a new liver though.)

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  35. ahahah that picture is hilarious! anyways i always eat bananas after a hangover :D
    cool blog, following and supporting!

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  36. yepp, water also works the best for me. Nice post

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  37. wow, very cool blog dude! also, waters works best for me. in the day after, while i'm still in bed, i drink a lot of water and then i continue to sleep. i do that every time i wake up and when i get up i don't usually feel any hangover.

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  38. Treat your hangover headache with simple natural process - Honey is acclaimed by scientists for its ability to aid the body in quickly breaking down all the alcohol you consumed.Honey on a cracker or piece
    of toast, before or after drinking, may prevent a hangover.
    how long do xanax stay in your system

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