Hangover Causes, Symptoms, Remedies & Cure After Drinking Too Much Alcohol
A hangover can be defined as a series of unpleasant symptoms or signs that occur after drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Frequent hangovers can also lead to poor performance and conflicts at work. Read on to learn more about the symptoms, remedies, prevention, and hangover cure.
A general rule of thumb is that the more alcohol you consume, the more likely it is to get a hangover the next morning. However, there is no one way to determine how much alcohol you can drink safely and avoid a hangover.
Although they are unpleasant, most hangovers disappear on their own. However, some can last for up to 24 hours. Drinking alcohol responsibly can help prevent future hangovers.
Hangover symptoms are usually caused by a drop in blood alcohol content that is near or significantly below zero. They are usually fully in effect the next morning after a night with heavy drinking. Depending on the amount of alcohol you consumed, you might notice:
- Fatigue or weakness
- Drunkenness and excess thirst
- Headaches, muscle aches
- Nausea, vomiting or stomach pain
- Poor or decreased sleep
- Sensitivity to light and sound has increased
- A feeling of spinning in the room or dizziness
- Concentration difficulty
- Mood disturbances like depression, anxiety, or irritability
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
When Should You See a Doctor?
Hangovers that result from one night of drinking disappear on their own. If you are concerned about the possibility of alcohol withdrawal or if regular heavy drinking is affecting your quality-of-life, personal relationships, and work performance, talk to your doctor. There are many options for treatment of alcohol problems.
If it's an emergency
Alcohol poisoning can be a serious condition that causes severe symptoms and may lead to death. If a person has been drinking and shows signs of:
- Slow breathing (less that eight breaths per minute)
- Uncontrolled breathing (a delay of more than 10 seconds between each breath)
- Blue-tinged skin or pale skin
- Hypothermia, or low body temperature
- Consciousness is difficult
- Passing out (unconsciousness) is a state that can't be woken up.
An unconscious person or someone who can't wake up is at high risk for death. Even if you don’t recognize the symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately if you suspect someone is suffering from alcohol poisoning.
Drinking too much alcohol can cause hangovers. For some, a single alcoholic drink can trigger a hangover. Others may consume large amounts of alcohol and avoid a hangover completely.
Hangovers can be caused by many factors. Here are some examples:
Your body produces more urine when you drink alcohol. Dehydration can occur when your body produces more urine than normal. This is often indicated by dizziness, thirst, and lightheadedness (a feeling of faintness, dizziness, or being close to passing out).
Your immune system triggers an inflammation response when you drink alcohol. Certain agents can trigger your immune system and cause physical symptoms such as inability to focus, memory problems, reduced appetite, or loss of interest in normal activities.
The lining of your stomach can be irritated by alcohol. Alcohol can increase stomach acid production and delay stomach emptying. All of these factors can lead to nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Your blood sugar can drop if you drink alcohol. Your blood sugar may drop to dangerous levels, leading to fatigue, weakness and mood disturbances, as well as seizures.
Headaches can be caused by alcohol causing blood vessels to expand.
Although alcohol can make you feel sleepy, it can also prevent you from getting deeper sleep stages and cause awakenings in the middle or late at night. You may feel tired and groggy.
Congeners in Alcohol
Congeners, which are impurities produced during fermentation in alcoholic beverages, are responsible for some of the taste, aroma, and color of what you drink. Although these impurities are not the sole cause of a hangover, they do appear to contribute to its severity. When it comes to the concentration of these impurities, not all beverages are created equal. Congeners are more common in dark liquors like brandy and bourbon than in clear liquors like vodka, gin, tequila, and absinthe.
Expensive, top-shelf bottles typically contain fewer impurities than booze in plastic bottles. This is due to the fact that more expensive liquor usually goes through a more rigorous distillation process.
Congeners can increase the severity or cause a hangover. However, drinking excessive alcohol of any color can make it worse the next day.
A hangover can happen to anyone who has ever drunk alcohol. However, some people are more susceptible than others. Some people may feel flushed, sweaty or sick after drinking even a small amount.
A few factors that can make a hangover more likely are:
You shouldn't drink with an empty stomach. The body absorbs alcohol faster if there is no food in the stomach.
Other drugs such as nicotine can be used in addition to alcohol. Combining smoking and drinking seems to increase the risk of suffering from next-day depression.
Drinking too much can cause insomnia. Researchers believe that hangover symptoms can be attributed at least partially to the short and poor quality sleep that often follows a night of drinking.
A family history of alcoholism. A history of alcoholism in your family could indicate an inherited problem in the way your body processes alcohol.
Drinking darker colored alcoholic beverages. Drinking darker colored alcoholic beverages can cause hangovers because they contain more congeners.
Hangovers can lead to problems such as:
- Memory loss
- Lack of concentration
- This temporary impairment of abilities can lead to problems at work or school
- Trouble finishing tasks
- Conflicts with other people
- It is easy to fall asleep at work or school
- Workplace injuries
Will Absinthe Give You a Hangover?
According to a British Medical Journal study, vodka is the least likely drink to give you a hangover because it is so pure that it contains almost no congeners. But how about absinthe? Is absinthe most likely to give you a hangover?
Absinthe, usually made from distilled botanicals such as anise, fennel, coriander, and wormwood, contains about 70% alcohol (140 proof). This means that having one too many can result in hangover symptoms ranging from difficulty concentrating to fatigue and general body weakness. When consumed in larger quantities, this level of alcohol dehydrates the body and causes absinthe hangover symptoms such as headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and nausea the next day.
Absinthe blanche, like vodka and tequila, is classified as a clear liquor; however, mixing cocktails increases the probability of the liquor generating an aftereffect. However, some people claim that absinthe does not cause a hangover. This is a relativity question; it always depends on a set of factors.
How Much Absinthe Will Cause a Hangover?
There is no definitive answer to the question of how much alcohol causes a hangover or how long an absinthe hangover lasts. Having said that, there are numerous factors to consider, including:
- Personal Tolerance - Each person's tolerance for alcohol is different. The lower the tolerance threshold, the more likely there are to be severe side effects.
- Absinthe Variety – Hangovers are more severe and frequent with darker liquors than with clear liquors. The alcohol percentage of anise-based beverages varies, which impacts the severity of the after effects. With all of this in mind, it is possible to experience a less severe hangover by drinking absinthe blanche or vodka.
- Hydration Levels - Alcohol dehydrates the body by its very nature. When mixed with hydrating beverages like soda water, juice or water, the chances of getting a hangover after just one shot of absinthe are little to none.
You can use absinthe in variety of cocktails and since it has a very high alcoholic content, we suggest the proper way of drinking absinthe with sugar and icy water. Not only it tastes great, you also hydrating your body with water while enjoying the ritual at the same time.
When absinthe is combined with other alcoholic beverages such as beer, whiskey, and brandy, the result is a much stronger mixture containing congeners that can cause stomach irritation and hangover effects.
There are many over-the-counter medications and tablets that claim to help with hangovers. However, it is best to avoid alcohol excessive consumption. Be careful if you do decide to drink.
Moderate alcohol consumption for healthy adults is one to two drinks per day for women and men over 65. For men 65 years and older, it can be as little as one to three drinks per day.
A hangover is less likely if you don't drink alcohol as much and avoid mixing too many alcoholic beverages.
Food before and after drinking. It is important to eat before and after drinking alcohol.
Be careful. Drinks with fewer congeners (such as more expensive, real absinthe) are less likely to cause hangovers, but it is important to remember that any type of alcohol can cause a hangover.
Sip water between drinks. You will stay hydrated if you drink a full glass after every alcoholic beverage. You'll also be able to drink less alcohol.
Be aware of your limits and drink only in moderation. You can decide ahead of time how much alcohol you will consume and then stick to it. Do not feel pressured to drink.
Slow down. Limit your intake to one alcoholic beverage per hour. You should stop drinking once you have reached your limit.
Do not drink everything. When you mix alcohol with fewer congeners with other alcoholic beverages like beer, whiskey, or brandy, you get a much stronger concoction with congeners, which can produce stomach irritation and stronger hangover symptoms.
To prevent symptoms like hangovers, some people use over-the-counter pain relief such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Ask your doctor whether these medications are safe and which dosage is the best for you. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and other medications can interact. Consuming too much alcohol may lead to liver damage.
Are Lighter Colored Alcoholic Beverages a Good Strategy to Prevent a Hangover?
Although it isn't the best way to avoid a hangover from lighter drinks, it can help. Congeners are chemicals that result from fermentation, and can cause a hangover. Congeners are what give many types alcoholic beverages their taste and can make hangovers worse.
Congeners are more common in dark liquors like brandy, bourbon and darker beers than in clear liquors such as vodka, gin and lighter beers. Methanol, a congener, is broken down into formaldehyde or formic acid. This can lead to hangovers.
Although lighter drinks can help prevent a hangover, too many alcoholic drinks of any color will make you feel worse the next day. Hangover symptoms can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption, dehydration, poor sleep quality, and digestive irritation.
Multiple studies have shown that there is no way to prevent a hangover. Drinking moderately or no alcohol is the only way to avoid a hangover. Moderate drinking is for healthy adults. This means that women over 65 can have one drink per day, while men over 65 can have two. For those 65 and younger, there are no more than two drinks per day. Drinking alcohol should be avoided by pregnant women.
A drink can be defined as:
12 ounces (355ml) beer -- approximately 5 percent alcohol
8 ounces (237ml) of malt liquor -- approximately 7 percent alcohol
5 ounces (148 ml) of wine -- approximately 12 percent alcohol
1.5 ounces (44ml) 80 proof distilled spirits -- approximately 40% alcohol
Some drinks might contain more alcohol than you realize. Bars and restaurants often have larger drinks. Some drinks may have more alcohol than others, even though they are the same size. Some light beers have almost the same amount of alcohol as regular beer, while some liquors have a higher alcohol content than others.
Anti Hangover Pills
Anti hangover pills could be the answer if you want to avoid future hangovers.
Anti-hangover pills are a relatively new supplement that is designed to reduce the adverse effects of alcohol.
These aren't cures for all hangovers. If you drink too much, you'll still wake up with a hangover.
What Are The Benefits of Anti-hangover Pills?
It is important to know how the hangover pills work.
Hangover science is complex, to put it mildly. Scientists are still not certain why hangovers occur. However, scientists agree that hangovers can be caused by a variety of factors, including inflammation, sleep disturbances, hormonal imbalance, dehydration, and direct alcohol toxin effects.
Hangover pills contain ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acid that can help your body recover from alcohol consumption. Each one of these ingredients may have benefits for hangovers. Although research on these products is not extensive, there are some scientific studies to support their claims.
Your liver breaks down alcohol, which results in compounds like acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde can build up in excess and react with cells, causing inflammation.
Anti Hangover Supplements Are Here to Help
We all know that hangovers can be caused by dehydration. However, it's not the only reason. Hangovers can be caused by many factors, not just dehydration.
They support liver function by providing the raw materials that your liver requires to efficiently metabolise alcohol. They also increase antioxidant levels to neutralize the toxic effects of alcohol metabolism.
What Are The Best Anti-hangover Pills to Take?
Anti hangover supplements are different from what you might be familiar with. Each brand has a different dosing schedule. The key point is that they should be taken with alcohol in your system. Majority of brands recommend first dose before you start drinking.
Who Should Take Hangover Pills?
Hangovers only get worse as we age. Most of us notice that hangovers get worse in our 30's. You'll understand what we mean if you're nodding your head while you read this.
Hangovers can become more of a problem than they are worth. You might consider adding a hangover medication to your supplement cabinet.
However, this doesn't mean that you can stop having a hangover by taking hangover pills. They are not "hangover cures", as we have said before.
These steps can make a difference in your recovery, provided you follow all the necessary hangover prevention steps. These include drinking water, staying hydrated, and eating before you drink alcohol.
Hangover Pills - How to Reap The Maximum Benefits
Hangover pills aren't miracle cures, as we've repeatedly stated. You should still drink within your legal limits to get the best out of them and take every precaution to avoid waking up with a hangover.
Get enough water. Everyone knows that dehydration can lead to a hangover. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it causes your kidneys to push out more water. Regular water breaks are essential.
Avoid dark spirits. Red wine hangovers and whiskey hangovers can be fatal. There's good reason as studies have shown that they contain more congeners, which can make hangovers worse. They are formed during alcohol aging in barrels as well as fermentation, which is why they taste the way they do. Congeners can cause hangovers, so it is a good idea to switch to lighter beverages.
Eat before you drink alcohol. We all have the friend who goes out to dinner without having eaten and is the last one to leave. You will absorb alcohol much quicker if you don't eat. This will cause you to drink much more quickly. Slow and steady wins the race, and eating before drinking is key.
These rules, along with the hangover pill, will help you feel human again.