How long does a hangover last? Plus how to cure a hangover fast

A difference in a gene that affects the way the body breaks down alcohol may make some people flush, sweat or become ill after drinking even a small amount of alcohol. Alcoholic beverages contain ingredients called congeners. These give many types of alcoholic beverages their taste and smell.

Existing health conditions

  • Some people may have a hangover from just one alcoholic drink, while others can drink excessively and not get a hangover.
  • It may be to blame for hangover symptoms like crankiness, headaches, nausea, and fatigue.
  • Some additional treatments that may help are listed below.
  • But it’s different from a hangover, which may or may not include a headache.
  • However, the mixed drink is really the equivalent of three or four drinks, which makes your total around seven drinks,” Dr. Shafer says.

While this is not technically a hangover, it can feel like one. More-serious symptoms from heavy drinking may be a sign of alcohol poisoning — a life-threatening emergency. Alcohol poisoning is a serious and sometimes deadly result of drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. Drinking too much too quickly can affect breathing, heart rate, body temperature and gag reflex. We tend to develop more body fat as we age, which contains less water than lean muscle. It hasn’t been proven, but some medical experts believe this can lead to there being a higher concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream, which could contribute to worse hangover symptoms.

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For the most part, the symptoms are considered a form of short-term withdrawal and tend to be time-limited. Rehydrate with water or an electrolyte-rich sports drink. Studies show that if you smoke cigarettes while you drink, you may get a worse hangover. Researchers don’t know why, but they think it may have to do with how nicotine works on your nervous system. The idea behind this popular hangover remedy is that taking another drink will ease the effects of the last few you had.

Hangover Cure FAQs

  • “If you get a beer, it’s often a pint, which is four ounces more than the recommended size.
  • For best results, you will want to hydrate before you start drinking, while you’re drinking and afterwards.
  • While they generally resolve on their own after several hours, there are some strategies for managing a hangover.
  • They recommend doing this for everyone, regardless of the presence of a hangover.
  • But the only guaranteed way to prevent a hangover is to not drink alcohol.
  • We go over how long you can expect a hangover to last and some things you can do to get back to feeling like your normal self.

But they’re often not based in science, and some can be dangerous. For example, drinking more alcohol (“hair of the dog”) won’t help a hangover. More alcohol just increases the toxicity of the alcohol already in your body. A hangover is a group of unpleasant symptoms that can happen after drinking too much alcohol. As if feeling awful weren’t bad enough, frequent hangovers also are linked with poor performance and conflict at home, school and work.

Plus, hangovers tend to be more severe after drinking on an empty stomach. Still, 24 hours can feel like an eternity when you’re dealing with a mishmash of physical and mental symptoms. And depending on various factors, some symptoms can be worse than others in terms of severity and duration. For every alcoholic bevy you have, have a non-alcoholic one to balance the scales. “Doing so will increase your body’s water content, which will lower your alcohol concentration,” Dr. Bonney says.

Risk factors

A hangover begins when a person’s blood alcohol level begins to drop. Some experts state that the symptoms of a hangover peak when a person’s blood alcohol level reaches 0. Various factors influence the intensity of hangover symptoms. They include body weight, sex, alcohol type, and a person’s drinking speed. “Because alcohol’s a diuretic, you often end up expelling more liquid than you take in when you’re drinking,” Dr. Korraa says. Cue dehydration, which increases the odds you’ll experience a bad headache, fatigue, weakness and more the following day.

how long do hangovers last

Special Health Reports

  • Though you are no longer drunk, you won’t be at the top of your game as you recuperate, so take it easy.
  • If you want to avoid a hangover headache, the best thing you can do is think before you drink.
  • This, however, has also never been proven in a study of hangover severity.
  • However, you can have a hangover any time of the day—they usually begin between three and ten hours after drinking.

She says there’s no specific combination supported by the medical community. However, the eight items below could help relieve your suffering. But it can damage your liver if you take it while you have alcohol in your system. Headaches, for example, are triggered by alcohol’s vascular changes in the brain and by dehydration. Dizziness is exacerbated by alcohol toxicity, as well as by dehydration.

  • It is commonly believed that the symptoms of a hangover are produced primarily by dehydration, however, this has not been proven.
  • In addition, it has also never been shown in a study that age affects the severity of hangovers.
  • A hangover is when you have unpleasant physical and mental symptoms after drinking too much alcohol the previous night.

There is no cure for a hangover, but there are some treatment strategies. Waiting is typically the most common way of dealing with hangovers because they tend to resolve on their own. However, you may not want to sleep all day and have other obligations like work or school. In some instances, symptoms of a hangover can begin before the effects of alcohol have worn off.

how long do hangovers last

Get medical help if you can’t stop vomiting or if you suspect you’re dehydrated. If you focus on moderation, stay hydrated, eat a healthy-sized meal, and drink slowly, you should be fine. But if you find yourself feeling miserable the next morning, drink some water, take an aspirin if you need one, crawl back into bed to catch up on sleep, and, above all, be patient. Food will help restore your blood sugar and can help you feel better. Eat crackers, toast, or other bland, carb-rich foods that are easy on your stomach.

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