September 26, 2019

How Long Does a Hangover Last?

Elizabeth Miller

On average, the lifespan of a hangover is on average 24 hours–typically lasting till the morning–right after your bacon egg and cheese.

But this isn't always the case as the post-drinking drag can linger way past its welcome–like the dreaded two-day hangover which makes you realize, oh yeah, you're not in college anymore.

So What Is the Exact Cause of a Hangover?

While we still don't know the exact reason for a hangover, for the most part, the symptoms are considered a short-term withdrawal and tend to be time-limited.

Your liver can only process one drink per hour. So when you drink more alcohol than it can break down, alcohol-induced toxins such as acetaldehyde build up and put more stress on your liver. Acetaldehyde is extremely toxic and when it's not broken down quick enough–that's where a hangover comes into play.

Hangovers can also be worsened by the strength of the alcohol, amount of alcohol you consumed and alcohol type. There are also other factors that can influence the intensity and duration of a hangover as well.

‟Your liver can only process one drink per hour.”

1. You Didn't Drink Enough Water

Simply put, alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it makes you go to the bathroom a lot. The more you drink, the more bathroom trips you'll have, and this tends to dehydrate you. To make things worse, if you go over your limit and vomit, this dehydrates you even more. And on top of this, alcohol depletes essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals which can affect how fast your body rids itself of alcohol and its toxic byproducts.

Ease that post-boozing fog by staying hydrated throughout the night–alternating every glass of booze with a glass of water–and make sure to constantly hydrated the day before even if you really don't feel like it the next day.

2. You Had a Rough Night's Sleep

You just had a few more glasses than you anticipated, and you know that a good night's rest can help you feel your best in the AM. And while those few glasses can definitely help put you to sleep, it has a negative effect on your sleep quality. Alcohol affects your brain and interrupts your sleep cycle and quality. 

So the math is simple here. The more you drink, the worse you sleep, and so you feel groggier in the AM. 

3. You Drank Darker or Carbonated Booze

Different types of alcohol can result in different hangover symptoms. Congeners are flavoring agents or byproducts of fermentation in booze, and are linked to hangovers. Some types of alcohol such as red wine and dark liquors such as bourbon, brandy, whiskey and tequila have the highest levels. While, white wine and clear liquors such as rum, vodka and gin have fewer congeners and therefore cause less frequent and less severe hangovers.

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