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How Long Does a Hangover Last?

By John Lee on

It's already 4 pm after a night out and you still feel horrible. You may be wondering what time your hangover will end...or if it'll ever go away. Well, I have some good AND bad news.

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.

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.

    In one study, 33 percent of those who drank an amount of bourbon relative to their body weight reported severe hangover, compared to 3 percent of those who drank the same amount of vodka.

    Additionally, the carbonation in beer and champagne will speed up the absorption of alcohol.

    So stay clear and you'll be in the clear.

    4. You're Getting Older (sorry, but it's true)

    You're not in college anymore. When you were 21, your body is able to detoxify itself much quicker and efficiently than if you're 40 (or even in your late 20s). As we grow older, our cells age, and we're not able to process alcohol and it's toxic counterparts as quickly as we did when were younger. So a few beers back in college, can be magnified two times 10 years later.

    5. You Have a Deficiency but Don't Realize it

    A lot of drinkers, especially Asians, are missing an essential enzyme ALDH. This enzyme helps break down acetaldehyde efficiently allowing it to build up and cause hangover symptoms.

    Lots of people also have sensitivities to certain food or chemicals they don't even know about. Beer, for example, is made with barley and hops (a.k.a., gluten); mixers can be super high in sugar; wine can have sulfites—all of these are things you can, which can really amp up your hangover (yes, even if you only have one glass).

    6. You Drank on an Empty Stomach

    Alcohol can irritate the lining of your stomach, which can make any hangover-induced nausea, abdominal pain, or vomiting worse.

    The solution? Eating a hearty meal before going to the bars (think: a plate of spaghetti instead of a caesar salad) to slow alcohol's absorption.

    Drink Smarter and Live Better with Flyby

    Your liver can only process one drink per hour. So when you drink more alcohol than it can break down, alcohol-induced toxins build up and put more stress on your body. Flyby was carefully formulated  with 17 liver-supporting ingredients like DHM, Milk Thistle, N-Acetyl-Cysteine, Prickly Pear, Vitamins, Electrolytes to support your body's normal metabolism after drinking so you wake up feeling refreshed.