One hangover is not the other

Sometimes you drink a lot and the next day you have -almost- nothing bothered by it, other times one evening of sag takes two days of 'recovery time'. The severity of the hangover afterwards can differ per person and per time. Read more about the causes of a hangover here, what scientific research says about the difference in the hangover experience between men and women and how you can prevent a hangover.

If your body ingests a lot of alcohol in a short time, there is a good chance that you will be presented with the bill in the form of a hefty hangover. You feel tired, have a headache and are nauseous and irritable. But why? These are the causes of a hangover:

  • your body is dehydrated. Alcohol makes your kidneys work extra hard, causing you to urinate more often. This will slowly dry you out. Hence the well-known 'nadorst'. Even your brain gets dehydrated. Resulting in a major headache.
  • your stomach mucosa is overstimulated. Alcohol is a corrosive substance that can damage other substances. This can irritate your stomach lining. As a result, your stomach is less well protected against stomach acid. As a result, you become nauseous or even vomit.
  • your liver is working overtime. Alcohol is a toxic substance that your body wants to get rid of as quickly as possible. Your liver will therefore immediately start breaking it down. During this process, acetaldehyde is released. This toxic substance is the reason why you feel nauseous and shaky. It also adds to that already popping headache.
  • residual fusel alcohols. Alcoholic drinks contain different types of alcohol. Of these, ethanol is the most important. Other types of alcohol are called fusel alcohols. These break down your body less quickly, so they cause a hangover longer. Spirits contain less fusel alcohols, drinks made from fruits more. The more fusel alcohols you drink, the stronger the hangover.

Mental hangover

Usually, a hangover is mainly about the physical consequences that people experience. But a hangover can also have a mental impact. For example, during a hangover you can feel gloomy and depressed, or anxious and restless. read here more about the mental consequences of a hangover and how to mitigate them.

Men vs Women

In 2019, scientists from Utrecht University conducted research among 2,446 students (51% men, 49% women) into possible differences in the symptoms experienced by men and women during a hangover. For this purpose, the hangover moments that the students had during a month were looked at, taking into account the amount of alcohol that had been drunk. The study found that women were more likely to experience nausea and fatigue than men. Although the differences were clearly visible, they were too small to be scientifically relevant. Source:

In short: women generally suffer more from a hangover, but the differences are small. It is not possible to determine exactly in advance how much alcohol you will get a hangover with. Various factors play a role in this, such as: your age (the liver and kidneys of younger people are in better condition and process alcohol better), height and weight (heavier people have more body fluids over which the alcohol is distributed), your condition (are you fit). , did you sleep well), use of medication and, for example, whether you ate something beforehand. Finally, the degree to which you are used to alcohol also plays a role. If you drink regularly, your body can increasingly 'be able to handle it'. The harmful effects of a hangover, however, remain the same. It just bothers you less. Source:

What is the best cure for a hangover?

Drink less. This was seriously the conclusion of a study by Utrecht University into remedies against a hangover. The scientists based their conclusion on a survey of 826 Dutch and Canadian students. They were questioned about the last time they had consumed alcohol. More than half of the respondents had eaten or drunk water after drinking alcohol. They felt slightly better than the students who had not. However, the difference was minimal. The only factor that really counted in whether or not you felt a hangover was the amount of alcohol that was drunk. The students who suffered less from a hangover simply drank less. According to the leader of the research, professor Joris Verster, it is not dehydration that is the cause of the hangover, but the attack that alcohol has on the immune system. This is also the reason why drinking water helps against 'nursery', but does not remove the symptoms of a hangover. Source:






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