How You Get a Hangover: Symptoms and Preventive Measures

It is common knowledge that alcohol causes a hangover. A hangover is a collection of unpleasant mental and physical symptoms caused by heavy alcohol consumption. But what most people do not understand is that it is the dehydrating and diuretic effects of alcohol that are actually responsible for hangover symptoms. Although there are some other quick fixes to hangover such as hangover iv las vegas, below is a more elaborate discussion on the effects, symptoms, and preventions of hangovers.

Alcohol Effects That Contribute To a Hangover Include:

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1. Dehydration

Alcohol makes you urinate more often than you normally do. This diuretic effect makes you dehydrated during and after consumption. Dehydration causes dizziness, headaches, and thirst.

2. Electrolyte Imbalance

Alcohol intake alters the electrolyte balance in your body. This leads to irritability, weakness, and headaches.

3. Gastrointestinal Problems

Alcohol increases the production of acid in the digestive system which causes irritation. Depending on the amount of alcohol you consume, you can increase or reduce food passage through the gastrointestinal tract. Consequently, you may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea.

4. Low Blood Sugar

Consumption of alcohol can inhibit sugar production. Consequently, a low sugar level leads to a feeling of weakness, mood disturbance, and fatigue.

5. Headaches

Intoxication from alcohol can lead to blood vessel expansion and hence a headache. Alcohol consumption also affects hormones that cause headaches including serotonin, prostaglandins, and histamine.

6. Alcohol Metabolites

Aldehyde dehydrogenase and alcohol dehydrogenase are responsible for alcohol metabolizes. The metabolites break down alcohol molecules for easy elimination. ADH metabolizes alcohol into acetaldehyde and then acetate.

7. Congeners

Most alcoholic drinks contain congeners. This chemical compound gives drinks its appearance, smell, and taste. Beverages that contain more congeners cause more hangovers.

Hangover Symptoms

Typically, you will start experiencing handover when the level of alcohol in your blood drops significantly. Most people usually experience a hangover in the morning after a binge drinking.

Some of the symptoms include:

• Headaches

• General weakness and fatigue

• Nausea and vomiting

• Poor sleep

• Dizziness

• Excessive thirst

• Racing heartbeat

• Decreased concentrating and attention

The intensity of the symptoms varies from one person to another. The symptoms start several hours after heavy drinking and cease when blood alcohol concentration (BAC) starts to fall. The symptoms hit a peak when BAC falls to zero.

Hangover Prevention

drink water after binge night

1. Drink water

Dehydration is the main cause of hangover symptoms. You should, therefore, drink plenty of water. Ideally, you should alternate water-alcohol with water. This prevents dehydration.

2. Fiber-Rich Food

Food rich with fibers helps in alcohol breakdown and absorption.  These foods prevent alcohol from getting to the bloodstream fast.

3. Eat Fatty Food

Fatty food delays alcohol absorption in the body. Delaying alcohol absorption helps to avoid a hangover. If you know you will have heavy drinks later in the evening you should eat food filled with healthy fats such as avocado.

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4. Drink Fruit Juice

Fruits contain fructose sugar. Fructose burns alcohol and also restores the energy levels in the body. This makes you feel energized and prevent feeling weak in the morning. However, you should be cautious enough to avoid a sugar rush.

5. Avoid Congeners

Congeners are chemical compounds that give liquor its color and flavor. After metabolism, these compounds are converted to harmful aldehydes. High filtered alcohols with a lighter color have fewer congeners. However, these drinks are relatively more expensive. It is also advisable to stick to one drink.

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6. Eat Carbohydrates, Eggs, and Honey

Carbohydrates will not only provide sugar, but it also absorbs alcohol and prevents nausea. Eggs, on the other hand, contain N-acetyl-cysteine, which removes harmful free radicals.

7. Avoid Carbonated Drinks

Carbonation expands the surface area of the stomach hence promoting alcohol absorption. Tonic water and champagne enhance the rate of alcohol absorption in the body.


Toxic effects and dehydration are the main effects of alcohol. Luckily, you can easily reverse the dehydration by drinking water to replace electrolytes. However, the effects of alcohol on the digestive tract and the central nervous system require time to cease.

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