This Is What Happens to Your Body During a Hangover

A hangover refers to symptoms that result from drinking alcohol, usually the next day. There is no absolute cure, but people can take steps to relieve many of the symptoms. If you find yourself downing your vodka glass too fast, consider substituting a non-alcoholic drink such as Gatorade or coconut water with each alcoholic drink. This will give your body more time to digest the alcohol, translating to fewer hangover symptoms. Some health conditions, especially those that affect how the body processes alcohol, such as kidney disease and liver disease, can influence the severity and duration of your hangover.

how long can a bad hangover last

Just like anything else your body considers to be toxic, consuming alcohol can create an inflammatory response. Additionally, your kidneys and liver are having to work overtime to flush out all the toxins. It’s important to first understand what alcohol does to our body to understand a hangover. Someone with alcohol use disorder may be capable of hiding the more obvious addiction symptoms for a long time. Not only that, but the people around them might ignore the problem they notice. Hangovers begin after blood alcohol levels start to fall. In fact, according to some experts, the worst symptoms occur when levels reach zero. A wide range of factors determines how the body responds to chronic heavy drinking, but this activity can result in significant harm.

How Long Can a Hangover Last?

If knowing the risks of developing physical dependence and the dangers of withdrawal can deter excessive drinking, one might avoid the hangover altogether. Hair of the dog has been touted as a hangover cure for centuries. But drinking more may not be doing your body any favors. It could be merely postponing the onset of acute alcohol withdrawal. You drank too much last night, and now you feel it all over your body. You may be tempted to try quick hangover remedies, like a shower, coffee or greasy breakfast.

Eco Sober House

This indicates that genes contribute to the ability to drink without experiencing the adverse effects of alcohol intoxication. Alcohol also affects glucose metabolism, presenting a risk of severe hangovers in people who have diabetes. Alcohol is absorbed more slowly when food is present in the stomach before you start drinking. Without food in your stomach, most of the alcohol finds its way into your blood quickly. According to one study, about 75% of individuals who drank excessively the previous night experienced hangover symptoms.


Alcohol scrambles the hormones that regulate our biological clocks, which may be why a hangover can feel likejet lag, and vice versa. Alcohol can also triggermigraines, so some people may think they’re hung over when it’s really an alcohol-induced migraine they’re suffering. It is important to stay hydrated, eat nutritious food, and get plenty of rest. Drinking more alcohol before the body has been able to process the alcohol already present increases the likelihood of a hangover. In this article, we explore the causes of hangovers and how to reduce the symptoms. The severity of a hangover is closely linked to how much alcohol the person has consumed and how much sleep they have had. So if you find yourself with a two day hangover reach out to us and we will have you feeling back to your old self in no time flat.

how long can a bad hangover last

In addition, information is needed on the duration of the alcohol hangover to ensure a potential hangover treatment is effective over the full time course of the hangover state 9. However, when frequent, severe hangovers become part of your everyday life, you could be headed down a path toward alcohol use disorder. It’s not impossible to turn it around on your own, but it’s more likely to get worse without intervention. With a typical hangover, you should start to feel better within a few hours after eating something and drinking water. But, if you’re 12 hours out from your last drink and symptoms continue to get worse, it could mean you’re in withdrawal. Hangovers are very common in people who consume too much alcohol. In one study, researchers found that about 75% of people who drank excessively the night before reported hangover symptoms. The researchers concluded that 25% to 30% of people who drink may be resistant to hangovers. Repeated drinking can lead to liver scarring, known as cirrhosis.

What factors contributed to a two day hangover?

Several different factors can play a role in how long your hangover lasts. Verywell Health is part of the Dotdash Meredith publishing family. Additionally, if you and/or others are concerned about your alcohol intake, you may want to consult your healthcare provider, as alcohol intake can have serious health and social consequences. While certain supplements and herbal remedies have been touted as hangover remedies, there is no solid evidence backing up this claim. Outpatient rehab allows you to live at home while going through the program. An inpatient program involves a period of living at the treatment center. Verywell Mind is part of the Dotdash Meredith publishing family. Hangover symptoms last up to 24 hours, though most resolve sooner.

Capo by the Sea offers the highest grade of treatment interventions for people who struggle with alcohol abuse or alcoholism. The tranquil seaside setting provides the perfect setting for healing and therapy. Negative life events, feelings of guilt, and the risk of alcoholism often produce acute hangover symptoms. “We’ve introduced a very irritating substance to the body and it has to process and eliminate it,” Hultin says. It’s usually easy to tell when someone has been drinking alcohol; they experience uncoordinated movements, slurred speech, and breath that smells like what they’ve been drinking. However, identifying addiction is often not so black and white.

If you have not had a restful sleep, a hangover can be exacerbated, meaning you can feel a lot worse and it will last a lot longer. Alcohol is a diuretic, leaving you feeling dehydrated, so if you have not managed to rehydrate yourself sufficiently, you may feel this effect for some time. “The more you drink, the more likely you are going to feel these effects, and the longer you might take to recover.” Health-wise, being hungover for a night isn’t a concern, even though it often feels severe. Dr. Robert Swift, a researcher at the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Rhode Island, coauthored one of the few review papers on hangovers in 1998. It’s still one of the most frequently cited sources on the topic.

With this quick fix, you are delivering hydration and nutrients directly into the bloodstream. Treatments generally take between minutes and you’ll be well on your way to recovery. In simple terms, a hangover is the body’s response to drinking too much alcohol. However, since liver function slows down as we age, acetaldehyde will tend to last longer in the system of older people, resulting in prolonged hangovers. Sober House Drinking on an empty stomach may cause nausea or vomiting, so you should stop immediately and inform the person you’re with how you’re feeling. Dehydration caused by alcohol consumption is characterized by a headache or nausea. The number of drinks you take will not significantly affect the duration of your hangover. You may have heard that sports drinks will hydrate you faster and speed your hangover recovery.

A night of excess drinking will cause you to wake up feeling very sick in the morning. The strength of the hangover will be based on the amount of alcohol that was consumed. In fact, sometimes the hangover feels like alcohol withdrawals. Hangover symptoms are the result of several factors, two of which are dehydration and the toxic effects of alcohol on the body. Not only can alcohol be toxic at high doses, but it is also a diuretic, which means it draws water out our body and is dehydrating. Hultin says this can lead to all sorts of symptoms, like headaches, nausea, vomiting and dry mouth. You might also feel a little puffy in certain areas of your body, like your face or fingers. A common rule of thumb is to follow an alcoholic beverage with a glass of water to help prevent feeling dehydrated. Depending on the severity of your hangover, you could be low on energy for the next one to three days. A 2017 study conducted with Sleep Disorders and Research Center in Detroit found alcohol hangovers could cause both daytime sleepiness and lower sleep quality.

What food helps a hangover?

“This is what we call the 'BRAT' diet,” says Zumpano. “Bananas, rice, applesauce and toast.” These plain foods are easy for the body to digest and are often recommended when someone is not feeling well, specifically an upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea or having trouble eating or keeping food down.

Hangovers can last up to 72 hours after drinking, but most are shorter in duration. Again it depends on how much was consumed, how dehydrated you became, nutritional status, ethnicity, gender, the state of your liver, medications, etc. “In addition, vitamin C plays an important role in maintaining our glutathione how long can a bad hangover last levels.” When you wake up hungover, especially if you’re nauseous, it can feel like putting more liquids into your stomach is the last thing you need. But, drinking can cause mild dehydration, and rehydrating is important for feeling better. Take it slow.Avoid having more than one alcoholic drink per hour.

  • The majority of hangover symptoms go away on their own after your blood alcohol level drops significantly.
  • You need to let your body rid itself of the alcohol and heal.
  • If you drink enough alcohol to vomit, then that’s even more fluid lost.
  • This should not lead to a hangover for most of us, and in an ideal world we’d all be drinking in moderation .
  • Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations.

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