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Evidence based

Borage Oil (Starflower) For Hangovers: Does It Work?

Afterdrink Author Kathy Caldwell
Kathy Caldwell

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AfterDrink Content Standards

  1. This article is based on currently available scientific evidence at the time of writing and fact checked.
  2. All referenced studies and research papers are from reputable and relevant peer-reviewed journals or academic associations.
  3. Some peer-reviewed papers have stronger study designs and are more robust in terms of quality and reliability. We will make every effort to highlight weak evidence.
  4. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
  5. The information in this article is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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Evidence based

Borage oil is known for its high gamma linoleic acid (GLA) content. It’s thought that this fatty acid can help reduce inflammation.

You may have also heard that the borage oil is good for hangovers, but aren’t sure if it’s true or not.

Well, you’re not alone. With so many hangover cure myths out there, it’s hard to separate the health facts from the fads.

In this article, we’re first going to take a closer look at borage oils’ perceived health benefits. Then we’re going to see whether it works as a hangover cure.

Table of contents

Benefits of Borage oil

Borage oil is an extract made from the seeds of the Borago officinalis plant which is also known as the starflower plant because of its distinctive petal formation.

GLA is considered the primary “active” ingredient in Borage oil. You can also find GLA in other oils, such as evening primrose and black currant.

The GLA in Borage oil is hailed for its anti-inflammatory properties. Various studies have shown it has a mild, but respectable effect on reducing inflammation. That’s why it’s mainly been researched in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.(1)

So, can the anti-inflammatory properties of borage oil help hangovers as well?

That’s what we’ll focus on next.

Is Borage oil good for hangovers?

Before we look at whether borage oil is good for hangovers or not, we first need to go over what the causes of a hangover are. After all, there’s no way of knowing if something is likely to work without knowing what root of the problem.

The science of hangovers is complicated and there’s still debate around what the exact causes are. With that said, there are a few generally accepted reasons why drinking too much alcohol causes hangovers.

Sleep disturbance: Sleep quality is significantly reduced if you’ve got alcohol in your system. The reason is, alcohol blocks you from reaching the REM stage of sleep which is required to feel properly rested.

Inflammation: Toxic by-products are formed when alcohol is metabolized in your body. These by-products are quickly neutralized before they cause damage. However, if drinking in excess, the enzymes and antioxidants which neutralize the harmful by-products are depleted.

Dehydration: alcohol causes dehydration as it blocks the release of a hormone called ADH. This hormone is responsible for water regulation and, therefore, your kidneys flush out fluids.

In summary, there are several different “causes” of a hangover. Clearly, dehydration and sleep will be unaffected by taking borage oil. Seeing as inflammation is one of the causes of a hangover, borage oil is seen as a potential hangover remedy because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

Next up, we’ll take a look at the research to see if this theory has been proven.

What does the research say?

At the time of writing, there are a couple of studies that have looked into borage for hangovers.

One was from an unpublished report saying that taking borage reduced hangover symptoms. Therefore, this should only be regarded as anecdotal evidence.(2)

Another study looked at the benefit of taking a product called “after-effect” which contained borage amongst other ingredients. The study said that out of 103 people who took this supplement, 88% reported reduced hangover symptoms.

With that said, this study comes with a few problems. Firstly, it’s published by the manufacturer of the product. Also, it contained milk thistle, prickly pear, and a selection of vitamins as well. So, who knows which ingredient had this effect.(3)

In summary: There are no good research studies that have shown borage to be effective for treating hangover symptoms.

Is Borage oil a hangover cure?

Whether borage works as a hangover remedy is not clear. However, one thing is for certain. Borage oil is definitely not a hangover cure.

In fact, a hangover cure doesn’t exist and is unlikely to ever do so. That’s because alcohol causes damage in many different ways.

Are there any side effects?

Borage oil is generally regarded as “safe to take” in small doses and for short periods of time.

However, large doses and regular consumption can lead to problems such as affecting liver function and clotting issues.(4)

As with any supplement, it’s best to discuss with your doctor before taking them. Especially if you are already taking prescribed medication because they could interact.

Anything else to consider?

Hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve been drinking too much alcohol, too quickly. Trying to “cure” or “prevent” your hangovers with borage (or anything else) is not the ideal approach.

The best way to cure a hangover is to prevent one from happening in the first place. Drinking plenty of water, eating before going out, and most importantly, drinking less is all that you need to do.

Borage oil for hangovers – Final verdict

That brings us to the end of our look into borage oil as a hangover cure and remedy.

The active ingredient is GLA which is found in several other plant types.

Unfortunately, there’s no evidence to say that borage oil is good for hangovers or not.

Evidence based

Are Raw Eggs Good For A Hangover?

Afterdrink Author Kathy Caldwell
Kathy Caldwell

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AfterDrink Content Standards

  1. This article is based on currently available scientific evidence at the time of writing and fact checked.
  2. All referenced studies and research papers are from reputable and relevant peer-reviewed journals or academic associations.
  3. Some peer-reviewed papers have stronger study designs and are more robust in terms of quality and reliability. We will make every effort to highlight weak evidence.
  4. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
  5. The information in this article is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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Evidence based

Are raw eggs good for a hangover? Do raw eggs prevent hangovers? It’s actually a surprisingly common question and one that doesn’t exactly have a straightforward answer.

With so many hangover cure myths out there, it’s hard to tell what works and what doesn’t.

If you’ve landed on this article, chances are you’ve tried a fair few supposed hangover cures that haven’t worked. And are now skeptical about whether raw eggs are good for a hangover or just another myth.

Well, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re also going to examine raw eggs as a food and look at what it contains in terms of micronutrients and macronutrients.

We’ll then give a more detailed answer as to whether raw eggs are good for hangovers.

Table of contents

Health benefits of raw eggs

Eggs in general, whether cooked or uncooked are seen as a “healthy food”. Although, this is sometimes contested as eggs are a source of animal protein and also contain high levels of fats (albeit good fats as well).

Nevertheless, raw eggs are rich in protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and various other nutrients.

One whole, large raw egg (50 grams) contains:

  • Calories: 72.
  • Protein: 6 grams.
  • Fat: 5 grams.
  • Vitamin A: 9% of the RDI.
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 13% of the RDI.
  • Pantothenic acid(Vitamin B5 ): 8% of the RDI.
  • Vitamin B12: 7% of the RDI.
  • Selenium: 22% of the RDI.
  • Phosphorus: 10% of the RDI.
  • Folate: 6% of the RDI.

In addition, one raw egg contains 147 mg of choline, an essential nutrient important for maintaining normal liver and brain health.(1)

It’s important to note that almost all the nutrients are concentrated in the yolk. The white mostly consists of protein.

So, are any of the nutrients in raw eggs good for a hangover? That’s what we’ll focus on next.

Are raw eggs good for hangovers?

Before we get into whether raw eggs are good for hangovers or not, we first need to go over how alcohol causes hangovers.

The science of hangovers isn’t black and white. There are many different causes of a hangover and your symptoms are a result of a combination of factors including:

Dehydration: Alcohol causes dehydration by blocking the release of a hormone from your pituitary gland (in your brain) called ADH. This hormone is important for reabsorbing water from your kidneys. By blocking its release, your kidneys flush out water.

Inflammation: when alcohol is broken down by your liver (metabolized), toxic by-products such as acetaldehyde are formed. These react with your cells causing inflammation. Congeners in darker colored drinks also exacerbate things.

Poor sleep quality: Although drinking alcohol makes you sleepy, it doesn’t mean the sleep quality is good. In fact, alcohol blocks your brain from reaching the REM stage of sleep which is essential for feeling fully rested.

In summary, hangovers are caused by dehydration, inflammation, and poor sleep quality. Clearly eating raw eggs isn’t going to be a solution to all these problems.

That said, it contains a few B vitamins that are important in alcohol metabolism such as vitamin B1. However, it’s certainly not in high enough concentrations to make a difference.

Other than the nutritional value, eating raw eggs when hungover is unlikely to have any impact on your symptoms.

Raw eggs, tomato juice, and hot sauce for hangovers – The Prairie Oyster

Priarie oyster for hangover

Some of you may have heard of the prairie oyster hangover cure. Essentially, it’s a traditional hangover cure recipe consisting of a raw egg, vinegar and/or hot sauce, table salt, and ground black pepper. Tomato juice is sometimes added, reminiscent of a Bloody Mary.

What about adding these condiments to a raw egg to make a prairie oyster? Will this make it more effective at curing hangovers?

It’s thought that drinking a prairie oyster when hungover has benefits for the following reasons:
– Salt in prairie oysters helps your body retain water.
– The capsaicin in hot sauce can act as a painkiller.
– Cysteine, an amino acid contained in eggs, helps your body break down alcohol

Unfortunately, none of the above actually works:
– The best way to rehydrate is to drink water. Not eat salt!
– Capsaicin is used as a painkiller in topical creams, not when ingested.
– Cysteine is an amino acid that helps your liver make an antioxidant called glutathione. It doesn’t break down alcohol. Also, by the time you have a hangover, there’s very little or no alcohol in your bloodstream left. 

So you’ve probably guessed that prairie oysters are not going to cure your hangover. It’s highly unlikely that the addition of condiments will make a difference. That said, it’ll probably make the raw egg more palatable!

Does eating raw egg prevent a hangover?

What about eating raw eggs before drinking alcohol to prevent hangovers. Will that work? 

Unfortunately, it’s still not going to have any special hangover prevention powers.

On that note, avoiding drinking on an empty stomach is important. That’s because food slows down how fast alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream. But forcing a raw egg down instead of a normal meal is not essential.

Are there any negatives?

Raw eggs aren’t totally safe to eat. Some eggs contain a type of harmful bacteria called salmonella. 

Fortunately, the risk of an egg being contaminated is very low. One study found only 1 of every 30,000 eggs produced in the US is contaminated with Salmonella.(2)

That means if you’re unlucky enough to eat one of these raw eggs contaminated with salmonella, you’ll not only have a hangover but food poisoning as well! 

Salmonella dies when an egg is cooked so the risk isn’t there with a cooked egg.

Also, there isn’t much point in eating an egg raw. It’ll contain the same nutrients cooked!

Anything else to consider?

Hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve been drinking too much alcohol for your body to handle. Trying to cure a hangover by eating raw eggs or even jazzing things up with a prairie oyster is the wrong approach. 

The best way to “cure” a hangover is by preventing one in the first place. Drinking less at a slower pace, eating before going out, and drinking plenty of water is all that’s required.

Raw eggs for hangovers – Final verdict

That brings us to the end of our look into raw eggs as a hangover remedy and prevention.

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to make a real difference to your hangovers. In addition, there’s a risk (albeit small) that the raw egg you are consuming is contaminated with salmonella. Getting food poisoning with a hangover would be a disaster as I’m sure you’d agree.

If you’re interested in this topic, check out our article on good hangover foods.

Evidence based

Why Are Whiskey Hangovers Worse?

Afterdrink Author Dewey Jhon
Dewey Jhon

X

AfterDrink Content Standards

  1. This article is based on currently available scientific evidence at the time of writing and fact checked.
  2. All referenced studies and research papers are from reputable and relevant peer-reviewed journals or academic associations.
  3. Some peer-reviewed papers have stronger study designs and are more robust in terms of quality and reliability. We will make every effort to highlight weak evidence.
  4. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
  5. The information in this article is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

Posted on

Evidence based

If you’ve been unlucky enough to have whiskey a whiskey hangover, you’ll probably agree they’re the worst you can get. Perhaps you even get them regularly and are looking for solutions.

We all know that hangovers are caused by drinking too much alcohol. But why are whiskey hangovers so much worse?

Sometimes, even drinking a small amount of whiskey can leave you feeling rough.

In this article, we’re going to focus on why hangovers are more severe after drinking whiskey and explore everything you can do to stop them.

We’re also going to look at the things you can do to “cure” a whiskey hangover if you’re unfortunate enough to have one right now.

So, with the introductions out the way, let’s start taking a closer look at everything you need to know about whiskey hangovers.

Table of contents

Causes of a whiskey hangover

The underlying cause of a whiskey hangover is no different from other alcohol. In simple terms, it happens when too much alcohol is drunk in a short period of time.

Although the exact cause of a hangover is still contested, there are a few generally accepted reasons why drinking too much can leave you feeling rough.(1)

1) Inflammation: Alcohol is metabolized in your liver and produces toxic by-products such as acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is a highly volatile compound that reacts with your cells causing inflammation.

2) Dehydration: Alcohol blocks the release of a hormone from your pituitary gland called ADH which has an important function in body water regulation. Consequently, you end up losing extra water and can become dehydrated.

3) Poor sleep quality: Alcohol significantly reduces the quality of your sleep. Although it’s much easier to fall asleep after a couple of whiskeys, the actual quality of sleep is greatly reduced. That’s because alcohol blocks your brain from reaching the REM stage of sleep which is important for waking up fully rested.

In combination, the above-mentioned damaging effects of alcohol result in the following whiskey hangover symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Body pain / Muscle aches
  • Inability to focus

But why are whiskey hangovers so much worse? Well, scientists believe there is a good reason for it. Which is what we’ll cover next.

Are whiskey hangovers worse than others?

The simple answer to this question is, yes!

Studies have shown that the reason why whiskey hangovers are worse is that it contains much higher concentrations of congeners.(1)

Congeners are the name given to compounds in whiskey that are responsible for the characteristic taste and aroma.

They are formed during the fermentation process where yeast is added to grains in order to kickstart production.

Examples of congeners include:

  • Formic acid
  • aldehydes, such as acetaldehyde, which often has a fruity smell present in bourbons and rums
  • esters
  • ketones

The problem with congeners is that they are biologically active compounds. That means they react with your cells causing inflammation.

For example, formic acid is broken down into formaldehyde which is highly toxic. Even more so than acetaldehyde.

In summary: Whiskey hangovers are worse because of congeners. These are biologically active by-products that are formed during the fermentation process and when whiskey is aged in barrels.

Does cheap whiskey give you worse hangovers?

Some people may find that “top shelf” liquors that are highly distilled don’t give them a hangover as much as lower-priced alternatives. For example, you’ll often see that vodka brands market their liquor as “triple distilled”.

Filtering and distilling liquors take out the congeners and, therefore, could reduce hangover symptoms.

However, when it comes to whiskey, you can’t do this. Whiskeys are fermented and aged in a certain way that brings about unique flavors. As a result, this will increase the congener content.

You can tell which drinks have higher congener concentrations by looking at the color. In most cases, the darker the whiskey, the more congeners it’ll have.

That means that very expensive whiskey may give you worse hangovers! It all depends on how it’s been fermented and aged.

So, it’s not as simple as saying cheap whiskey gives you worse hangovers. In actual fact, cheap whiskeys that haven’t been aged as long may give you less of a hangover.

How much whiskey do you need to drink to get a hangover?

Hangovers happen when you’ve had too much alcohol to drink for your liver to handle. Some people will get hangovers drinking small amounts of alcohol and some don’t get hangovers easily.

So, it’s quite difficult to say how much whiskey (or any type of alcohol) you’ll need to drink to get a hangover.

With that said, because whiskey has higher congener concentrations, it may take less to give you a hangover. That’s why some people will get a hangover after only a couple of whiskey drinks.

Whiskey hangover cures

So, you’ve woken up with a whiskey hangover and are trying to find ways to end the pain.

By the time you’ve woken up with a hangover, the damage caused by whiskey and its congeners has already been done. Your body is picking up the pieces caused by dehydration, inflammation, and the lack of good quality sleep.

Unfortunately, that means a whiskey hangover “cure” doesn’t exist.

The only things that will help at this stage include drinking water, taking painkillers, and going back to sleep. Time and rest is the only healer.

On that note, there are a few things that could make matters worse which we’ll cover next.

Things to avoid

There are a couple of things that you may want to avoid when hungover:

Coffee
Drinking coffee can initially seem like a good idea. But drinking coffee when hungover can come with unwanted side effects. It’s true that coffee will make you feel more alert because it’s a stimulant. However, it could make hangover shakes and anxiety worse. Aside from this, caffeine is also a diuretic like alcohol. It makes you urinate more and can exacerbate dehydration.

Exercise
Going for a run when hungover is also not a great idea. Exercise, in general, is best avoided as it only adds pressure on your already fragile body.

How to prevent a whiskey hangover

When it comes to hangovers, prevention is always better than “cure”. That’s because a cure doesn’t really exist. Next up, we’ll cover a few things that may help prevent bad whiskey hangovers.

1) Avoid carbonated mixers

There is some evidence that carbonated or fizzy drinks speed up how fast alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream.

Spikes in blood alcohol concentration can wreak havoc on your insides. As well as adding pressure on your liver to clear alcohol from your bloodstream.

You can read more about this in our article about carbonated drinks and alcohol.

2) Drink less whiskey

Clearly, the best thing for avoiding a whiskey hangover is to drink less of it. Some people are naturally more sensitive to the negative effects of congeners in whiskey. So, if drinking small amounts of whiskey gives you a hangover, it’s a sign from your body that whiskey doesn’t do you any good.

3) Switch from whiskey to something lighter colored

Some people believe that mixing drinks makes hangovers worse. However, there’s no evidence for that being the case. If you’ve started your night drinking whiskey, you can definitely switch to something else that may be less hangover-provoking.

Consider switching to a lighter-colored liquor like gin or vodka. That being said, if you drink enough vodka or gin, you’ll still get a bad hangover.

4) Eat before drinking

Your mom was right. Never drink on an empty stomach. The reason is that drinking on an empty stomach massively speeds up how fast alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream.

If you’re wondering whether you should eat anything in particular before drinking whiskey, the answer is anything will help. Studies have shown that any food in your stomach slows down alcohol absorption. This includes food containing fat, protein and carbohydrates.(2)

5) Drink plenty of water

We mentioned earlier that drinking too much alcohol can cause dehydration. That’s why drinking water between every drink is so important. In addition, it’ll help dilute the congeners in whiskey.

Whiskey hangovers – Conclusion

That brings us to the end of our look into everything you need to know about whiskey hangovers.

We’ve walked you through all the reasons why whiskey hangovers are notoriously the worst. Congeners have a big role to play and are responsible for making whiskey hangovers severe.

Ultimately, whiskey hangovers are caused by drinking too much. And for some of us, drinking even small amounts of whiskey can give bad hangovers. In this case, it’s probably best avoided.

Evidence based

Why Do Some People Not Get Hangovers?

Afterdrink Author Dewey Jhon
Dewey Jhon

X

AfterDrink Content Standards

  1. This article is based on currently available scientific evidence at the time of writing and fact checked.
  2. All referenced studies and research papers are from reputable and relevant peer-reviewed journals or academic associations.
  3. Some peer-reviewed papers have stronger study designs and are more robust in terms of quality and reliability. We will make every effort to highlight weak evidence.
  4. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
  5. The information in this article is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

Posted on

Evidence based

Why do some people not get hangovers? We all know someone who seems immune to hangovers, even though they’ve been drinking all night.

On one end of the spectrum, some people get two day hangovers as standard. And on the other, none whatsoever.

It’s reported that 23% of people don’t experience hangovers at all.(1)

But is it really possible not to get hangovers ever?

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the science to see why some people don’t get hangovers.

Table of contents

The science of hangovers

Before we take a closer look at why some people may not hangovers, we first need to go over how alcohol is metabolized in the body and what the causes of a hangover are.

When you drink, your blood alcohol levels start to rise within 90 seconds. As soon as this happens, your liver starts to clear alcohol from your bloodstream by breaking it down to produce energy.

Your liver can only break down alcohol at a certain rate which is typically around one drink per hour. This is massively dependent on your weight, age, gender and metabolism. Therefore, everyone will have a different rate of alcohol metabolism. That said, on average it’s around one drink per hour.

When you drink faster than this rate, your blood alcohol levels continue to rise and you start to feel the pleasurable effects of alcohol. However, at the same time, the backlog of alcohol in your bloodstream puts pressure on your liver as it struggles to deal with the extra load.

As a result, alcohol causes hangovers via the following mechanisms:

1) Inflammation: alcohol is broken down into toxic by-products such as acetaldehyde which react with your cells causing inflammation.

2) Dehydration: Alcohol causes dehydration by blocking a hormone from being released by your pituitary gland called ADH. As a result, your kidneys flush out extra water.

3) Sleep disturbance: Alcohol blocks your brain from reaching the REM stage of sleep which is essential for waking up fully rested.

Although it’s still not completely clear how alcohol causes hangovers, it’s generally accepted that a combination of the above-mentioned factors all plays a role.(2)

So, with the science out the way, let’s take a closer look at whether it’s true that some people don’t get hangovers.

Can you be immune to hangovers?

There are several studies that have looked at various population groups to see whether they get hangovers or not.

Depending on the group of individuals studies, between 10-30% of people reported no hangovers.(3)

That said, most of the studies used groups of students from universities. So they are young, fit and healthy which means their bodies are likely to withstand and repair the damage caused by alcohol better. We all know that hangovers get worse with age! So, this population group isn’t exactly representative of everyone.

Regardless of this, there are people out there who are older and still don’t experience hangovers.

Are these individuals immune to hangovers?

It’s a simple question with a not so simple answer. There are several factors to consider which may impact whether or not some people get hangovers. And that’s what we’ll cover next.

Why do some people not get hangovers?

The reasons why some people don’t get hangovers are different between individuals.

1) How much alcohol consumed

Hangovers are caused by drinking too much alcohol. In essence, when you drink more alcohol than your liver can process, you start to develop hangovers. And the more you drink, the worse hangovers become.

In a study of 789 Canadian students, researchers found that in four-fifths (79%) of those who claimed not to experience hangovers had an estimated blood alcohol level of less than 0.10%.(4)

To put this into perspective, this is around twice the safe driving limits of 0.05% in many European countries such as the Netherlands, France, and Germany. England and Wales, and many states in the USA, have a 0.08% limit.

So 0.10% isn’t far off the safe driving limit. In other terms, the reason why they don’t experience hangovers is probably that they haven’t drunk enough alcohol.

Although we’re not condoning drinking more alcohol to get a hangover, the amount of alcohol drunk has a big impact on whether you experience negative symptoms.

Those who drink and stop before reaching levels that cause hangovers should be applauded. Because ultimately, hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve had too much to drink.

2) Alcohol metabolism

There are schools of thought that consider those who don’t experience hangovers metabolize alcohol faster. Essentially meaning that they clear alcohol from their bloodstream faster and, therefore, may not get hangovers as a result.

Interestingly, however, a Dutch study found that this wasn’t true in their test subjects. They found that both groups of people who claimed they do and don’t get hangovers had the same pleasurable effects from alcohol. In addition, when they breathalyzed them, the alcohol concentrations reached the same peaks and reduced at the same rate as well.(5)

This suggests that those who don’t get hangovers aren’t experiencing the effects of alcohol differently from a metabolism point of view. That said, they do highlight that their study was small and could have been improved by testing blood samples instead of doing a breathalyzer test.

3) Genetic factors

One of the main by-products of alcohol metabolism is acetaldehyde. It’s a highly toxic substance that reacts with your cells causing inflammation and damage. And exposure to acetaldehyde as a result of drinking is a big risk factor for upper gastrointestinal cancers.(6)

Your body gets rid of acetaldehyde using an enzyme called Aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). Studies have shown that genetic factors that make ALDH work less efficiently are associated with horse hangovers.

Similarly, people who don’t have any ALDH get Asian flush. This is where drinking small amounts of alcohol results in facial flushing (bright red rosy cheeks) as well as hangover symptoms.

Therefore, part of the reason why some people may not get hangovers is because of genetic factors that allow them to clear alcohol’s toxic by-products better. That said, this has not been proven in research studies.

4) Emotional factors

By this, we mean that some people are just less bothered by hangovers. The same as people supposedly have different “pain thresholds”, the same applies to how bad hangovers are experienced.(7)

Everyone is different and reacts to uncomfortable symptoms differently. That’s why the reason why hangovers may pain some people more than others can simply be put down to the fact that it just doesn’t bother them as much.

5) Age


When it comes to hangovers, age is not just a number. Hangovers often get worse with age because our bodies are less able to cope with the damaging effects of alcohol.

So if you’re reading this article aged 21 thinking you’re immune to hangovers, wait till you’re 31 to see if it’s really the case!

In summary: Some people may really not get hangovers. But why they don’t get hangovers is unclear. It’s likely that a combination of the above factors plays a role.

People that don’t get hangovers – the negatives

You may be thinking that it’s great that some people don’t get hangovers. Going out drinking all night and wake up fine. But that’s not really the case.

The negative effects of alcohol are still having a burden on your liver. Just because, for whatever reason, hangovers are experienced less severely, doesn’t mean that alcohol isn’t causing damage to the liver and other organs.

And there are certainly no studies that say that people who are resistant to hangovers, don’t get any alcohol related-illnesses.

It’s also thought that people who don’t get hangovers are more likely to develop problem drinking or “alcoholism”. However, there are conflicting results on this with some studies saying the opposite is true.(8)(9)

Similarly, some studies mention how people who don’t get hangovers will drink more and, therefore, increase the risk of having drink-related injuries.

In summary, being “immune to hangovers” doesn’t mean that excessive drinking isn’t damaging the body. Furthermore, some studies suggest that hangover-resistant people are more likely to develop alcohol dependence in the future. Although that’s still contested.

Why do some people not get hangovers – Final words

That brings us to the end of our detailed look into why some people don’t get hangovers.

We’ve walked you through all the potential reasons. In some cases, it’s because people who don’t get hangovers are sensible drinkers. In others, it could be because of your metabolism and genetic factors.

Research studies report up to a quarter of people don’t get hangovers. But why exactly isn’t so clear.

So, if you’re asking yourself: is it normal that I don’t get hangovers?

The answer is, that you may not be alone. But it’s important to make sure you keep within safe drinking limits regardless because it’s the safest way forward.

Evidence based

2 Day Hangover: Causes, Remedies and Prevention

Afterdrink Author Dewey Jhon
Dewey Jhon

X

AfterDrink Content Standards

  1. This article is based on currently available scientific evidence at the time of writing and fact checked.
  2. All referenced studies and research papers are from reputable and relevant peer-reviewed journals or academic associations.
  3. Some peer-reviewed papers have stronger study designs and are more robust in terms of quality and reliability. We will make every effort to highlight weak evidence.
  4. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
  5. The information in this article is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

Posted on

Evidence based

Is it possible to have a hangover for 2 days? Why do I have a hangover lasting this long? If you’re asking these questions, chances are you’re still struggling with the after-effects of your night out.

Hangovers lasting more than 2 days are a real thing and there are many different reasons why they could last this long.

You thought that going out on Friday or Saturday night would mean that by Monday, you’d be back to normal. But you’re still feeling rough on Monday!

If you’ve ever experienced a 2 day hangover, you’ll know all about the struggles it comes with.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at why hangovers can last 2 days (or more) and everything you can do to get rid of them.

More importantly, we’ll also go over the steps you can take to prevent a 2 day hangover from happening in the first place.

Table of contents

Can a hangover last 2 days?

So, can hangovers really last 2 days?

The simple answer to this question is, yes!

Hangovers are caused by drinking too much alcohol, too quickly. However, “a hangover” is experienced very differently by everyone. In fact, studies have shown there are at least 47 different symptoms of a hangover.

That’s why it’s not as simple as saying that all hangovers are the same.

Although it’s unusual to have a hangover for more than 24 hours, it is possible. With that said, the symptoms experienced on the second day may be different from the first.(1)

Next up we’ll look at the 2 day hangover symptoms which are more likely to stay.

2 day hangover symptoms

If you’ve had a few too many drinks at happy hour, you’ll be all-too-familiar with the hangover symptoms you end up with.

Headache, nausea, vomiting, inability to focus, muscle aches, and feeling thirsty are just some of the most problematic symptoms.

When it comes to a 2 day hangover, the symptoms that are likely to drag on for more than 24 hours include fatigue, anxiety, and poor concentration.

If you’re feeling sick, nauseous, or vomiting into the second day of your hangover, it should prompt you to think of other causes which we will get into later.

So, with the basics out the way, let’s look at the causes of a 2 day hangover.

Causes of a 2 day hangover

Before we start this section, it’s important to highlight that hangovers, in general, are caused by drinking too much alcohol. You’re not going to get a 2 day hangover if you have a glass or 2 of wine with dinner.

Your liver is only able to metabolize (break down) alcohol at a certain rate. Typically, it’s around one drink per hour. Although, it varies greatly between individuals, and factors such as your weight, age, and sex all make a difference. You can read more about this in our article about how long alcohol stays in your system.

The more alcohol you drink, the more damage caused by alcohol. And alcohol causes problems in the following ways:

1) Dehydration: Alcohol causes dehydration by blocking a hormone called ADH. As a result, your kidneys flush out too much water.

2) Inflammation: When alcohol is metabolized in your liver, toxic by-products are formed which react with your cells causing inflammation.

3) Reduced sleep quality: Alcohol massively reduces sleep quality by preventing your brain from reaching the REM stage of sleep that’s essential to feel fully rested.

In summary, the science behind alcohol and hangovers is complicated and there are several different factors that come into play.

So, what makes a normal hangover turn into a 2 day hangover?

Well, there are a few additional factors that could be the reason for your 2 day hangovers which we will cover next.

1) You’re getting old

Remember in your early 20’s when hangovers lasted more like 2 hours rather than 2 days? As we all get older, our bodies are less adept to withstand the damaging effects of alcohol. In addition, your body’s reparative capacity is also significantly reduced as you get older.

There’s a very good reason why hangovers get worse with age. Your body is simply not as good at metabolizing alcohol and its byproducts, as well as repairing itself from the damage caused.

That’s why if you’re still drinking like you were in your early 20’s, you’re much more likely to get 2 day hangovers. And it’s probably a good time to start cutting back.

2) Congeners

Congeners are the name given to the compounds in alcohol that give it its distinctive aroma and taste. They are naturally produced as a by-product of the fermentation and aging process of certain types of alcohol.

For example, red wine and whiskey have much higher concentrations of congeners compared to vodka. That’s because spirits like vodka are filtered/distilled to get rid of congeners.

Unfortunately, drinks that contain higher amounts of congeners have been shown in studies to make hangovers a lot worse.(2)

It’s because congeners are “biologically active” which means they react with your cells and have the potential to exacerbate inflammation.

If you’ve switched to drinking red wine, whiskey, or bourbon all night, this could explain the reason for your 2 day hangover.

The effects of congeners can sometimes be delayed which is one of the reasons that people sometimes find they feel worse a day or 2 after drinking. You can read more about this in our article about delayed hangovers.

3) Medication

Most prescribed medications are metabolized in your liver. Some can also interact with the enzymes involved in the breakdown of alcohol.

For example, medications for heartburn and even aspirin are known to inhibit alcohol dehydrogenase. This is the enzyme that breaks down alcohol and, therefore, these medications can increase your blood alcohol concentration.(3)(4)

So, the reason for your 2 day hangovers could be, in part, exacerbated by the medication you take. If unsure, the best way around this issue is to not drink until you speak to your doctor for some advice.

4) Mental health

The reason some people drink and the consequences of excessive drinking are linked with mental health. Mental health problems not only result from drinking too much alcohol, they can also cause people to drink too much.

Put very simply, alcohol can often be used to temporarily alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression.

Hangover anxiety is a real issue for many people and symptoms of it can easily continue into your week. If you’re experiencing anxiety after drinking or using alcohol to settle nerves, it’s a good time to speak to your doctor.

5) Illness

It’s easy to blame your 2 day hangover on the alcohol you drank over the weekend. But you should do so with caution.

The reason is, that coming down with an illness like the flu can often mimic hangover symptoms. Furthermore, if you’re feeling sick or vomiting for a prolonged period of time, you should consider whether your symptoms are not directly related to alcohol. You could have easily picked up an infection that may make you think you’ve got a 2 day hangover, when in actual fact it could be gastroenteritis (food poisoning).

As always, if unsure, make sure you speak to your doctor to get some advice.

How to get rid of a 2 day hangover

If you’re in the midst of a 2 day hangover, you’re probably trying to find out ways to get rid of it as soon as you can.

In most cases, all that’s required is more time and sleep for your body to recover. But if you’ve had a particularly big night out on the weekend, there are some things you can do to help you get rid of your 2 day hangover.

1) Exercise

If you’ve been drinking all night and wake up with a hangover, exercise is the last thing your body needs. Exercise when “acutely” hungover only adds unnecessary pressure to your already battered body. That’s why we wouldn’t recommend going for a run when hungover.

However, once this phase has passed and you’re well into your 2 or three day hangover, it’s a good idea to get active. The reason is, exercise is well-known to boost your mood, energy levels and cognition. All of which may be exactly what you need to get you out of your 2 day hangover.(5)

2) Meditation

The health benefits of practicing meditation, both mentally and physically, are profound. Several studies have shown that meditation has a real impact on overall wellbeing.(6)

If you’re struggling with the aftereffects of your 2 day hangover, meditation is a great way to help you feel more present. Especially if hangover-related anxiety is a problem.

3) Vitamins and minerals

Overindulgence in alcohol can increase your body’s requirement of certain vitamins and minerals. For example, vitamin B1 and B6 requirements are known to increase in alcohol excess.

In addition, alcohol can deplete minerals such as magnesium as well.

That’s why reloading with multivitamins and minerals could also help if you’ve got a 2 day hangover. With that said, if you have a healthy balanced diet, you won’t need to take any additional supplements.

Things to avoid

There are a few things you’ll want to avoid if you’re in the middle of a 2 day hangover that we’ll cover next.

1) More alcohol

Reaching for another drink to numb the effects of your hangover that’s pushed well into its second day is easy to do. Also known as hair of the dog, is not recommended.

More alcohol will just delay the inevitable crash that will come afterward. In which case your 2 day hangover may turn into an even longer stretch if you’re not careful.

2) Late nights

2 day hangovers are often off the back of a big night out which almost always involves not going to bed until the early hours of the morning.

It’s easy to get stuck into a routine of sleeping late which wreaks havoc on your circadian rhythms. Making sure you regulate your sleep and go back into your normal routine is crucial for preventing a 2 day hangover.

3) Unhealthy food

We’ve all been there, craving greasy food when hungover is a standard thing. However, high-calorie unhealthy food can make you feel more lethargic and increase the chances of having a hangover lasting more than 2 days.

Anything else to consider?

In most cases, a 2 day hangover is a sign from your body that you’ve had way too much alcohol for your body to handle. Looking for ways to get rid of your 2 day hangover is not the ideal approach.

The best way to cure a 2 day hangover is to prevent it from happening in the first place. All that’s required is to drink less and at a much slower pace. Drinking plenty of water and eating a meal before going out is also important.

2 day hangovers – Final words

That brings us to the end of our look into 2 day hangovers.

We’ve walked you through the reasons why your hangover may last 2 days or even more in some cases. We’ve also gone through all the things you can do to get rid of a 2 day hangover if you’re unfortunate enough to be suffering with one right now.

Ultimately, 2 day hangovers are caused by drinking too much alcohol for your body to handle. If 2 day hangovers are becoming the norm for you, it’s a good sign that you should consider cutting back.

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