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Champagne hangover

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Champagne Hangovers: Causes, Remedies And How To Prevent Them

Afterdrink Author Kathy Caldwell
Kathy Caldwell

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  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.
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Evidence based

Champagne hangovers are arguably one of the worst types. Why are champagne hangovers bad and how can you get rid of them?

If you’re asking these questions, you’re not alone. Since the time of Dom Pérignon (yes, he was a real person), hangover pain after a few too many glasses of champagne has been experienced by most of us.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at whether champagne hangovers are worse than other types of alcohol. We’ll then move onto all the things you can do to prevent a champagne hangover, as well as tips to get rid of them.

With so many hangover cure myths, it’s hard to separate the facts from the fads. That’s why we’ll base our content on published research papers and highlight things that don’t work.

So, with the introductions out the way, let’s get straight into our guide on everything you need to know about champagne hangovers.

Table of contents

Champagne hangover symptoms

Champagne hangovers, just like any other type of alcohol, are caused by drinking at a faster rate that is faster than your liver can handle.

As a result, your blood alcohol concentrations start to rise which makes you feel drunk and the damaging effects of alcohol start to take place.

One of the main causes of a champagne hangover is dehydration. Alcohol blocks the release of a hormone called ADH from your pituitary gland. This gland is located in your brain and ADH is responsible for making sure water is reabsorbed into your bloodstream from your kidneys. Therefore, when alcohol blocks the release of ADH, you get excess water loss from your kidneys. Hence why drinking alcohol can cause dehydration.(1)

Inflammation is another key cause of a hangover. When alcohol is broken down in your liver, toxic by-products such as acetaldehyde are formed. Acetaldehyde is highly volatile and reacts with your cells causing inflammation. This process is known as “oxidative damage” and has been shown in studies to be partly responsible for your hangover symptoms.(2)

Sleep disturbance is an overlooked cause of hangovers. We all know that falling asleep after a couple of drinks is easier. However, the quality of sleep that follows is significantly less than if you hadn’t drunk any alcohol. The reason is, alcohol blocks your brain from reaching the REM stage of sleep and this is essential for having a fully rested mind.(3)

In combination, the above mentioned causes of a hangover result in the following symptoms:

  • Nauses and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Body pain / Muscle aches

In fact, there are over 40 symptoms of a hangover which you can read about in our article here.

Are champagne hangover worse than others?

So, are champagne hangovers worse than other types of hangovers?

Hangovers are ultimately caused by drinking too much alcohol and if you drink enough of any type of alcohol, you’re going to get one.

That said, there are certain types of alcohol that are well-known to give worse hangovers. For example, red wine hangovers are notoriously bad.

Champagne has a reputation for giving bad hangovers. And although there are no official reasons why it should do, there are some reasons why champagne hangovers could potentially be worse than other types.

Firstly, champagne is obviously fizzy (carbonated). Studies have shown that carbonated drinks like champagne increase how fast alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream.(4)

Peaks and troughs in blood alcohol concentration can wreak havoc on your digestive and endocrine (hormone) systems and this could potentially explain why champagne causes worse hangovers.

Aside from this, alcohol congeners could be another reason for bad champagne hangovers. Congeners are natural by-products formed during the fermentation and aging process of alcohol. It’s what gives certain types of alcohol their distinctive taste and aroma. Darker colored drinks typically have higher concentration of congeners. Unfortunately, congeners have been shown to make hangovers a lot worse.(5)

That said, champagne is a yellow colored drink and is far lighter than red wine and bourbon which have much higher concentrations of congeners. That said, when comparing champagne to clear colored spirits such as gin and vodka, the congener concentrations will be higher.

In summary: Champagne potentially gives bad hangovers due to the fact it’s a carbonated drink and also because of congeners.

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Champagne hangover remedies

So, you’ve gotten carried away and had a few too many glasses of champagne last night? What can you do to get rid of your champagne hangover?

Next up, we’ll share some remedies that will help soften the blow.

1) Water

rehydration after drinking alcohol

We all know that drinking water is essential when hungover. If you’ve been drinking all night and not taken steps to rehydrate yourself before going bed, you’re guaranteed to wake up dehydrated.

A great way to rehydrate if you’ve got a champagne hangover is to use rehydration sachets or effervescent tablets. You’ll find them in any pharmacy and they’re usually marketed for people suffering from diarrhea. Regardless of this, rehydration supplements usually contain minerals and salts which can facilitate rehydration.

2) Ginger

Ginger is a research-backed natural anti-nausea remedy. Nausea is arguably one of the worst symptoms of a champagne hangover. And if it’s a problem for you, sipping on ginger tea or taking a ginger supplement could help.(6)

You can read more about these benefits in our article about ginger for hangovers.

3) Painkillers

Painkillers containing Acetaminophen (e.g Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (e.g Advil) will help reduce muscle aches and headaches when hungover. These drugs do come with side effects you should be aware of. So, always check the packaging to check before taking them.

In summary: Trying to get rid of a champagne hangover can be difficult because, by the time you’ve woken up, most of the damage from alcohol has been done. Therefore, rest, rehydration and painkillers are your best bet.

Things to avoid

Although there isn’t much you can do to get rid of champagne hangover once you’ve got one, there are a few things you may want to avoid.

1) Exercise

Doing exercise to “cure” your champagne hangover is not the best approach. Many people believe that you can “sweat out” a hangover. Unfortunately, there is no scientific basis for this and it doesn’t work. In fact, it will probably make you feel more unwell as you unnecessarily stress your body out more.

So next time you decide to go for a run when hungover, you may be better off just resting instead.

2) Coffee

It may sound like the right thing to do, but drinking coffee when hungover has its downsides too. You’re right in thinking it’ll give you an energy boost and make you feel more alert. However, caffeine is a diuretic like alcohol, meaning it’ll make your kidneys flush out more water again. In addition, caffeine is a stimulant that may make hangover shakes and anxiety worse.

For a more detailed look into this, read our article on coffee for hangovers.

3) Drinking more alcohol

Drinking more champagne in the morning to fend away your hangover is also known as the hair of the dog.

Hangover symptoms start when your blood alcohol concentration reaches zero. Technically, drinking more alcohol should delay your champagne hangover. The keyword in that sentence is delay. Drinking more alcohol wreaks havoc on your insides and only delays the inevitable hangover.

How to prevent a champagne hangover?

Trying to get rid of a champagne hangover once you’ve already got one is the wrong approach. When it comes to hangovers, prevention is always better than trying to “cure” your symptoms.

The best way to prevent a champagne hangover is to drink less and at a slower rate. If you give your liver a chance to process alcohol and its by-products, the risk of waking up with a hangover is much lower. For example, drinking 5 glasses of champagne in two hours is much more likely to give you a hangover compared to drinking 5 glasses in five hours.

Keeping well hydrated by alternative each glass of champagne with a glass of water will rehydrate you. In addition, eating a meal before going out is very important for slowing the absorption of alcohol from your gut. Eating prevents rapid rises in your blood alcohol concentration.

Finally, taking specific vitamins and herbal extracts that support your body’s natural antioxidant defenses can also help. Check out AfterDrink for more information on this.

Best champagne for no hangover

If you’re looking for champagne that will not give you a hangover, unfortunately, it doesn’t exist.

Whether it’s Moët & Chandon, Bollinger, or Dom Perignon, all champagne will give you a hangover if you drink enough of it.

Champagne hangovers – Final words

That brings us to the end of our detailed look into champagne hangovers, why they happen and everything you can do to get rid of them.

We’ve gone through some potential reasons why champagne hangovers can be worse than others. In addition, we’ve walked you through some tips on how to get rid of champagne hangovers as well as preventing them from happening in the first place.

Ultimately, champagne hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve been drinking too much in a short period of time.

If you’re interested in hangover prevention, check out our article on the best supplements for a hangover.

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