Drinking alcohol cause hangovers, as last night you drank heavily, and this morning when you wake up, your head feels like it’s about to explode and your mouth tastes like someone soaked it in the sewer. In other words, you have a hangover – and you know alcohol causes hangovers. Although it may not be that difficult to figure out why people get hangovers, let’s take a closer look at this fascinating phenomenon and what one can do to avoid them in the future. With that said, we must address the original question: Why do hangovers exist?
The research Shows Drinking Alcohol Cause Hangovers
Basically, drinking too much alcohol increases blood flow to your brain, which is why you get dizzy. This increased blood flow also leads to increased production of a compound called glutamine synthetase. When you drink too much, your body gets rid of glutamine synthetase with vomit or diarrhea.
Once it’s in your stomach and intestines, glutamine synthetase triggers an inflammatory response that leads to pain and other symptoms of a hangover. It’s like a runny nose: You’re getting rid of something that doesn’t belong there—and it hurts! The more you drink, the more glutamine synthetase your body produces and thus, more inflammation. The good news is that these symptoms usually go away after about 24 hours.
First, let’s define hangover
A hangover, sometimes called a hang-over or monster hangover, is an alcohol-induced headache, nausea and vomiting due to a loss of water, salts and minerals. Alcohol dehydrates you. Symptoms of dehydration include thirstiness, dry mouth, dizziness when standing up quickly and fainting
(1). A hangover also includes symptoms such as a headache that isn’t relieved by aspirin or other over-the-counter pain medications
(2). The main reason for hangovers is dehydration. When you drink heavily (more than 2 drinks per hour), your blood becomes more concentrated with alcohol than it is used to being and tends to get rid of excess water in an attempt to keep things balanced.
Causes of hangovers
There are several reasons alcohol can cause hangovers. First, it causes dehydration through urinary loss and possibly sweating and breathing. Second, it disturbs our sleep cycle by decreasing rapid eye movement (REM) sleep or deep sleep, which is when we process memories. Third, it increases levels of toxic compounds in our blood such as acetaldehyde, which has been linked to cardiovascular disease as well as memory impairment and cancer development.
Finally, drinking disrupts production of serotonin—the neurotransmitter that helps us regulate moods—and lowers levels of endorphins (hormones that help us cope with stress). What’s more, when you consume alcohol on an empty stomach (which you should never do), your body expends energy digesting food instead of breaking down alcohol.
What you eat can influence your hangover symptoms
While you might feel like a meal of Cheetos and Gatorade before bedtime will somehow prevent you from feeling sick in the morning, there is little scientific evidence that food actually affects your hangover (one study did find, however, that eating more than two pieces of bread with alcohol increases nausea in women). Instead, it’s worth looking at what happens to your body during a night of drinking.
Alcohol is metabolized primarily by enzymes found in your liver—if these enzymes are overwhelmed or blocked, they can produce toxins that make you sick. That’s why people who drink too much often wake up nauseous: their bodies are trying to get rid of whatever nasty stuff was left over from all those drinks.
Myths and facts about hangovers
First, we should clarify what a hangover is. The definition of a hangover includes all sorts of symptoms that come after drinking, including nausea, headache, and dehydration. It’s important to note that people have different thresholds for hangovers: Some can drink more than others before they experience them. As a general rule, though, you need to drink at least eight drinks over two hours in order to feel hungover (and most people don’t stop after two).
That might sound like a lot for some folks—but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be cautious about how much you drink if you want to wake up feeling fresh. What causes hangovers? There are several factors that contribute to your hangover. Dehydration is one of them; alcohol makes you pee more often, which leads to less water intake overall. Alcohol also interferes with our liver’s ability to break down toxins in our bodies, which means these toxins build up and cause headaches or nausea.