Why do hangovers get worse with age?

+12 votes
asked Apr 17, 2015 in Health & Wellness by Lisa (600 points)
When I was 20 years younger, I did a lot of drinking yet rarely had a hangover and never a bad one. Now my hangovers are truly the nightmare everyone jokes about: nausea, pounding head, the works. Why has my hangover gotten worse with age? Does everyone get worse hangovers as they get older?

3 Answers

+29 votes
answered Apr 21, 2015 by Salama (810 points)
One of the reasons why we experience worse hangovers when we get older is because we get fatter! Or the lucky ones get thinner, but that makes a difference too. A change of bodyweight in either direction can worsen hangovers. When we weigh more, there’s a wider distribution of your blood alcohol levels so we consume even more alcohol to get the same feeling. So consuming bigger quantities will give you a worse hangover than you’re used to.

If you’ve lost weight, there’s less of that same distribution happening so we get drunker faster. Even though you might end up drinking less, your body is experiencing higher levels of alcohol than it can handle. So your weight really plays a major role in how your body reacts to alcohol, and anyone can experience this change!
+3 votes
answered Apr 20, 2015 by D. (700 points)
As we get older, our liver just isn’t as efficient as it used to be in filtering the alcohol out of our system, that’s why do hangovers get worse with age. Thankfully, there is something you can do to help your liver out a little and ease the hangover. When you wake up in the morning or if you can manage before bed, drink a glass of chocolate milk with a scoop of whey protein powder mixed into it. This will help your system get rid of all that leftover alcohol.
+2 votes
answered Apr 19, 2015 by Barry (670 points)
Alcohol makes you sleep worse, and we need more sleep as we get older than we needed when we were young. So this lack of sleep when we get older causes worse hangover symptoms. Our brain just doesn’t let the body recharge as well when it’s intoxicated.
Welcome to Instant Answer, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community.