What Causes a Hangover

Before every hangover comes a night of drinking. However, the reasons behind a hangover are more than just having too much to drink there are plenty of factors that all add up to the pain you feel the next day. Here is a look at some of the common causes of hangovers, and what you can do to cure them.

Dehydration is a major concern with alcohol consumption. Alcohol increases urination, flushing needed fluids from the body, along with essential vitamins and nutrients.

Name Your Poison

Alcohol is also technically a poison. Besides the ethanol in your drink (the alcohol that gives you the tipsy feeling and makes you drunk) there are also other chemicals such as methanol and acetone.

Different alcohols will have different effects on your body. Brandy is the worst for causing hangovers, while vodka is the least likely to cause a problem (when you drink in moderation). Red wine and rum are also at the top of offending list.

Of course, any time you drink, you can best avoid a hangover by drinking in moderation. Too much alcohol of any type can leave you with a hangover in the morning.

Why Wine is so Bad

Wine is especially known to give hangovers, and there are so many factors that can affect it. A bad harvest can cause more congeners to be in the wine, increasing the risk of a headache. Wine that has not been given time to age properly will also be more likely to give you a hangover.

How quickly wine can be drunk depends on how long the vintage was kept in oak barrels. Six months or less, and the wine can be drunk within a year. Stored for a year or longer, and the wine should be left alone for ate least four years. If oak chips were added to the wine for flavoring, it can take even longer.

Hangover Prevention Tips

With some of the factors that cause hangovers, there are also some cures that you can do to keep them from becoming a problem.

Start out by having plenty to drink. This will slow down the effects of the alcohol on your system.

Since alcohol is a diuretic, make sure that you take steps to avoid dehydration. Drink plenty of water or fruit juices, and avoid caffeinated drinks. Drinking water before bed can be a big help to the morning hangover.

Watch out for mixing drinks, since the different alcohols may affect how your body processes them. Especially avoid mixing drinks from different sources, such as grapes and grain for example, do not drink wine and whisky in the same evening.

Some exercise the next day can help get your metabolism up and running again. While you will probably not be in any shape to run a marathon, even light exercise like a brisk walk can help you to feel better.
While you may not feel like eating much in the morning, a little food on your stomach can help as well. The bigger and more nutritious breakfast you can manage the better. However, if you are feeling nauseous, start with something light like toast or crackers on your stomach first.