Finally, some science on why drinking makes you feel like crap the next morning

Finally, some science on why drinking makes you feel like crap the next morning

VicesNovember 29, 2017 By Rachel Bigum

Interestingly enough, there’s little scientific knowledge about what exactly causes hangovers, or more importantly, how we can cure them.

According to the Alcohol Hangover Research Group (AHRG) — an actual group of drunks doing the Lord's work — hangovers develop when your blood alcohol level returns to zero. And as most of you tequila mockingbirds might have realized, this is a feeling that can last for over 24 hours.

As many know, one of the main culprits is dehydration. This is what causes the dry mouth and an insane thirst the morning of that makes you want to swallow the ocean.

Dehydration can also be the cause of that bowling ball inside your skull that slams every time you move your head. In the attempt to restore lost fluid levels, those handy blood vessels begin to dilate, in turn causing swelling around the brain. That’s some real science shit.

But most scientific studies stop there. And while dehydration deserves some of the blame, there are other culprits that deserve equal amounts of rage.

The fun nausea that hits early on is all thanks to a volatile relationship between your intestines and alcohol. When you drink heavily, your intestines become increasingly irritated, in turn causing inflammation. There’s also an increase in gastric acid production, pancreatic and intestinal secretion, etc.

But the real kicker here is there’s a giant undercover culprit by the name of Acetaldehyde, which according to ZME Science, “builds up in response to alcohol processing in the body, which is thought to be 30 more times toxic than alcohol itself.”

So it could be that Acetaldehyde is the bastard behind the origin of hangovers — that and alcohol’s effect on the immune system, which obviously isn’t ideal. Drinking heavily has been said to cause a similar response to when the body is infected with a fever or inflammation.

The problem with all of this here is, there's no readily defined "cure" for the chronic illness of the weekend flu. Though through ongoing efforts and compounding discoveries relating to it, help could soon be on the way.

Regardless, for now, if you drink heavily a hangover is soon to follow. Unless you need help right away, click through to see a few tips to help you cope from drunks who love to get white girl wasted.

[cover photo: Antoine K via flickr]