How and why we get hangovers
Ever wondered exactly what alcohol’s doing to your body while you’re getting pissed?
Exactly how and why you feel like shit the morning after.
Alcohol has been with us since 10,000 BC, the ancient Egyptians had 17 types of beer and 24 variates of wine. In fact, beer was a dietary staple of most human beings long before bread.
Alcohol is actually the name give to a special group of chemicals. Of which Ethanol is the only drinkable version.
Basically Ethanol is what you drink on a friday night and it’s the chemical responsible for giving you a hangover.
Other common types of alcohol include Methanol and Isopropanol, but we highly recommend you avoid drinking them.
They’re used in many different fields, mostly medical.
Β And what is alcohol exactly?
The Alcohol we drink is usually considered as a drug, a depressant to be precise.
However in small doses it can also act as a stimulant, and it’s only when you consume too much that it’s depressant effects kick in and you end up with a hangover.
The reason is because booze slows down many of your vital functions.
It can affect your speech, movement, vision and the ability to react quickly. It also impairs mental function, leading to what can, on reflection, seem like bad decisions.
So why do we get a hangover when we drink too much?
Well, Alcohol is essentially a poison. You may have some personal experience of the effects of consuming too much already, but let’s take a look at them all the same;
Sensitivity to light and noise
And a general feeling of feeling like s**t.
Surprisingly, the most debilitating and dangerous factor is dehydration.
Alcohol is a diuretic and diuretics are well known for making you piss more liquids than you’re drinking. That means they make you dehydrate exceptionally fast.
That’s why you get the headache, because your body is literally taking water from your brain to give to other parts of your body.
This affects it’s core functions β balance, memory, speech and movement control.
The best way to avoid a hangover
Cosidering the importance of maintaining body water levels can’t be stressed enough. I don’t want to be a scaremonger, but starving your brain of water can cause long term damage, (just take a look at the customers at your local liquor store).
So it really is important to avoid dehydration, regardless of whether you’re a daily drinker or an occasional partaker.
Drink plenty of water, before during and after any drinking session and of course, if you have some to hand, a couple of EnGov with your first and last drinks.
A few interesting facts about hangovers and social drinking.
As a continent Europe is by far the world’s biggest alcohol consumer.
The top 13 booze loving countries are all European, while somewhat surprisingly the UK only makes 15th on the list.
Still that’s way ahead of the United States at only 8.5 litres per person.
Internationally, the average age when a person first tastes an alcoholic beverage is 12 and
shockingly more than 80% of youngsters are regular drinkers by age 15.
In small amounts alcohol can have health benefits on your heart, although there are countless
harmful effects on the body when drunk regularly in large quantities.
But hey alcohol is fun and there’s no reason why occasionally going a little overboard shouldn’t have it’s place in your social calendar once in a while.
Just be careful, make sure you have a great hangover cure and be sure to enjoy yourself.