The Many Causes Of Hangovers And The Difficulties In Finding A Cure

If you’ve ever had a hangover, you know how terrible and miserable they can be. You might have tried some of the common hangover cures that people swear by—water, coffee, greasy food—but none of them seem to work. There are many different causes of hangovers, which makes it difficult to treat them all at once. Luckily, there are ways to reduce your risk of getting a hangover in the first place by limiting how much alcohol you consume or knowing

Let us explain the various causes of hangovers, some myths about curing them, and how you can prevent them before they happen.


If you’ve ever had a hangover, then you know that the best of the best hangover cures is prevention. One of the most common causes of a hangover is dehydration, which can be avoided by drinking water or other electrolyte beverages.

Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluids than it takes in through food and drink. Alcohol is a diuretic: it causes you to urinate more often—and thus lose more water—than usual. In addition to indigestion, headaches and fatigue, being dehydrated can also cause nausea, dizziness and muscle cramps—all symptoms that make any party less fun for all involved.

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

Alcoholic ketoacidosis (AKA) is a serious condition that can be life threatening. It occurs when a person has a large amount of alcohol in the body, which causes their insulin levels to drop. When this happens, the body burns fat instead of glucose as its main source of energy. This produces ketones—acids that are released by the liver when it burns fat for energy.

AKA  can cause nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain or distention and even organ failure if left untreated for too long.


Acetaldehyde is a toxic chemical that’s produced when alcohol is broken down. It can be toxic to the liver, brain, gut and heart.

There are two ways to break down alcohol: enzymes in your stomach help break it down into acetaldehyde (called first-pass metabolism) or later on after you’ve consumed your drink (called second-pass metabolism). The first method results in fewer hangover symptoms because the amount of time that elapses between ingestion and intoxication is longer than when you’re drinking directly from the bottle or can—but there are still some symptoms associated with this pathway as well.

Nutrient Depletion

The body requires a number of essential nutrients for proper functioning, including vitamins, minerals and amino acids. These nutrients are depleted by alcohol consumption.

For example, vitamin C is required to make collagen (the building block of connective tissue) while vitamin A helps with vision and skin health.

Magnesium regulates nerve function and potassium keeps your heart beating properly.

If you’re drinking every day or even several times per week it’s likely that you’re already deficient in these nutrients as well as others such as B vitamins and folic acid.


Congeners are toxic chemicals that are produced during fermentation. They’re not present in all alcohols, but they can be found in most distilled spirits and fortified wines such as vodka or port. Congeners, which include things like acetone and methanol, are toxic to the liver and aren’t filtered out by the body. In fact, congener content is one of the reasons why you shouldn’t mix whiskey with alcohol-free beer.

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