There’s A Reason Your Hangovers Feel So Much Worse When You’re Older

Look familiar? [Photo: Giphy]

Hangovers in your twenties - After drinking your body weight in spirits/shots/anything you can get your hands on, you wake up feeling a bit meh, head down to McDonalds for a cure-all sausage and egg McMuffin, a quick disco nap and you’re ready to do it all again that night. Score!

Hangovers now - You barely get through two Expresso Martinis before waking up unable to move your head for fear it will explode, in a shaky, nervy state that lingers well into Monday (and maybe even Tuesday). Despite going to bed at 8 o clock three nights running, you declare that you’re never, ever drinking again! It’s Just. Not. Worth. It.

So what’s the deal with the hangovers from hell the minute you kiss goodbye to your twenties?

Well, science says you’re not imagining things. Your hangovers do get worse as you get older. And it’s all to do with your ageing body.

The Science of Us explains that one of the main reasons your hangovers get so much worse with age is because our bodies become less efficient at processing alcohol as we get older.

Hangover? What hangover? [Photo: Rex Features]

When we’re young whipper snappers, our bodies are more capable at breaking down alcohol in the liver, transforming it into a compound called acetaldehyde. After that, it is broken down by an enzyme into acetate, which eventually turns into carbon dioxide and water, which sort of ‘washes’ the alcohol from your body. Along with any regrets from the night before!

But as the years creep by, our levels of the necessary enzymes decrease, meaning acetaldehyde — which is a highly toxic, proper nasty chemical — spends more time hanging around leading to the obligatory hangover headaches, dry mouth, nausea, and a host of other symptoms.

On top of that your body loses water with age, meaning the leftover alcohol in your body is more highly concentrated, which makes everything feel just that little bit worse.

And then there’s the dreaded body fat, which sadly has a part to play in those god awful three day hangovers. We’re sure this won’t come as a surprise to you, but as we get older we build up more body fat, which struggles to absorb alcohol. It means there’s less space available for the booze to diffuse into and be processed.

Looking good! [Photo: Rex Features]

But we can’t blame everything on the body, as our proper grown-up lives have a part to play too. In your twenties hangovers could be shrugged off with a day in bed and a couple of Nurofen plus. But as we get older – work, kids, proper adult responsibilities put the spoilers on any potential recovery time and make your hangover symptoms feel so, so much worse.

As we said, Never. Drinking. Again!

What’s your ultimate hangover cure? Let us know @YahooStyleUK

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