Doctors explain why our hangovers become more unbearable as we get older

man with hangover

Doctors have explained why people suffer more severe hangovers following a big night out as they get older.

It is a phenomenon most people will have experienced. When you were in your late teens and woke up after a night in town you may feel a little worse for wear but a simple splash of water over the face could be all it took to snap you out of it and have you ready to face the day.

Fast forward ten years and consuming the same quantities of alcohol would result in a day in bed with the curtains shut for many people.

It is all to do with the way our bodies process alcohol. Our livers take more time to deal with the alcohol that we have consumed as we get older.

This means that we feel the negative effects such as nausea and headaches for longer.

Gastroenterologist Mark Welton, M.D. says our younger selves were far more efficient in dealing with alcohol.

Dr Welton told Men’s Health magazine: “When we get older, our whole recovery process for everything we do is harder, longer, and slower.”

It is due to the production of an enzyme called dehydrogenase, which is responsible for breaking down both ethanol and methanol.

These are present in the majority of alcoholic drinks.

As we get older our body produces less dehydrogenase, meaning our liver cannot cope with the same amount of alcohol as quickly as it used to.

It couldn’t happen at a worse time, as Dr Welton points out, we have more responsibilities as we age which makes the situation all the worse.

He said: “You can’t be left alone in your bedroom to suffer with your headache. You’ve got kids, a spouse, and boss who expects you to be at work on time.”

One method to help deal with the agony of a hangover when you are 30+ is to treat yourself to a, glass of chocolate milk, with a scoop of whey protein powder, according to hangover specialist Dr Jason Burke.

Dr Burke says the milk and whey contain an amino acid called cysteine, which helps your body deal with toxins that are contributing to your hangover.