This Is The Real Reason Hangovers Get Worse As We Grow Older

"I'm never going to drink again." Yeah, sure.

The throbbing headache. The arid mouth. The panging regret and the knowledge that the next 48 hours are a complete write-off: yep, big boy hangovers aren't exactly fun.

But why is it that booze-induced sufferings get so much worse as we grow older?

Alcohol researchers (a job that's far less fun than it sounds, we're sure) haven't come to a complete consensus on the root cause, but a new post from NY Mag's The Science of Us has shed light on the weekend-ruining affliction.

One of the major reasons, they say, is that we simply become less efficient at processing drinks.

Each Peroni, Old Fashioned, or Skittle Bomb we flush down our gullet takes about an hour to break down. At age 21, this process works pretty smoothly. But over time, our levels of necessary enzymes decrease, "meaning acetaldehyde—which is a highly toxic, nasty chemical—spends more time hanging out in your system, causing headaches, mouth dryness, nausea, and a host of other symptoms."

But that's not the only thing making us reach for the Berroca—our penchant for cheese-smothered pizzas is to blame, too.  

As we get older, we also build up more fat, which doesn't absorb alcohol. This means that "someone who has more of it will have less space for booze to dilute—it's the reason women, who generally have more body fat than men, also tend to have lower tolerance."

Add that to the fact that the body loses alcohol-diluting water as we age, and you realise that the odds are firmly stacked against us all.


So it's all pretty inevitable and unavoidable, which is probably not the news you wanted to hear. Oh well, let's head to the pub and try to forget about it.

FromEsquire UK

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