Why Do Hangovers Get Worse with Age? | Wellness Retreat

Why Do Hangovers Get Worse with Age?

If you’ve ever experienced a hangover and prayed to your higher power to make it go away in exchange for a vow of sobriety, you’re not alone. Almost 70% of people feel hungover a night of drinking alcohol. 

While hangover symptoms vary from mild to severe, nursing a hangover after the age of 30 can be especially challenging. If you are struggling with more intense hangovers in your 30s, it’s no coincidence. With age, your body cannot process alcohol the way it used to. 

You might be wondering, “Why do hangovers get worse with age?” 

What Is a Hangover? 

A hangover is a set of symptoms that follow alcohol consumption. Unlike the feeling of euphoria and pleasure while drinking, hangover is the effect once the alcohol has started to leave the body. 

Oftentimes, the more alcohol you drink, the worse your hangover symptoms will be. This also depends on certain factors and your level of tolerance. For some, even a small amount of alcohol can lead to these unpleasant symptoms. 

Most hangovers will subside within a day, but some can last 24 hours. The symptoms vary depending on the individual. 

Here are some of the effects that alcohol has on your body that lead to a hangover.


When you drink alcohol, you urinate more frequently because alcohol is a diuretic. This can cause dehydration and lead to dizziness and headaches. 

Gastrointestinal Issues 

Drinking alcohol can irritate your digestive system. The increased production of acid in your system can cause vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. 

Electrolyte Deficiency 

 Alcohol intake affects your body’s electrolyte levels. Electrolyte imbalances may contribute to headaches, irritability, and weakness.


This is also known as low blood sugar. Alcohol inhibits your body’s sugar production and can symptoms like fatigue, drowsiness, and irritability. 

Poor Quality Sleep 

After a night of drinking, although you might “pass out”, the quality of your sleep is disturbed. It can also cause you to feel drowsy the next day. 

What Are Hangover Symptoms?

Hangover symptoms vary depending on certain factors. Tolerance level, amount of alcohol, presence of food in the stomach, and sleep. The following are symptoms that you might feel once your blood alcohol content is almost back to normal: 

  • Weakness, grogginess, and fatigue 
  • Dry mouth and excessive thirst 
  • Muscle and body aches 
  • Headache or migraine 
  • Nausea or stomach pain 
  • Vomiting or retching 
  • Inability to sleep 
  • Inability to focus 
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Feelings of depression and anxiety 
  • Shakiness and increased heartbeat 

While symptoms vary depending on the individual, one or more of these means that you are likely hungover. Exessive drinking is dangerous and can lead to alcohol blackouts and deteriorating health. 

Why Do Hangovers Get Worse With Age?

There are several reasons why hangovers feel so much worse as you get older. If you’re feeling the negative effects of a hangover getting worse with age, these are some of the causes:

  • Alcohol is harder to metabolize as you get older 
  • Your liver is slower to process alcohol, extending the hangover effects
  • The level of body water decrease with age not allowing alcohol to dilute the same way 
  • Less tolerance due to drinking less often in your thirties 
  • Change in perceptions of hangovers when they happen infrequently 
  • More responsibilities to get through while hungover (ie. kids, work)

These are some of the common reasons that a hangover can affect your more. There are ways that you can help reduce hangover symptoms, and better yet, avoid them altogether. 

How to Cure a Hangover

If you have over-indulged and you’re suffering from the symptoms of a hangover, there are several ways that you can alleviate your symptoms. Give these remedies a try to find the best hangover cure for you. 

Get Lots of Rest 

It might feel like you had a deep alcohol-induced slumber, but alcohol actually disturbs your sleep. You will likely wake up still tired and groggy. For this, you might need to sleep in longer than usual. 

If your lifestyle allows, give yourself a day to rest ad recoup your body. This is one of the only ways that you can get back to feeling normal quickly.  

Eat a Hearty Breakfast 

If you want to know how to get rid of a hangover, the answer is a hearty breakfast. Due to the decrease in sugar levels when you drink alcohol, your body is likely in desperate need of nutrients. 

Drink a glass of juice for sugars, a piece of toast for cards, and scrambled eggs for protein. This will get your blood sugar back to balance. 

Boost Your Electrolytes 

Another effect of alcohol is the loss of fluids and that means electrolytes too. You can opt for snacks like bananas, kale, or spinach to help get a boost of nutrition. 

It is also a good idea to grab an electrolyte drink such as Powerage or Pedialyte. These drinks give you a quick boost of potassium and help rehydrate your body. 

Prevent the Symptoms 

Taking action before you drink is a great way to prevent hangover symptoms. These are some common ways that you can prepare before you drink to lessen a hangover: 

  • Eat a meal before you drink 
  • Drink water in between alcoholic drinks 
  • Avoid alcohol with high levels of congeners 
  • Avoid sugary sodas for mixing 

These are all helpful ways that you can prevent hangover symptoms. They are all ways that you can drink responsibly. If you’re experiencing frequent hangovers because of overdrinking, you might think about seeking help. 

Alcohol detox can help you manage your alcohol addiction and create a plan for a sober future.

Drinking Responsibility With Age to Avoid Hangovers

Hangovers aren’t fun at any age but they do come with more intense symptoms as you get older. There are many negative effects that alcohol has on the body that create these unpleasant symptoms. If you’re wondering, “Why do hangovers get worse with age?”, you might also be looking for alcohol recovery. 

Visit our website and contact us for a full list of addiction services.