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When we talk about hangovers most of us think of college days that consisted of massive parties, and kegs, or we may think of holidays with our relatives and families- everyone has that one family member that doesn’t know when to stop drinking, or we might even think of recent days on a weekend where we had just a little too much. Either way hangovers are that painful reminder of what happens when we have a little “too much fun”. Hangovers are associated with the consumption of too much alcohol and can consist of many symptoms that can range in severity. While most of us know what the symptoms are or what a hangover looks and feels like we may not know the exact causes of it other than it is an effect of a cause, that cause being alcohol. Whether or not you get a hangover from alcohol can vary based on age, weight, height, gender, what kind of alcohol you’re consuming and more. There are so many variables that can determine what the cause of your hangover may be. Regardless, of all of this reasoning though we all know a hangover when we feel it.

A hangover is caused by an over consumption of alcohol and the reasons for this are plenty. The first cause of a hangover is the ethanol contained in alcoholic beverages has a dehydrating effect which causes headaches, dry mouth and tiredness.  For example, when you go workout at the local gym and have not been drinking enough water you may find yourself with a bit of a dull ache in your head. This dehydrating effect is unpleasant and is one of the main causes for a hangover. Dehydration is the number one cause of a hangover. Now, how much alcohol do you have to consume in order for this to become a cause of a hangover? That depends entirely on what you’re drinking, how much you’re drinking, your weight, age, and even can depend on your gender. It may take someone who weighs 125 pounds and is female very little to reach this point, where as a 6’2 160 pound male may need much more alcohol reach this cause of a hangover.

The second hangover cause, is the fact that a liver breaks ethanol down with the aid of enzymes produced by liver cells. These chemical reactions do many things including impairing the liver’s ability to supply glucose to tissues, in particular to the brain. Glucose is responsible for the brain’s energy and the lack thereof results in fatigue, weakness, moodiness and decreased attention. This, we recognize as the large amount of trouble getting up for work Monday morning. This mixed with the headache from dehydration is severely uncomfortable. That is why the causes of a hangover make anyone think twice about drinking again.

What causes a hangover, put simply is; you are wreaking havoc on your body. A human being is not meant to drink alcohol and when it is consumed in large quantities the body has to adjust and work extra hard to keep up. This creates the over stimulation of the liver in ways that are not necessarily beneficial for you and dehydration which in excess can be extremely dangerous. A hangover is a sign that your body is trying to heal itself. The cause of a hangover can be multiple things but as we all know it is from consuming too much alcohol.


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