Hangovers Get Better with Age

Hangovers Get Better with Age

I call it the three day hangover. As you age, the fatigue of Saturday night excess turns into a hangover that lasts long into the next week. Maybe that’s why I’m all the more vigilant about moderate drinking. But according to new research out of Denmark, while older people may have more trouble bouncing back from a hangover, they’re much less likely to get one to begin with.

“We found that the tendency to have hangovers decreased by increasing age,” Janne S. Tolstrup, a research program director at the University of Southern Denmark, said in a press release reported on The Huffington Post. “The first explanation that pops up is that this finding would be due to differences in drinking pattern in different age groups.”Read more about organic alcohol

Researchers looked at the drinking habits of 52,000 people aged between 18 and 94. They defined how often they experienced a hangover after binge drinking (at least five drinks in a sitting). Researchers found that as we age we’re less prone to hangovers then we are in our twenties. Hangovers are marked by headaches, exhaustion, queasiness, and dehydration.

Hangover Frequency

The chances of experiencing a hangover after binge drinking were 11 times greater among men aged 18-29 versus 60 and older. The chances of experiencing a hangover for women were 8 times higher among those 18-29 versus 60 and older.

“Given what we know about drinking patterns across the lifespan, it’s likely that our younger drinkers’ binges would have been of greater intensity, involving more alcohol, than those of our older drinkers, even though the average weekly consumption was about the same,” said Richard Stephens, co-author of the study. “This is one possible explanation of the reduced hangover incidence with increasing age that we found.”Read more about healthy reasons to have a pint

People suffer the worst hangovers at age 29, and as people reach age 30 the intensity at which they binge is decreased. They don’t have the stamina. But drinking to excess is still a big national problem. According to the CDC, 92 percent of U.S. adults who drink excessively report binge drinking in the past 30 days. Although college students commonly binge drink, 70 percent of binge drinking episodes involve adults age 26 years and older. Men are much more likely to binge drink than women.

Photo Credit: Aldor

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Sara Novak specializes in health and food policy writing for Discovery Health. Her work has also been featured on TreeHugger, HowStuffWorks.com, TLC Cooking, and Animal Planet. After graduating from the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia, Sara headed up the communication efforts for a national scholarship program in Washington, D.C. Sara has also handled copy writing and public relations for a global environmental consulting firm. She loves fiddling with healthful recipes, traveling, and exploring life atop her yoga mat. Today, Sara lives in Charleston with her husband and two lovable cocker spaniels, Madison and Bella.