Here’s Why Hangovers Get So Much Worse When You’re Older


Back in your late teens, handling hangovers was part and parcel of everyday life. 

You weren’t ready to let any booze hold you back the next day, no way. Yeah, you might have a bit of a headache and briefly want to find a place to tactically vomit but that soon blows over.

But fast forward a few years later, you’ve had a tequila too many and you feel dead inside. Being able to fully function as a human being is practically impossible and your bed is your kingdom for the rest of the day.


So why the hell does this feeling get so much worse when you get older? Well it seems your liver simply isn’t the alcohol-processing machine that it used to be back in the good ol’ days- that’s according to gastroenterologist Mark Welton, M.D anyway.

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

As you get older, your liver produces less dehydrogenase. This is an enzyme which is responsible in breaking down the two types of alcohol (ethanol and methanol).


According to researchers in Germany this is present in most of our favourite tipples, so when you try and down the same amount of booze as you did when you were a few years younger, it hangs around your body longer and extends the hangover hell.

Also, we have to remember when you’re a bit older you probably have more responsibilities to take care of in life which also has a rather detrimental effect.


Dr Welton added: 

[When you’re older,] 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.

And the only way to stop this nightmare? Well, until someone creates some magic pill to combat the dreaded hangover, sadly, the best cure is prevention.


Though I doubt that’ll stop any of us from enjoying a few cheeky bevs.


Men's Health