More to the hang­over than myths

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News - Mitchell Wood­cock

Al­most all of us are guilty of hav­ing one too many drinks dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son.

And what of­ten comes with this is the dreaded hang­over the next morn­ing, some­thing which can ruin an en­tire day and make us re­gret ever touch­ing al­co­hol.

There many com­mon myths and mis­con­cep­tions about hang­overs and what causes them.

Ac­cord­ing to Pro­fes­sor Steve All­sop from Curtin Univer­sity’s Na­tional Drug Re­search In­sti­tute, there are many the­o­ries as to what causes us to feel rot­ten the morn­ing after.

“A lack of sleep is one. Some sug­gest de­hy­dra­tion could be a fac­tor be­cause al­co­hol is a di­uretic,” he said.

“So for want of a bet­ter phras­ing, you are pee­ing more than you drink. And in our hot cli­mate, that can be a par­tic­u­lar is­sue.

“It could also be the con­geners. Con­geners are the things that give flavour to drinks. Brandy has more con­geners than vodka. White wine has less con­geners than red wine.

“Some peo­ple have ad­verse re­ac­tions to con­geners and that means drinks that are heav­ier in con­gers can make them feel ill the next day.”

Pro­fes­sor All­sop said one of the main causes was that al­co­hol was toxic.

“Al­co­hol is bro­ken down into an alde­hyde and this can make you feel very un­well,” he said.

“The liver is quick to set­tle the alde­hyde down.

“There seems to be some vari­a­tion between dif­fer­ent peo­ple as to how quickly they can break that toxin down.”

Pro­fes­sor All­sop said even the preser­va­tives in cer­tain al­co­holic bev­er­ages can lead to a hang­over.

“Some peo­ple say they re­act to cer­tain preser­va­tives and that can re­sult in a hang­over,” he said.

“I can name a few my­self, but I won’t. There are a cou­ple of

high-pro­file, low-qual­ity beers that are on the mar­ket that make me feel foul after just the one.”

Al­though it may be ob­vi­ous, Pro­fes­sor All­sop said the more you drink, the more likely you were to get a hang­over.

This was as op­posed to the the­ory that if you mix drinks, you are more likely to feel the neg­a­tive af­fects.

“When it comes down to it, the main fac­tor that causes hang­overs is how much you drink,” he said.

“Dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son peo­ple drink more of­ten and in our cli­mate they do it for longer.

“There are many weird and won­der­ful the­o­ries re­gard­ing hang­overs, such as I shouldn’t have had that last drink or I shouldn’t have had that whisky.

“But re­ally it was the pre­vi­ous 14 that they had that caused the hang­over.

“If you have one drink, it is very hard to mix your drinks.”

Red wine has more con­geners than white wine, which can in­crease the ef­fects of a hang­over.

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