Hangovers suck. Those early mornings where all you feel like doing is puking, you have severe headaches, you are sensitive to noise and light, you are tired and experience stomach pains. I mean, what’s to like about that, right? Hangover can last for really long and things worsen if you have work the next day. So, how long does a hangover really last? 24 hours? 48 hours? Or more?

How Long Does a Hangover Last?

Generally speaking, hangovers start showing symptoms within just a few hours of your heavy drinking, or, in medical terms, when your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) falls. They generally do not last beyond a day. However, in certain cases they can last for 2 days and even 3 days! Can this even happen? Sadly, the answer is yes. These are, of course, extreme cases and we will shortly discuss what affects the length of your hangover. In the mean time, here are other long lasting symptoms of a hangover.

You will be sensitive, have an upset stomach and experience stomach pains. Again, this usually lasts for only 24 hours but if it persists even after that, it’s advised to go and visit a doctor. You will also feel like vomiting or feel nauseous. This is something that may as well continue so far as the 3rd day. And sometimes, even longer, displaying residual effects, of course.

Please do know that hangovers happen for a reason. And the reason is that your body simply cannot tolerate such high levels of alcohol. This is your body’s way of saying "STOP!!"

What Worsens Your Hangovers

  • Poor hydration: Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes you pee more. And the more you pee, the thirstier you become. So if you’ve been drinking less water in the last few days and decided to go crazy drinking, well, your body started showing that.

  • Empty stomach: Ah, always the stupidest thing to do, and yet people do it anyway. Never drink on an empty stomach, alright? Especially if you have college or work the next day.

  • Drinking without breaks: Drinking high amounts of alcohol without giving your body, especially your stomach, a break results in longer hangovers.

  • Anxiety: Physical capability isn’t the only thing that affects your hangover time. If you’re anxious, nervous or even depressed, drinking alcohol might end up amplifying those emotions for you.

How long does a hangover last? Well, sometimes it can last for as long as 72 hours! But why does that happen?

  • Your immunity is weakened due to your incessant drinking.

  • Certain ingredients in the booze turn out to be something your body is allergic to, cannot tolerate or cannot break down into smaller pieces.

  • Drink too many drinks that are dark colored.

  • You are on your periods when you have that night of heavy drinking. Fluctuation in your hormonal levels results in longer spells of hangovers.

How to Cure a Hangover

Now that you have the answer to your question, "How long does a hangover last?" you can work on curing those massive hangovers.

Eat ginger

Believe it or not, this spice has been used literally for centuries to cure vomiting, nausea and even mild stomach pain. If you think nibbling a ginger root is too much for you, go ahead and make some ginger tea.


Drink booze the next morning

It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s not. The thing is that alcohol hinders the release of a chemical called glutamate. This hindrance lets your brain believe it’s not producing enough quantities, forcing it to go into overdrive, as a result of which your body now has more glutamate. So while the alcohol might leave your body, the excessive glutamate remains, as a result of which you might feel fatigue, nausea, headaches and irritability. A glass or two of an alcoholic drink can temporary block any further glutamate production by your body, and keep the existing quantity at bay.


Eat your breakfast

Alcohol makes you pee, which in turn depletes your body’s reserves of water and electrolytes. You need to get them back in your system, and a simple meal, like jam sandwich or cereal and toast, should do the trick. Avoid heavy food items because your body is still recuperating and needs as much rest as possible.


Drink lots of fluids

Yes, water is good, but so are other liquids like juices, coconut water, lemon juice, electrolyte rich drinks or even soups. Not only will they hydrate your body, but replenish it with essential nutrients that you lost the night before.


Go and sleep

Lack of sleep doesn’t necessarily instigate a hangover, but it sure as hell worsens it. So, if you can afford to, go and take a long nap. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed because in the time you were sleeping, your bodily functions were down to a minimum and your body took that time to heal itself. And that’ll work wonders for your hangover symptoms. A hangover isn’t caused by lack of sleep, but that makes it worse. Take a long nap the day after: it’s the body’s way of healing itself.


Let prickly pear help

How long does a hangover last? Well, you don’t have to worry about the answer if you can prepare your body beforehand, right? If you know in advance that you’re going to have a night of heavy drinking ahead, drink some prickly pear extract a couple of hours before your night out. It will drastically bring down your hangover symptoms.


Eat greasy stuff

If prickly pear extracts don’t work for you, no worries. Try eating something greasy a couple of hours before your night out. If that isn’t your thing, then simple 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil or coconut oil ingested will easily do the trick for you. The oils line your intestines, which forces them to take a longer time to absorb alcohol. Needless to say, that is a good thing if you’re trying to avoid a hangover.


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