Why does alcohol make you sick the next day?

Ah, alcohol – a great way to have fun with friends or forget about your problems for a night. But sometimes, you wake up feeling like death warmed over. Head pounding, stomach churning, and dehydration hitting you like a ton of bricks. So why does drinking too much lead to such an unpleasant next day? Let’s find out.

What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Alcohol

To understand why we feel sick after drinking too much alcohol, it’s helpful first to know what happens when we drink it in the first place.

When we consume alcohol, our liver metabolizes it into acetaldehyde via enzymes called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and then further broken down by other enzymes called aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). Acetaldehyde is highly toxic but quickly converted into non-toxic acetate that can be metabolized through various means in the body.

However,(1) if we drink more than our liver can handle at once ((2)), acetaldehyde builds up since there are not enough ADH and ALDH enzymes available causing adverse effects (3) which include;

  • Hangover Symptoms
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Light sensitivity

Acetate plays an important role here – as anyone who has experienced hangover while still being drunk will know! If your body is unable to process all that extra toxins from alcohol consumption normalizing blood sugar levels leads us feeling drowsy /fatigued during hangovers (4).

Dehydration Leads To headaches & Dry Mouth

Alcohol makes you pee; oh boy yes! Now before you take this sentence somewhere dirty let me explain… Since ethanol stimulates urine production/ urinating often leads most people experiencing drinking frequent bathroom breaks🚽 . As ridiculous as using bathroom keeps us from getting bladder infections, alcohol negatively impairs the anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) that regulates fluid retention resulting in elimination of fluids (5)and increase dehydration which inevitably leads to headaches and dry mouth.

Bad Sleep can Make You Tired 🛌

The body has two phases denoted by Rapid Eye Movement(REM) & Non-REM(NREM), alternatively known as deep sleep: both are very critical for maintaining cognitive health. Alcohol affects both of them equally but what’s more harmful is the lack of REM phase when someone is asleep (6).During this phase the body mingles with normally suspended chemicals/hormones such as norepinephrine serotonin along with epinephrine keeps us vigilant throughout daytime /circadian rhythm — meaning, it keeps you feeling alert.

Without sufficient REM sleep,(causing you to wake up earlier than normal times)/ or maybe failed attempts sleeping since hungover one may experience fatigue throughout day long …burning oil that shouldn’t be burned causing numerous negative physical malaise (7).

The Culprit – Congeners

Let’s talk about congeners now. They are chemical compounds naturally present in alcoholic beverages; they contribute to its flavor/color/taste/smell/fermentation during production hence making up specific unique flavors for different drinks like wine/rum/whiskey etc! However, if there’re too many congeners present in the drink itself… they lead to hangovers/nasty aftertastes such as:

– Methanol
– Acetone
– Aldehydes(well hello again)

Luckily enough these compounds exist only small amounts often translating into fewer side effects when consumed . Drinking dark colored liquors like whiskey/bourbon have a high level of congener sometimes which gives people nasty hangovers regardless how much was overly consumed. So instead while out drinking stick clear pure spirits cocktail drinks like Vodka/White Wine (8).

Taming Your Hangover

Alright, now that we understand what causes hangovers let’s talk about how to minimize them. There are no surefire cures for a hangover, but there are ways to alleviate those nasty symptoms:

1. Water is Important 💦

Keep yourself hydrated throughout the night/after drinking as well since your body losesfluids two times faster due to alcohol processing through kidneys making necessary refreshment important always (9).

2. Nourishment Is Key 🍳

Eat greasy food earlier / or meal rich in minerals/vitamins such as avocados& broccoli all day long/natti ogg with bambino will help you significantly reduce feeling sick from indulging too much at last night’s party plus it provides specific nutrients eluded by damaged liver cells during own necessary detoxification process (10)!

3. Restorative Physical Activity

It might not sound ideal hitting gym when hung over they want better functioning entirety of metabolism usually sustained inflammation & sugar levels even with mild stationary bike ride early morning effectively can release sugars/maintain proper blood pressure after excessive strain alcohol consumption puts on one’s heart physiology making exercise often the way success associated a milder hangover recovery 11


Nothing beats migraines/dry eyes stuck cycling through unpleasant flashing images behind eyelids even when covered up with soothing mask which aspirins etc easily will resolve12.

At end of the day drinking has its ups and downs especially depending on how much someone consumes, one can have just as fun partying without neglecting physical limits while taking necessary steps to lessen unwanted hangover symptoms afterwards! Drinking responsibly and hydrating throughout your drink will always leave you feeling refreshed the morning after instead of wanting to die like most us sometimes experience.

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