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Hangovers hit harder in the 40s and 50s

Is 40 really the new 30? Apparently not when it comes to hangovers

It seems that hangovers hit people harder in their 40s and 50s.

What is the nausea?

People often say that their hangovers get worse with age and they just “can’t handle it” like they used to. There could be many reasons for this, including both lifestyle and physical factors…

As people get older, influences in their life may change. For example, careers and family life may mean that you don’t tend to drink as much as you did in your 20s and 30s.

However, what you drink may also affect you the morning after the night before. Intolerances or allergies can develop at any age so it may be that your body has become sensitive to a particular ingredient (possibly sulphites or tannins in a drink that you have previously consumed with no problems), says Dr. Robert Pandina, Director of the Center of Alcohol Studies at Rutgers University.

Also, if your muscle mass is less than that of your 24 year old self, then this may affect how alcohol is distributed in your body. Furthermore, according to Dr. Blackwelder, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians, as people age, they tend to have less body water, thus leaving them dehydrated.

Liver health

The liver also increases in size when we reach our 50s. This in turn means it doesn’t function as well as it used to says Gary Murray, Acting Director of the Division of Metabolism and Health Effects at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institute of Health.

As you age, you may find that you take more medication than you used to. This too could have an effect on the way your body processes alcohol in the system.

And so the list goes on…alcohol can also have a greater impact on your sleep as you age leaving you feeling out of sorts for the best part of the day.

If you’re fortunate not to experience any of the above self inflicted symptoms then it seems you’re defying science, or in denial, or just plain lucky.

What can you do?

However, if you do like the majority, suffer hangovers you could perhaps find some solace in the form of a herb combination. Milk thistle has traditionally been used to relieve symptoms of overindulgence of both food and drink. Add artichoke, boldo and dandelion to your treatment cocktail before bed and you can avoid the morning after effects altogether.

Hangovers. Who needs them?


Petersen, A. 2013 Drinking After 40: Why Hangovers Hit Harder The Wall Street Journal

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