12 Myths About Your Hangover

Emergency room entrance at night

MYTH: Hangovers Are No Big Deal

FACT: Heavy drinking rocks the central nervous system. It tinkers with brain chemicals — leading to headache, dizziness, and nausea — and sends you running to the bathroom so often you become dehydrated. The morning-after price can include a pounding headache, fatigue, cotton mouth, queasy stomach — and a weakened immune system.

Three women holding drinks and laughing in bar

MYTH: Hangovers Are Gender-Blind

FACT: Don’t go crazy with free drinks on Ladies’ Night. If a man and woman drink the same amount, the woman is more likely to feel the effects. That’s because men have a higher percentage of water in their bodies, which helps dilute the alcohol they drink. When women drink the same amount, more alcohol builds up in the bloodstream.

Two young men drinking shots at a bar

MYTH: Only Bingers Get Hangovers

FACT: You don’t have to get wasted to pay a price the next morning. Just a couple of drinks can trigger a headache and other hangover symptoms for some people. Having water or a nonalcoholic drink between each beer or hard drink can help keep you hydrated and cut down on the overall amount of alcohol you drink.

Close-up of two glasses of wine

MYTH: Wine is the Gentlest Choice

FACT: Red wine contains tannins, compounds that are known to trigger headaches in some people. Malt liquors, like whiskey, also tend to cause more severe hangovers. If you’re worried about how you’ll feel in the morning, the gentlest choices are beer and clear liquors, such as vodka and gin.

Ice splashing into diet soda cocktail

MYTH: Diet Cocktails Are a Safe Bet

FACT: Diet drinks may help if you’re counting calories, but not if you’re trying to avoid a hangover. Research suggests that having fruits, fruit juices, or other sugar-containing liquids can make for a less intense hangover.

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