Oops, you did it again. You swore you wouldn’t drink that extra glass — or two or three — of spiked eggnog, but you did, and now you went from holidaze to holi-oh-my-gosh-everything-hurts-and-I-just-want-to-die. So why do we even get hangovers?
“Hangovers occur from the way our bodies breaks down alcoholic drinks,” Rebecca Park, a registered nurse and founder of the natural health resource Remedies For Me, tells SheKnows. “The alcohol is first broken down by the liver into acetaldehyde, which is poisonous and is a cancerous byproduct. As the alcohol produces a feeling of euphoria, the acetaldehyde causes the unpleasant hangover symptoms, such as headaches, nausea and vomiting.”
Eventually, Park says, the acetaldehyde is converted into fructose and then into acetic acid, which is changed into carbon dioxide and is exhaled out of the body through the lungs. And if you think your hangovers are getting worse as you age, you’re not wrong.
While cutting back on the booze is the obvious way to avoid feeling groggy and gross after a night of holiday cheer, there are a number of ways to kick that hangover to the curb.