Hangovers Get Better With Age, Apparently. We Don't Believe It

Those of us over the age of 25 would have to respectfully, but firmly, disagree.

Hangovers get better with age, according to a new study – and it’s the most baffling thing we’ve read in a while.

The study invited 761 Dutch alcohol consumers aged 18-94 to document their booze consumption, alongside their experience of hangovers, via an online survey.

The study, conducted by Utrecht University in the Netherlands, concluded that “hangover severity declines with age”, even after considering estimated blood alcohol concentration, or the amount of alcohol consumed.

Those of us over the age of 25 would have to respectfully, but firmly, disagree – especially considering the headaches we’ve endured after our first week back at the pub post-lockdown.

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The researchers put forward one possible explanation for their surprising finding: our sensitivity to pain tends to decline as we get older, they say, so this may be why younger participants report worse hangover symptoms.

Still, the study goes against common thinking that hangovers get worse when we age. In fact, Lauren Booker, author of ‘Try Dry: The Official Guide to a Month Off Booze’, and consultant for Alcohol Change UK, previously told HuffPost UK hangovers are likely to be prolonged and feel more severe as we mature.

This is because everything slows down as we age, she said – including our livers, which find it harder to process alcohol into harmless waste products. “This means there are more toxins in our bodies for longer, as they’re broken down more slowly into carbon dioxide and water,” she said.

To add insult to injury, we’re just not fit as we once were. “More body fat and less muscle make the alcohol we consume more concentrated in the body, leading to dehydration and worsening the dreaded hangover,” added Brooker.

Perhaps they do things differently in the Netherlands. Or maybe the young people involved in the study don’t truly appreciate how quickly they bounce back – just wait until they hit middle age.

Either way, whatever your age, we’ve got you covered next time a hangover hits with these hangover-busting breakfasts. Or, you know, you could try hair of the dog.