11 Nov. 2021 – Blackout Wednesday, the unfortunate nickname for Thanksgiving night, is the busiest bar night of the year. With college students at home for the holidays and distant friends and family gathering for a long weekend, the appeal of socializing sometimes overwhelms the nightmares of a hangover, especially when you sleep it off with afternoon naps caused by turkey.
In fact, “about 50% of the differences between people and how they get hangover is driven by genetics, ”says Puya Yazdi, managing director, head of science at SelfDecode, a company that DNA and laboratory tests to provide personalized health organ recommendations.
The Science and Genetics Behind Hangovers
“Hangovers is more complex than you might think. Genetics can have an impact on how you experience a hangover, and so can many other factors, ”says Serena Poon, a community health nurse and reiki master in Los Angeles.
Thanks to these variations in genes, some people just deal with alcohol better and has less severe hangover than others.
In fact, “a genetic variation that affects the way alcohol is metabolized can cause some people to have less serious hangovers than others,” says Grace Yoon, an herbalist in New York City and South Korea.
Yoon, founder of Qi Alchemy, an herbal and oriental medicine market, says: “drink on an empty stomach, mixing alcohol with other drugs, and not sleeping well after drinking ”can also increase your chances of getting a horrible hangover.
There are several genes that are responsible for how people experience hangovers: CYP2E1, ADH1B and ALDH2.
The CYP2E1 gene encodes the enzyme that breaks down alcohol compounds. When there is a slight change in its structure, people remove alcohol faster from their systems.
Variants in the ADH1B gene make the enzyme work faster. Generally, this gene encodes a portion of the ADH enzyme, which contains alcohol in the liver.
ALDH2 usually encodes a portion of the ALDH enzyme, which helps remove things from your system. Variants make the enzyme less efficient, causing toxins to stay in your system longer.
Interestingly, some people are allergic to alcohol because they do not have the genes to digest it.
“Some Asians have genetic variants that impair their ability to break down alcohol. Sometimes they show extreme reactions like flushing, braking, and an excited heartbeat, just after a few drinks, “says Yazdi.
In addition to these changes in genes, your inflammatory response can affect your hangover. “The more you drink alcohol, the more severe these inflammatory reactions are and the worse your hangover symptoms,” he says.
The darker the drink, the worse the hangover
“Science has found that this old woman’s story, ‘the darker the drink, the worse the hangover’, turned out to be true,” says Yazdi.
“These darker drinks contain a substance called congener, which gives alcohol its flavor. That’s why people say light drinks like vodka and gin are odorless while brandy and whiskey have more flavor. ”
“Darker drinks, such as rum and whiskey, contain more congeners than lighter drinks. When your body metabolizes these congeners, the process can create toxic substances that can increase the severity of your hangover, ”says Poon.
Some examples of these congeners include “methanol and tannins, which are chemicals from the fermentation process that give alcoholic beverages their distinctive flavor. These darker beverages contain higher concentrations of congeners, which will definitely cause worse hangovers,” says Yoon.
What your age has to do with cats
“Even though we all feel like we’re getting older, hangovers are getting worse, scientifically, that may not be true,” says Yazdi. “What happens is that your alcohol tolerance may have diminished because you did not consume as much alcohol as you did when you were much younger.”
Basically, you have more energy and stamina when you are younger than when you get older, which also includes the atmosphere to drink alcohol.
Yoon also points out, “your liver may slow down to metabolize alcohol as you age, prolonging the effects of a hangover.”
A study which Poon quotes say that as you get older, your pain sensitivity decreases, and therefore you may not feel the effects of hangover compared to your younger self.
Home Remedies and How to Avoid Cats
“The best way to avoid a hangover is to moderate alcohol consumption and hydrate as much as possible while drinking. Avoid sugary drinks as it can upset you blood sugar and can reduce the amount of sleep you get, ”says Poon.
“Experts usually recommend switching to water 3 to 4 hours before bedtime to allow for restful sleep. Your body heals while you sleep, and it can use extra rest while it works to process and eliminate alcohol from your system. ”
Yoon advises us to use red ginseng to reduce infection when you drink alcohol.
“Red ginseng is beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, “she says.” In Korea, red ginseng has been used as a traditional medicinal plant to reduce infection, which helps with hangovers. ”
Alcohol dehydrates your body and can cause layers blood sugar levels.
Yoon says that “especially red ginseng extract has short-term effects on ethanol metabolism and helps reduce ethanol concentration in the blood, inhibits inflammation and increases antioxidant capacity in cells. It also helps to improve blood sugar levels. ”
In cases where you do not want to drink alcohol at all, Yoon advises people to try an alternative fermented tea drink called kombucha, which has a very low alcohol content and is beneficial. probiotics.