Skip to content
Surprising Science

A Scientific Approach to Stopping Holiday Hangovers

Certain alcoholic drinks, like red wine and whiskey, are worse for hangovers than gin and vodka. The reason is the presence of congeners, a byproduct of the fermentation process. 

What’s the Latest Development?

If you would rather not wake up horribly hungover this holiday season, consider choosing alcohols wisely and bypassing all the tips and tricks, from raw eggs to exercise, that have no physiological effects. “Many alcoholic drinks contain byproducts of fermentation, known as congeners, which are added for taste and appearance, or produced naturally during the production process. Drinks that are mostly ethanol, such as gin and vodka, give fewer hangovers (but not none) than those full of congeners, such as red wine or whiskey.”

What’s the Big Idea?

The best cure for a hangover, and naturally the most difficult to employ, is prevention. Otherwise, time is the best medicine. “Sleeping off a hangover can help, along with taking antacids if your stomach is painful. Paracetamol is not the best hangover treatment as it is metabolised by the liver, which will have suffered enough. Aspirin will further irritate your stomach so avoid it too.” But if you drink more than is healthy, don’t feel too bad about it. There is some research that says feeling guilty increases the likelihood of a hangover.

Photo credit:


Up Next