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Ten things you don't know about hangover

Having a glass of beer or wine with friends is one of life's pleasures. Wine and beer are rich quality foods and have interesting organoleptic characteristics - beer is even useful in muscle recovery - but it is well known that the alcohol contained in these beverages is harmful to health, without considering its immediate effects, such as night nausea and hangover.
Having a pint with friends

10 things you didn't know about hangover

Furthermore, not everyone is aware of the consequences of excessive alcohol intake on the human body. Let's discover 10 curious information, useful to keep in mind the importance of moderate and responsible consumption, without giving up the pleasure of a pint of beer with friends.

1. What Hangxiety is

Hangxiety is a common symptom that affects many drinkers. The word comes from the union of hangover and anxiety. This symptom has a psychological and a scientific explanation: in the first case, it affects people who are afraid of having behaved inappropriately under the effects of alcohol, such as sending a message to exes in the middle of the night or saying things out of place. In the second case, it affects people who usually suffer from anxiety: the first sips of alcohol, in fact, stimulate the production of dopamine in the brain, with a resulting boost of euphoria. These effects are enhanced the following hours, when the production of mood-stabilising neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, is inhibited.
When hangover triggers anxiety
During hangover, the body works to expel the alcohol molecules. For this reason, blood sugar levels drop significantly. This decline, combined with the collapse of dopamine and other hormones, induces a state of anxiety in the subject.

2. Humanity’s first hangover

Humanity’s first hangover dates back more than 10 million years. It happened when our ancestors experienced alcoholic intoxication for the first time, eating fruits that had fallen from trees and fermented. Evolution, however, has helped us with a genetic mutation in the ADH4 gene, which encodes alcohol dehydrogenase, the enzyme that allows the absorption of ethanol and allows us to consume alcohol in a certain amount without getting sick.

3. The worst hangover

You get the worst hangover when you drink dark alcohol. The reason for this curious difference lies in the fact that some distillates such as whisky, cognac and brandy - but also red wine - contain more methanol, a substance that is toxic to the body and naturally present in alcoholic beverages in small quantities, as a by-product of fermentation. Among the distillates that contain less of it, vodka stands out.
Scotch, Whisky, red wine and your hangover is guaranteed

4. The population with the worst hangover

Japanese are the population that suffers hangover the most. This is because about half of them have a genetic defect of aldehyde dehydrogenase, which means that the consumption of even a single glass of sake leads to terrible headaches and unbearable nausea.

5. Extreme hangover remedies

In the United States, some companies offer emergency remedies for hangover in spas, wellness centres or even at home. For example, the Hangover Club, a company that offers services on board of a bus: for 129 dollars, it gives injections of vitamins and IV that promise to alleviate the typical symptoms  of hangover. A questionable remedy that, despite its success, is considered ineffective by experts, if not harmful.
A vitamine ingestion to fend off hangover

6. Why we feel sick during hangover

Science has not yet fully explained the causes of hangover sickness. Especially in the case of nausea and headaches, it seems that the symptoms are caused by the presence in the body of a substance called acetaldehyde, before it turns into acetic acid, a harmless substance that is eliminated through the bladder.

7. Natural remedies against hangover

Eggs are one of the oldest hangover remedies for after drinking. Pliny the Elder indicated their beneficial effect already in the first century AD and was right: eggs are rich in cysteine, a component of an amino acid called glutathione that helps the enzymes delegated to destroy the ethanol.
Even drinking a glass of milk helps, because it brings blood sugar levels back to normal, counteracts acidity and fights dehydration.

8. Hangover and stress

During hangover, the production cortisol - the so-called "stress hormone", spikes in our body. High levels of cortisol lead to a general body fatigue, metabolic and mental swings, often associated with the symptoms of stress.

9. The origin of the word hangover

The term "hangover" comes from a service that in Victorian England was offered to citizens of large cities. At the time, for only two cents, it was possible to rest in unheated rooms with tight stretched ropes dangling in the middle, on which people could lean. These were safer makeshift accommodations than the laying on the street or on the bare floor, although some of the guests often died of cold. The term used today derives from the discomfort people had back then, caused by the uncomfortable sleeping position.
Hangover malaise

10. Why women suffer from hangover more than men

Women are more likely to suffer the aftermath of alcohol drinking for a physiological reason: the female body has a higher average amount of fat than the male one, which contains instead more water. Being a water-soluble substance, alcohol can therefore have a lower impact on men than on women.

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