If you are in your 30s and reading this article, chances are that the above topic has struck a chord. Yes! Hangovers exist and they seem to get worse as we age. While your 20s may have buzzed by smoothly in terms of dealing with the ‘morning after’ an office party or a get-together with lots of booze thrown in, your 30s are certainly not as forgiving. 

What is a hangover?

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A group of symptoms that ensue after a bout of heavy drinking, even though alcohol has mostly found its way out of your body, is termed ‘hangover’

These include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Thirst
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Sluggishness
  • Redness of eyes
  • Muscle ache

Symptoms of a hangover start several hours after you stop drinking. When the alcohol level in your blood becomes zero, the symptoms are at a peak and they continue for up to 24 hours after that. 

How do I know my symptoms are due to a hangover and not withdrawal?

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Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are somewhat similar to symptoms of a hangover. So, a lot many times people confuse the two. The major difference between the two is that a hangover occurs after a single episode of drinking. On the other hand, withdrawal symptoms occur after multiple and repeated sessions of boozing. Withdrawal symptoms last for days and may be accompanied by seizures and hallucinations. 

Why my hangovers hurt more now that I am 30?

1. Change in body composition

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As you get older, your body loses muscle and gains fat. More fat means alcohol will remain concentrated in your body for a longer time, resulting in severe hangovers. Also, as the water content in the body goes down with age, it makes you prone to dehydration after drinking. 

2. Liver becomes sluggish

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As you are aware, our liver is a detoxifying organ. In the twenties, it is active and cleans the alcohol out of your system efficiently. But, with age the number of liver enzymes in the body decline, which makes it harder for your liver to metabolize alcohol. 

3. Body no more remain as young like before

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With age, your body’s ability to deal with stress, illnesses, junk food, and alcohol intake reduces. The recovery is not as fast as when you are in your 20s. Yes, it is time to face the truth - your body can’t handle bad drinking habits anymore! 

4. The ‘stress’ is stressful

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Now that you are in your 30s, you have more responsibilities and that translates to more stress. Drinking may help relieve your stress, but the euphoria only lasts a short time. The stress hits you harder than ever the day after your booze binge.

Apart from the above, certain personality traits such as aggressiveness, and neuroticism, lifestyle factors such as smoking and drugs, and family history of alcoholism also have an effect on the intensity of your hangovers. 

How do I ensure my hangovers don’t last long?

1. Drink in small, non-intoxicating amounts

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While this is not rocket science, most of us forget to keep control over how much alcohol we are drinking and tend to go overboard. Paying attention to the quality and quantity of alcohol consumed can prevent hangovers. 

2. Choose the less intense alcohol 

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Vodka and gin cause less intense hangover symptoms, compared to brandy, whiskey, and red wine. 

3. Fuel up while you booze

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Munching on dry, bland and complex carb-rich foods such as toast or crackers can counter low blood sugar level and relieve nausea. Fruits and fresh fruit juices are also known to reduce the severity of hangovers. 

4. Sleep it off

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A good and restful bout of sleep helps reduce the fatigue and lethargy after a hangover. Also, a cup of coffee can give you a much-needed boost after a hangover.

5. Take medicines

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If nothing else works, try popping an antacid to relieve gastritis and nausea after a hangover. Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications help relieve a headache and muscle-ache associated with a hangover. To know more about the medicines that are safe to take to deal with a hangover, consult our specialist. 

So, if have been wondering all this while why you can’t handle the booze now that you are in your 30s, you have your answer. But, here is the good news!  If you practice moderation, you don’t really need to miss out on alcohol completely, no matter what your age group. 

However, in any case, if you are getting an addict and want to completely withdraw from alcohol, then consult an Addiction Medicine Specialist online. 

About the Author

Neha Garg

Neha Garg is a clinical dietician and health writer with an outstanding academic and clinical background. A post-graduate from the prestigious Lady Irwin College, she was also a Delhi University topper. With a work experience spanning more than a decade, she has worked for renowned healthcare organizations such as Indraprastha Apollo Hospital and HealthifyMe. An avid reader and health enthusiast, she also develops customized diet plans along with personal diet consultations. Presently, she is working with EbixCash as a senior medical writer.

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