Hangover Causes and Cures

Anyone who enjoys wine knows what a hangover is - if you drink more wine than your body is able to handle, you get headaches, nausea, sweating, and thirst. According to researchers with the British Medical Journal, this is not solely because of the alcohol (Ethanol) that is found in wine, beer, and other spirits. In fact, they say that often the symptoms are most severe once the ethanol has left the body.

The scientists blame cogeners for causing most of these problems. Methanol is a cogener commonly found in wines, and is the most likely culprit. Ethanol blocks the way Methanol works, so in fact the alcohol in your wine is helping to keep you from being hung over ... at least until it leaves your system.

Sake breweries have been saying this for years. Because the process of milling the rice strips off the outer layers of the rice, where all of the fatty impurities are, you're much less likely to get a hangover from sake. The more the rice is milled, the less chance of hangovers.

There are also many who will claim that better quality wine is less likely to give you a hangover, for the same reason. The higher quality wines are much less likely to have impurities in their final product, and therefore it bothers you less.

Not all of the effects of wine are from these cogeners. There are people who are allergic to sulfites who react to even a glass of a high-sulfite wine. There are also people sensitive to tannins who get headaches from small amounts of red wine. For most wine drinkers, however, it is the cogeners which cause the morning-after problems.

The alcohol is a natural diuretic, causing water to leave your system. This is why when you drink any amount, drinking water with it and taking an aspirin can help tremendously.

Still, the best prevention is simply not to drink too much. Too much of anything is not good for the body, and with wine this is definitely true.


A great deal of research and work went into my wine / health pages. If you use this information, please credit me properly. Thanks!

Wine and Health

All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.