How Long Does a Hangover Last?

Whether you pride yourself as the life of the party or only indulge on occasion, no one likes the feeling after a night of over-indulging on alcohol. This is especially true if you find yourself feeling the effects of a hangover on a day when you have activities scheduled that cannot be delayed or avoided. So how long does a hangover last, and what can you do to treat symptoms so you can power through your day?

How does alcohol affect the body?

Alcohol is a substance that has numerous effects on the body that contribute to hangover symptoms, such as:

  • Alcohol is a diuretic, making a person urinate more and become dehydrated more quickly
  • Drinking alcohol causes a drop in blood sugar levels, which can lead to a number of symptoms
  • The toxic byproducts resulting from the body breaking down alcohol can trigger or worsen several hangover symptoms
  • Alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate, which can lead to headaches
  • Drinking alcohol can cause an immune response that leads to inflammation, which can cause several hangover symptoms
  • Alcohol interferes with how the body breaks down and absorbs nutrients, preventing the body from getting the fuel it needs to function properly.

What are typical hangover symptoms and how long do they last?

Many people know a few of the most common hangover symptoms, but hangovers can affect everyone differently.

Symptoms of a hangover may include one or more of the following:

  • Nausea
  • Exhaustion
  • Headache
  • Thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach aches
  • Muscle and joint aches and pains
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Mood changes like depression, anxiety, or irritability

Symptoms of a hangover typically resolve on their own within 24 hours with rest, nutrition, and hydration.

Is it possible to prevent a hangover?

While not consuming alcohol seems like the most obvious way to avoid a hangover, there are other factors that contribute to the likelihood of developing a hangover and help lessen its intensity and duration.

One way you can lessen hangover symptoms is by taking a few hangover prevention measures. Staying hydrated before, during, and after you drink alcohol greatly reduces the chances of getting a hangover.

Another is by avoiding dark liquors containing congeners, which are byproducts of the fermentation process that are believed to give spirits color and flavor. The more highly distilled a spirit is, the fewer congeners it contains. Congeners are also believed to contribute to hangover symptoms, which is why you might want to avoid them to lessen the likelihood of developing a hangover.

Other ways to help avoid a hangover include:

  • Ensuring you eat before drinking alcohol, so your body does not absorb the alcohol as quickly
  • Limiting use of other substances or drugs while drinking, such as nicotine, recreational substances, or prescription medications that may interact negatively with alcohol
  • Having a healthy and consistent sleep routine
  • Limit yourself to one alcoholic beverage per hour, and drink a glass of water between drinks

How can I treat a hangover?

There are many DIY methods people use to treat hangovers, such as:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids- Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated, but you should also note that electrolytes also play an important part in hydration. If drinking water is not bringing relief, you may want to consider drinking a sports drink or oral rehydration solution that can help replenish electrolytes.
  • Making sure you eat- If your stomach can handle it, consume healthy foods rich in nutrients. This can help replenish your body with the vitamins it needs to function at its best. The fructose found in fruit can also help the body break down alcohol and improve symptoms more quickly. If you are dealing with nausea, stick to bland foods that can help raise blood sugar, like bread.
  • Sleep and rest can help your body recover from a hangover and reduce the time you are actively experiencing symptoms
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as NSAIDs, antacids, and anti-nausea medications can help relieve symptoms. It’s important to note that acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol, but is found in many OTC drug blends) puts further strain on the liver, so it should be avoided whenever you drink.

Some people also try consuming teas, like ginger or chamomile, to help combat symptoms, but there is no evidence showing these methods reduce the duration of a hangover.

IV therapy for hangovers

IV therapy can help reduce the length of a hangover and combat its symptoms. Within 30-60 minutes of a session, you can feel relief from symptoms. This is because IV treatments bypass the digestive system and are delivered straight to the bloodstream.

Typically, medications and nutrients consumed orally get broken down in the digestive process, meaning only about 50% are absorbed by the body. IV therapy allows for the highest possible absorption rate – over 90% – allowing you to get the full benefits of treatment.

Delivery directly to the bloodstream also means your body can start using ingredients to heal and recover right away, ensuring you can get back to feeling your best much more quickly.

What is in a hangover IV cocktail?

Hangover IV cocktails typically include:

  • IV fluids- IV fluids rehydrate your body and restore electrolytes necessary for proper function
  • B complex vitamins- Replenishing these nutrients helps fuel your body for healing and energy production
  • Vitamin B12- This vitamin is vital to neurological function, and may help reduce migraines triggered by hangover
  • Toradol- This NSAID helps combat aches and pains associated with hangover
  • Zofran This drug helps relieve nausea and vomiting

In-Home IV Treatments With Drip Hydration

With Drip Hydration, you can experience the benefits of IV therapy for hangovers in the comfort and safety of your home. A licensed and trained healthcare professional can come to your home or office to administer an IV therapy treatment for hangover, offering relief in just 30-60 minutes. These treatments can empower you to take on your day even after enjoying a night on the town.

You can either browse our treatment options and decide which is best for you or speak to a representative who can help you choose what you need based on your health goals. To schedule your appointment or learn more, call or click to schedule an appointment!