2-day Hangover: Causes & Cures For Two Day Hangovers
⏱️ TL:DR ∙ Article in 20s
Dealing with a hangover lasting 48 hours or more can be miserable. Factors like dehydration, drinking too much alcohol too quickly, mixing booze with medications, poor sleep, and low blood sugar can contribute to prolonged hangovers. To reduce chances of a 2-day hangover, pace drinking, alternate alcohol with water, eat while drinking, avoid risky medication combinations, and get plenty of rest. Lifestyle tweaks like these help your body process alcohol more efficiently to avoid a drawn-out hangover. If alcohol intolerance like Asian Flush may be to blame, consider flush prevention supplements which speed up the elimination of alcohol and it's toxic byproducts.
- Not enough water
- Drink too much too quickly
- We process alcohol slower with age
- Alcohol intolerance or Asian Flush
- Drink choice
- You’re on medication
- Hair of the dog
- Poor sleep quality
- Drinking on an empty stomach
- Low blood sugar
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Waking up with a hangover after a night of drinking is a pain most of us have felt before. No one enjoys dealing with that pounding headache, nausea, and mental haze that make even the simplest of tasks seem impossible.
And when those symptoms last for two days straight, it can feel completely debilitating and disruptive to your life. But know you're not alone. We've all been there.
The good news is that while there may not be a "cure all" for a 2 day hangover, there are things you can do to relieve those symptoms and bounce back more quickly, from lifestyle changes to supplements like Asian flush pills.
Read on to discover easy, actionable tips to ease your discomfort and get back on track faster after overdoing it.
Water is hugely important when coupled with alcohol consumption, but is often forgotten. Think about what happens to your body when you're drinking. Because alcohol is a diuretic, it is very easy to get dehydrated the more you drink.
It sounds simple enough to just drink more water, right? Not so fast - get yourself 4 pints of beer deep and you’ll probably forget to drink some water, too.
How much water you drink during a night out has a massive impact on how hungover you’ll feel. It also affects how long your hangover will truly last. Because alcohol causes a diuretic effect, both alcohol and your lack of water work together to cause some serious dehydration. Dehydration itself can cause headaches, weakness, and dizziness.
Dehydration only makes everything worse, so many sure to drink water or non-alcoholic drinks when you’re at the bar, too.
Tip: If you forget everything else, make sure to stay hydrated! This is one of the most simple recommendations we can make to prevent that 2-day hangover.
2. You Drink Too Much Too Quickly
Your body can only process so much alcohol in so little time. If you drink slowly and pace yourself, your body will have a much easier time breaking down the alcohol and eliminating it from your system. This also means that you won’t get as drunk, typically.
If you overload your body with alcohol in a short amount of time, you’ll likely experience two things:
- You’ll get drunker, quicker
- You’ll pay for it much more the next day (or the following 48 hours) with prolonged hangover symptoms.
Sometimes you can lose track of time or how quickly you’ve had that last cocktail, but slowing down the amount you drink really does make a difference. It also helps to pick drinks that you naturally drink slower, like an iced cocktail that’s too cold to drink fast compared to a shot that you consume in a second.
Tip: Drink slowly, slowly, slowly. Even choose drinks that force you to drink slowly! Your body processes alcohol at its own pace, so give it the time it needs. Don't try and be a hero and outdrink everyone.
3. We Process Alcohol Slower With Age
You might find that you just can’t handle alcohol like you used to. Remember those university parties where you seemed like you could drink anything? Now you have a glass of wine and you’re out for the count.
That’s OK! It’s normal.
As we age, our body processes alcohol much slower and less effectively than it once did. It can take longer for your body to break down alcohol, causing more severe hangovers than when you were younger.
Tip: You can reduce your impending hangover by minimizing how much you drink (and don’t compare it to your university days).
4. Alcohol Intolerance Or Asian Flush
Alcohol contains lots of different ingredients, preservatives, and additives that cause people to have negative reactions. In very rare cases, some people are even allergic to alcohol (although a true allergy is extremely uncommon). Typically, negative symptoms from alcohol points to alcohol intolerance (either to something within the drink) or Asian Flush (a genetic enzyme deficiency).
Some people who experience alcohol intolerance may struggle through a longer hangover than usual. This is because the body is reacting strongly to the alcohol and causes additional symptoms. So not only are you dealing with a hangover like everyone else, you're also dealing with something more intense.
Other symptoms of alcohol intolerance or Asian Flush can include:
- Red facial flushing
- Headaches or migraines
- Restricted or laboured breathing
Want to learn more? Make sure to read our article: “Sudden Alcohol Intolerance - Causes, Symptoms, Allergies & Risks"
Tip: Supplements like Sunset Alcohol Flush Support are designed specifically for reducing the symptoms of Asian Flush or alcohol intolerance. Sunset enables the user to drink alcohol more comfortably without being overwhelmed by negative symptoms, like headaches and flushing.
5. Drink Choice
Not all drinks are equal, nor are their associated hangovers equal, either. Many people believe that a chemical called congeners (specifically those in darker liquors) are tied to longer hangovers. Drinks with more congeners like whiskey, red wine and brandy can potentially turn your usual hangover into a 2 day hangover.
Most people recommend sticking to lighter drinks with less congeners for less of a hangover - drinks like vodka and gin. It’s also believed that cheaper alcohol has more congeners, so it might be best to avoid the cheapest drink on the menu, too.
Tip: Pick clear alcohol and ideally not the cheapest option!
6. You’re On Medication
Did you know that certain medications make hangovers much more severe? Now you know!
If you’re taking certain medications, your body may not be able to metabolize alcohol like it normally does. This could lead to getting drunk much easier than normal and thus an even worse hangover. The worst-case scenario is you’ll end up with a two-day hangover, rather than a usual one that typically lasts 24 hours.
Tip: Check with your doctor on whether your medications shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol, or whether it’s safe to drink while on them.
7. Hair Of The Dog
Most people have heard of the myth that the “hair of the dog” makes hangovers less intense. It’s not true! Don't fall for this trick. You'll end up making your hangover symptoms worse, and you won't give your body a chance to bound back.
If you aren't familiar with this hangover cure, it's pretty simple - the thought process is that your hangover is actually just alcohol withdrawals. Thus, by drinking more when hungover, you can offset the unpleasant symptoms.
We know - it sounds crazy. And it is. But, some people truly believe that by continuing to drink alcohol while hungover, you will actually make the hangover less severe. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and will actually make you feel worse. Drinking too much alcohol while hungover is an easy way end up with the dreaded two-day hangover! You're just dehydrating yourself even more.
Tip: Don’t continue to drink alcohol when you’re hungover - you’ll just turn it into a two-day hangover!
8. Poor Sleep Quality From Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Alcoholic beverages may help some people fall asleep faster, but the sleep quality drops substantially. As such, drinking too much alcohol usually has a two-prong reaction.
At first, alcoholic beverages can make you feel really sleepy and relaxed. However, after a few hours (typically when you’re asleep) you might bolt up wide awake. Even if you do sleep through the night, alcohol usually prevents you from sleeping in a deep stage of sleep. This means that although you were asleep, you don't get restful sleep like normal.
This interrupted sleep cycle results in you feeling tired and lethargic the following day. Of course, this makes feeling hungover 100 times worse!
What to learn more about alcohol and sleep? Check out our article: "Why does alcohol make you sleepy?"
Tip: Try not to drink alcohol right before bed so it won’t impact your sleep cycle as much.
9. Drinking On An Empty Stomach
Most people know that it's important not to eat on an empty stomach, but a lot of us forget! Although food doesn't "absorb" alcohol like a lot of people say, it does slow down the absorption of alcohol into the body.
This means that you'll get drunk slower and will allow your body to break down the alcohol at a good pace.
If you want to avoid a really long hangover, you need to make sure that you eat during (or before) drinking alcohol and during Day 1 of your hangover. Although there are no specific foods that will guarantee you won't get a hangover at all (or a two day hangover) eating is still important!
Tip: Remember to eat when drinking and eat when you're hungover.
10. Low Blood Sugar
Another cause of your two-day hangover could be problems with your blood sugar levels. If you didn't already know, alcohol can disrupt your body’s natural blood sugar levels. More alcohol can lead to a low blood sugar concentration, which is a big factor in feeling weak and fatigued during a hangover.
If levels drop too low, this can exacerbate the problem and increase the likelihood of a longer hangover and overall feelings of fatigue.
Tip: If you have issues with blood sugar, make sure to keep an eye on your levels while drinking alcohol. Choosing less-sugary drinks can help, but won’t eliminate the problem.
Why Do I Get 2 Day Hangovers?
Experiencing a prolonged hangover can be caused by a variety of reasons, but can definitely be avoided. The best advice we can give you is to try and figure out the root cause of your two day hangover.
Maybe it requires you to start drinking water more frequently while you're out - or, maybe you have poor alcohol management and you drink too much, too fast.
Perhaps it's something a bit more veiled, like medication interacting with the alcohol you drink or it could be sleep-related. There are so many different causes of the dreaded two day hangover, and no hangover cures really work the way you think they do. Just drink responsibly!
If you follow these tips and look after your health, hopefully, you can avoid the dreaded 48-hour hangover! Of course, if you suspect it could be related to alcohol intolerance, we encourage you to take a look at our flush prevention pills!
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