Do Hangovers Get Worse With Age?

Man with hangover

We’re all aging, that’s just part of life. One thing they don’t tell you is that one day you can drink all night and feel fine in the morning, and the next you can’t get out of bed. As you age, hangovers tend to get worse as if they weren’t already unpleasant, to begin with.

The physical symptoms of a hangover are easy to spot. They typically consist of headaches, nausea, fatigue, and dehydration. When you were in college, you could probably knock that out with a Diet Coke, but as a grown adult it’s much harder to shake.

While it might seem like it’s all in your head, it’s definitely not. Alcohol affects you differently as you age, and here’s why.


Your Metabolism Has Slowed Down

According to research, when you age your metabolism slows down. So, not only will you potentially gain weight easier, but your body won’t metabolize alcohol as well. The enzymes in your liver break down alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is believed to be the hangover culprit.

Your body relies on your liver to break down the acetaldehyde into the non-toxic form of acetate. As you get older, your liver cannot do this as quickly which can result in you feeling those horrible hangover symptoms.

On that note, hangover prevention pills can potentially support metabolism by providing your body with antioxidant nutrients.



Genetics play a huge role in the severity of your hangover at any age. You likely have friends who always show up to brunch the next day totally fine no matter how many they threw back last night. This could likely be just because of their genes. Their body is built to process alcohol better than others.


You Have Less Body Water

We are told from a young age that our bodies are mostly made of water. On average, the adult body is made up of 60% water. As you age, that amount decreases because you develop more body fat which replaces the water. This can result in a higher concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream which could lead to a worse hangover.


Your Tolerance is Lower

As you age, you probably aren’t partying every night as you did in college. With the era of everyday binge drinking behind you, your alcohol tolerance can be reduced. That means when you have the occasional wild night out and you have one too many, you may feel worse in the morning.


It Might Be in Your Head

Another possibility is that you’re just feeling like the hangover is terrible because you don’t experience them as often anymore. You’re older, and probably more tired in general so it could be in your head and they may feel worse since they are spread out.



To sum it up, whatever the case may be, hangovers can be worse as we age. If you weren’t blessed with the anti-hangover genetics, grab water and some Tylenol and settle in for that hangover. You can follow our tips to avoid one, and hope for the best. Always drink responsibly, and enjoy!