We all enjoy a glass of wine, it is the best accompaniment to delicious meals and after-meals. However, have you ever wondered why we get hangover? Know what happens when the glasses are passed to us
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Wine is one of the most popular and consumed alcoholic beverages worldwide, it is a drink that is obtained from the fermentation of the must or juice of the grapes; said process is produced by the metabolic action of yeasts, that also transform the sugars in the fruit into ethanol and gas in the form of carbon dioxide. Since ancient times the Wine consumption has been very seen seen by the western high society, thanks to that It is a trend that is constantly evolving and thanks to this they have been created all kinds of wines, blends and variants. It is also a drink that has become the perfect ally of good gastronomy and of course long after-hours
What happens is that many people, even if they like to drink it, feel a little bit morel, that is why there are many questions around topics such as: wine intolerance, hangovers and sulphites; the news is that this is a surprisingly complex issue worth talking about.
What is a hangover?
It is important to start understanding what happens in the body when we have a hangoverIf you do a little online research on the topic, practically all the answers coincide: A hangover refers to a series of unpleasant symptoms and various pictures of discomfort that a person presents after a excessive alcohol intake. There are multiple symptoms that of course vary in intensity and appearance according to each person but among the most popular are: Fatigue and weakness, thirst, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, poor sleep, increased sensitivity to light and sound, dizziness, instability, decreased ability to concentrate, mood disorders: depression , anxiety and irritability. Although of course you can always discover the symptoms in your own flesh after drinking 2 bottles of a cheap alcohol.
How much alcohol can the body actually process?
One of the best ways to avoid a hangover is simple and involves moderationafter all it is important to know that excessive alcohol will always be a kind of poison for the body. A bottle of wine contains between a 11 and 15% alcohol by volume and our body can process, on average, a unit of alcohol (10 ml of pure alcohol or 100 ml at 10% alcohol) per hour. This means that we process a small glass of wine (125 ml) in more than an hour and a half.
Imagine one of those days when you have a little more than a drinkLet’s take as an example that you drink half a bottle of wine (three small glasses of wine) How long will it take the liver to process them? Mathematics is cruel: between four and five hours.
Reality What causes a hangover?
When talking about a hangover of wine it is well known that people tend to blame the famous sulfitesHowever, it is a bad concept that is usually talked about without knowing much about it. It turns out that sulfites have an important role to play in the winemaking process, in fact since Middle Ages. If you can eat a cup of dried apricots without a hangover (they have more sulphites than a bottle of wine) and you have a hangover from drinking too much beer or liquor so: Sulphites are not the cause of hangovers.
And although is unspecific and scientific in terms of terminology, is that the main culprit in hangovers is alcohol itself; in fact too much drinking is simple, It is the complete recipe for a good hangover. In fact all the time when digesting food we produce alcohol in the stomach, but we are talking about tiny amounts that our body can easily process. Of naturally the body is equipped to process alcohol to some extent, what happens is that when we consume more than becomes toxic and of course we have limited capacity to process it quickly. These are great explanations to understand the reasons why alcohol can become so dangerous and even cause death, this is done through a alcohol poisoning. Mostly the most common symptoms they hide an interesting process:
Hangover-related headaches, nausea, and vomiting
There is a component called acetaldehyde found in some staple foods like bread, fruits, and rusty drinks and which is also a by-product of alcohol oxidation. What is interesting is that our liver produces the same substance when it is oxidized and breaks down alcohol (ethanol). This acetaldehyde also breaks down two substances the main one called cysteine is a sulfur-containing amino acid, there is evidence that proves that the liver somehow uses that sulfur (which is the main component of sulfites) to break down the by-products of alcohol. This cysteine is helping our body to produce a natural antioxidant (glutathione) which breaks down alcohol toxins; Taking into account that the body can only process certain amounts of alcohol at once, all unprocessed alcohol is spilled around the body and they occur symptoms such as headache, nausea, and vomiting as an attempt to eliminate toxins.
Of course at the time consuming alcohol is related to a relaxing effect which makes it easier for people to become disinhibited, however the next day there is a very peculiar exhaustion and this occurs as a defense mechanism of the body and also because excessive alcohol consumption has a depressive effect on the neurological system. Too when we stop drinking our body tries to compensate and a imbalance in glutamate production, this directly prevents us from having adequate and relaxing sleep since the REM sleep cycles, that also affect our memory and creativity. This is derived directly from states like insomnia, extreme tiredness, difficulty concentrating, irritability and stress.
Probably the infallible symptom after a night of partying is thirst, we all know that one of the main consequences of alcohol consumption is dehydration and it is the most normal wake up very thirsty. It is well known that dehydration presents some symptoms such as annoying headaches, also alcohol inhibits an important brain hormone called vasopressin what does he have main role of retaining water in the bodyor and contract the blood vesselstherefore the liquids we consume pass directly to the kidneys and bladder the body does not absorb it and thirst and dehydration occur.
Tips to mitigate the effects of hangover:
- Remember that it’s all about the amounts we consume, in fact in moderate form the alcohol consumption contributes some beneficial effects since it acts as an anticoagulant, increases good cholesterol, reduces bad and reduces the risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases. A great advantage of wine consumption is that it is rich in potassium, so it helps process the salt and it is a powerful antioxidant which is associated with pure good effects for the functioning of the organism.
- Learn to know your body and pay close attention to the type of alcohol you consume, especially to the symptoms you have since on many occasions we can be intolerant to some variants or components.
- Drink in moderation and for long periods, always with food since help decrease the absorption of alcohol giving more time for the liver do your work. Remember that we process half a bottle of wine, that is, three cups in a matter of 5 hours average.
- Always accompany alcohol consumption with plenty of water, remember that we lose about half a liter of water with each glass of wine and it’s also a good way to avoid later discomforts.
- Avoid drink alcohol at least 2 hours before sleep, this will allow the brain calms down from the stimulation it causes.
- Try to choose quality wines, is a fascinating world and a good alternative to decrease annoying symptoms.