How to Minimize the Effects of a Hangover as an Adult

You hear people say to enjoy things when you’re young because when you get older things will hit you differently. You know, all of the usual suspects. Things like carbs, late nights out with friends, and outdoor running (hello, knee pain and lower back pain). Oh yeah, and alcohol. Cue the adult hangovers. 

Hangovers in your 30s happen — and though there are some foods that can help minimize the effects of a hangover, you may still find yourself Googling “hangover in 30s.” Don’t worry boo, we’ve got you covered right here.

Here’s everything you need to know about an adult hangover and how to minimize the effects of a hangover in your 30s.

person with a hangover lying in bed

Hangovers in your 30s 

Why do hangovers feel more intense in your 30s than in your 20s? Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of specific research that gives us the exact reason why hangovers are so intense as we get older.

But what experts do know is this: “Your liver has a limited capacity to process alcohol — and as you age, your liver loses its ability to metabolize alcohol, so hangovers become more severe,” says Virginia Blackwell, MD.

As you age, your liver naturally produces fewer enzymes, so it takes longer for your body to metabolize alcohol, adds Blackwell. “When your liver is not making enough of these enzymes, the alcohol stays in your bloodstream longer, exacerbating hangover symptoms like nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and vomiting,” she explains.

Additionally, as you age, your body becomes less efficient at processing toxins, so any alcohol remaining in your system will likely cause further damage. “The pain of a hangover is a sign that your body is damaged by the alcohol you consumed the night before,” shares Blackwell.

Adult hangover remedies

Hangover in your 30s? Blanca Garcia, RDN, nutrition specialist for HealthCanal, explains the liver can process one drink per hour; therefore, it would be wise that you drink one beverage per hour — possibly pairing it with food to help reduce the amount of alcohol absorbed and help the liver break down the alcohol.

Blackwell has a few additional tips to minimize an adult hangover:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day and before going to bed. “This will help you stay hydrated and prevent dehydration, which can worsen symptoms,” she says.
  • Eat fruits rich in potassium such as bananas or figs, which act as a detoxifying agent by helping you eliminate toxins from your body. You can also eat foods rich in magnesium such as almonds, avocados, buckwheat, or sweet potatoes, which will help relax your blood vessels and muscles and reduce any headaches or swelling.
  • Enjoy some crackers before bed to absorb the alcohol in your stomach.
  • Gargle with chamomile tea. It has miraculous effects on the body by relaxing blood vessels, muscles, and nerves while reducing bloodshot eyes, inflammation, and pain.
  • Get a healthy amount of sleep, seven to eight hours, so that your body has the time to recover and repair itself after a night of drinking.
  • Take some asparagus juice as it stimulates the liver’s activity and promotes the elimination of toxins. 

Another option to minimize the effects of an adult hangover is to drink water in between alcoholic beverages. Garcia says this will allow you the hour in between to digest the alcohol better. However, the best tip she has is to drink less alcohol so you won’t have to worry about the effects of a hangover.

The bottom line: Adult hangovers happen. Hey, no judgment here — but if you’re experiencing hangovers in your 30s and want to minimize the effects of a hangover as an adult, try these tips the next time you have one too many drinks.

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About Ashley Martens

Ashley Martens is a Wellness Writer based in Chicago, Illinois. With a background in a digital marketing coupled with her knowledge of general nutrition and a lifelong passion for all things health, wellness, fitness and nutrition, Ashley offers a healthy alternative to traditional writing. You can learn more Ashley and her writing over at her blog, Three to Five a Day.