ShortList is supported by you, our amazing readers. When you click through the links on our site and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Learn more

Here's the reason hangovers get worse as you get older

Here's the reason hangovers get worse as you get older

Here's the reason hangovers get worse as you get older
23 June 2016

How are your knee joints? Like bricks. Like bricks rubbing against each other and crumbling - aren't they? And Snapchat, how do you feel about Snapchat? Sorry, sorry - it's an app. The kids use it, it... never mind.

What we're trying to say is: you're old. And getting old has side-effects. But perhaps the worst of the worst (who needs knees?) is the fact your hangovers get way, way worse the older you become. 

And it's not just your imagination. The Science of Us has explained the reason behind this phenomena, namely that your body becomes less efficient at processing alcohol. 

"Each beer or margarita or Jell-O shot you force on your poor body takes about an hour to break down. Doing so is a multi-step process: First, a liver enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase transforms the alcohol you’ve ingested into a compound called acetaldehyde," Cari Romm writes for the site. "Next, another enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase breaks that down into acetate, which then becomes carbon dioxide and water.

"When you’re 21, this process acts as a fairly well-oiled machine. But over time, our levels of the necessary enzymes decrease, meaning acetaldehyde — which is a highly toxic, nasty chemical — spends more time hanging out in your system, causing headaches, mouth dryness, nausea, and a host of other symptoms."

But that's not all. Most of us build up more body fat as we age, which leaves us more susceptible to the effects of booze because fat doesn't absorb alcohol. Another factor is that older people's bodies have less water, meaning the alcohol stays more concentrated in your system. 

Anyone for a glass of water?