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Why Do I Get a Headache When I Drink Alcohol?

Why Do I Get A Headache When I Drink Alcohol?

If you are a person who prioritizes a diet rich in nutritious foods, then your body may reject alcohol. However, even if you are not as focused on upholding a healthy lifestyle, you may be asking, “Why do I get a headache when I drink alcohol?” The toxicity of alcohol can lead to adverse reactions in drinkers, especially when taken in large quantities. People who experience headaches from drinking often fall into two categories: those prone to headaches and those who often wake up with hangovers in the morning. Banyan Palm Springs delves deeper into why this occurs along with the most effective ways to respond.

The Hangover Effect

How does a hangover feel? Well, it’s not fun. One of the most common symptoms of a hangover is a headache. Drinking too much alcohol can trigger migraines, a painful cluster of tension, and other types of headaches, affecting different areas of the brain. Numerous factors contribute to alcohol-related headaches, including insomnia. Some people may use drinking as a means to fall asleep.

It may not be the best sleep, or it may even lead to waking up on the wrong side of the bed. In addition, the body is dehydrated from alcohol, a diuretic, absorbing water in the body and causing you to need to use the bathroom frequently.

In the morning, your liver processes the toxic compounds out of your system. The stress hormone cortisol is spiked in the morning, which causes increased tension in the mind leading to headaches or migraines. People who are quickly afflicted by alcohol-induced headaches will likely feel a pulsating sensation, usually on both sides of the head.

Physical activity seems unbearable, and people will want to lie down and drink lots of water for at least a few hours before attempting much movement. Delayed alcohol-induced headaches are the most common and are known as the “hangover annoyance.” This reaction occurs 1 to 2 hours after drinking and can feel more like the mind is throbbing.

Different Types of Headaches from Alcohol

Drinking alcohol can lead to some intense side effects that will not feel good in the morning. Believe it or not, beer is the culprit for the leading cause of experiencing a cluster of headaches. Beer contains more toxic byproducts from fermentation, such as aldehydes, that negatively affect the body’s organs and brain.

In contrast, wine holds an abundance of sugar, which may create an issue in the gut. Histamine can cause common allergic reactions, and there are large amounts of this found in wine. Of course, hard liquor contains ingredients called congeners which induce headaches.

If you are asking yourself, “Why do I get a headache when I drink alcohol?”, maybe, see which type of alcohol is affecting your head the most.

Does Alcohol Help Migraines?

Drinking may somewhat curb withdrawal symptoms if you wake up with an immediate alcohol-induced headache, but it is usually only a temporary remedy. This is not advised since it can easily lead to dependency and cause severe addiction, which can result in worse symptoms than headaches.

Staying hydrated, even while drinking, is important and can be very beneficial. Electrolytes and drinking in moderation are crucial to avoid headaches or horrible hangovers.

The Best Ways to Heal a Headache After Drinking Alcohol

There are various successful tactics to use in order to ease this discomfort and get back on track. One of the first and most important steps is to rehydrate the body. Because alcohol is a diuretic, it causes the body to become dehydrated and can cause headaches.

Drink a lot of water to restore lost fluids and help with headache relief to battle this. Choosing an electrolyte-rich beverage or ingesting a sports drink can also help replace vital minerals that were lost during alcohol use.

Getting enough sleep is another way to relieve an alcohol-induced headache. Alcohol might interfere with your sleep cycle, making you feel exhausted and aggravating headaches. Rest for a while, and give your body time to heal completely. For your body's sake, think about taking a quick nap or going to bed early.

Over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or aspirin might also ease headache discomfort. While alcohol is still in your system, you should exercise caution when taking these drugs since they could interact and have negative consequences. If you're unsure, it's better to speak with a healthcare expert for specific guidance.

Some additional types for relieving a headache from alcohol include:

  • Avoiding caffeine
  • Eating a light and nutritious meal
  • Applying a compress to the area
  • Herbal remedies like ginger tea, peppermint oil, or chamomile tea.

Always remember that moderation and responsible drinking are the best ways to avoid headaches brought on by alcohol. If you discover that headaches commonly follow alcohol consumption, it may be important to reevaluate your drinking patterns and speak with a healthcare provider to address any underlying issues.

Our Palm Springs Rehab Center Can Help

At our Southern California rehab facility, we offer quality service and unique therapeutic methods to safely get you through withdrawals, and we provide special care for those battling addiction or mental illness. After realizing you have an addiction, it is vital to receive professional help and begin the journey to recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please do not hesitate to reach out to our rehab center and get started with treatment today. We welcome you and will answer any questions that you may have. From medical detox to specific programs that will fit your needs, we are here for you!


Contact Banyan Treatment Center today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our California drug treatment programs.


Related Reading:

Dry Drunk Syndrome Signs

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis: Symptoms, Causes, and Risk

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Why Do I Get a Headache When I Drink Alcohol?
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