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 upholds a healthy lifestyle, making sure your body is receiving nutritious foods and not processed and high in fat foods, then your body may reject alcohol. However, even if you are not typically adding many greens into your diet, you may be asking, “why do I get a headache when I drink alcohol?” Your mind and body still may not favor the effects of alcohol  since alcohol can be a toxic substance, especially when consumed in large quantities. Those who experience headaches from drinking fall into two categories: those prone to headaches (including migraines) and those who often wake up with hangovers in the morning (which is nearly everyone who drinks.)

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 lay 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 1-2 hours after drinking and can feel more like the mind is throbbing.

Different Types of Headaches From Alcohol

Drinking any type of alcohol can lead you 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.

Palm Springs Treatment Center

At our Palm Springs, California drug rehab, 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.


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Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.