Why Do Hangovers Make You Nauseous? Solved (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Lydia Martin

There’s nothing worse than hugging the toilet when you’re hungover. You can’t keep anything down, and all you want to do is be in bed. Nausea is one of the most common and often worst hangover symptoms you can deal with. 

If you’ve experienced nausea when hungover, you’re probably wondering why it happens.

The good news is there are ways to combat nausea, such as taking hangover pills. Let’s go over why hangovers make us nauseous and what we can do to avoid them. 

Causes of Hangover Nausea 

man vomiting on a toilet bowl

To start, everyone feels the effects of hangover nausea differently. You may be more sensitive to it than your friends are, and there’s scientific evidence to back that up. 

Research suggests that everyone’s threshold for nausea is different because so many factors are involved. There isn’t one single cause for hangover nausea, but several possibilities. 

Increased Stomach Acid 

It’s common to wake up after a night of drinking with bloating and indigestion. Research shows that drinking alcohol can increase stomach acid, making nausea worse.


We can’t talk about hangover nausea without addressing congeners. They are byproducts from the fermentation process that are thought to cause hangovers.

Darker alcohols like rum and whiskey have higher concentrations, which can result in hangover nausea. 

Alcohol Slows Down Gastric Emptying 

Alcohol is known to slow down how quickly food moves from your stomach into the small intestines.

This means food will sit in your stomach longer and cause many problems. One of them is that pesky nausea we’ve been discussing. 

Alcohol Irritates the Stomach 

pouring whisky on a glass

It should be no surprise that alcohol is a toxin. Drinking alcohol can lead to irritation of the stomach and lining. 

This isn’t always a big deal, but it can lead to problems such as gastritis, when the stomach lining becomes inflamed. 

You likely won’t develop gastritis from casual drinking, but it is seen with continuous alcohol use. 

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How Long Will Hangover Nausea Last?

Hangover nausea doesn’t have a set expiration date. It will vary from person to person because everyone experiences hangovers differently. 

Typically, nausea will be at its worst during the first few hours of the day. It should go away on its own, but if it continues throughout the day, you may want to consider other causes than your hangover. 

Remedies for Nausea 

Knowing why hangover nausea happens is important for finding remedies. Remember, the only true way to avoid a hangover is not to drink alcohol at all. 

Setting limits for yourself may also help because you know better than anyone how much you can drink before you’ll be barfing the next day. 


woman drinking bottled water

Drinking water is essential when you’re hungover. It may not solve your nausea problem, but it will help you feel better. If you cannot keep water down while nauseous, you can chew on ice to slowly rehydrate yourself. 


Peppermint has a longtime reputation as an anti-nausea remedy. If you’re dealing with hangover nausea, try making a cup of peppermint tea to soothe your stomach. 

Prickly Pear 

Science shows that hangover supplements with prickly pear may lessen symptoms such as nausea. It has anti-inflammatory properties, so next time you’re running for the toilet, try hangover pills with prickly pear. 


Another hangover supplement to try is ginseng. Ginseng is a well-known home remedy used for nausea and vomiting, so why not try it for your hangover? 

The Bottom Line 

To sum it up, hangover nausea is one of the worst symptoms you can have. Not only is it unpleasant, but it can also disrupt your whole day. 

While abstaining from alcohol is the only true way to 100% avoid hangover nausea, some remedies may help. 

Stay hydrated, and try one of these best-rated hangover pills with prickly pear and ginseng today!

Pat Strunk

Pat is our resident expert when it comes to bourbon and traveling. His impeccable writing skills and sales background are perfect for his copywriting specialization. He’s a brand storyteller who has worked for the biggest retail brands and business personalities. When he goes out to relax or celebrate some small wins, Pat never ceases to grab a bottle of Buffalo Trace. For him, this classic Kentucky bourbon whiskey is perfect for slow sipping. Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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