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Why Do Hangovers Make You Nauseous? Solved (2024 Updated)

Why Do Hangovers Make You Nauseous 

Last Updated on February 27, 2024 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. 

Why Do Hangovers Make You Nauseous: Causes  

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? 

FAQs Related to Why Do Hangovers Make You Nauseous

What causes nausea during a hangover?

Nausea during a hangover is often caused by various factors, including dehydration, irritation of the stomach lining, changes in blood sugar levels, and the presence of toxins in the body.

How does dehydration contribute to hangover nausea?

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration, which can irritate the stomach lining and increase feelings of nausea. Dehydration also disrupts the body’s electrolyte balance, further exacerbating symptoms.

Do changes in blood sugar levels play a role in hangover nausea?

Yes, alcohol consumption can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels, leading to feelings of nausea, weakness, and fatigue. Low blood sugar levels during a hangover can exacerbate feelings of nausea and discomfort.

How do toxins from alcohol contribute to hangover nausea?

When alcohol is metabolized by the body, it produces toxins that can contribute to feelings of nausea and malaise. The presence of these toxins in the bloodstream can trigger the body’s natural defense mechanisms, leading to nausea and other hangover symptoms.

Can certain types of alcohol cause more severe nausea than others?

Yes, some types of alcohol, such as dark spirits or beverages with high levels of congeners (by-products of fermentation), may be more likely to cause nausea and other hangover symptoms compared to lighter or clearer alcohols.

What can I do to alleviate nausea during a hangover?

To alleviate nausea during a hangover, it’s important to stay hydrated, rest, and replenish electrolytes. Consuming small, bland foods like crackers or toast may also help settle the stomach. Additionally, over-the-counter medications like antacids or anti-nausea medications may provide relief for some individuals.

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!

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