Once you hit 40, body composition, medication and liver functioning contribute to more painful hangovers. Also, those with less water content and high body fat are more sensitive to alcohol. Alcohol is metabolized in the liver and, as people enter their 40's, the organ becomes less efficient. The body is also more sensitive to sulphites and tanines in wine.
Curejoy Expert Dipti Mothay Explains:
Alcohol hits you harder as you get older and everything from muscle mass to over-the-counter meds is to blame for the more painful hangovers once you hit 40. Also our body composition, medication and liver functionality all contribute to longer-lasting hangovers and greater sensitivity to drinking alcohol.
Why alcohol packs a more powerful punch as you age?
The reasons for this include changes in body composition to brain sensitivity and liver functioning. Lifestyle factors are at play, too. And since people tend to take more medications—both prescription and over-the-counter—as they age, there are more chances for uncomfortable and even dangerous alcohol-drug mixing.
“All of the effects of alcohol are sort of amplified with age,” says David W. Oslin, a professor of psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
A person’s body composition can start to change as early as his or her 30s. In addition to losing muscle and gaining fat, he or she also has less body water and may be dehydrated. People with a higher percentage of body fat and less body water tend to feel the effects of alcohol more strongly than those with greater muscle mass, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Alcohol is mainly metabolized in the liver and, as people enter their 40 and 50s, the organ becomes bigger but less efficient, Gary Murray of the NIH’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism told the Wall Street Journal.
According to a recent study by the University of Pennsylvania, alcohol hits people harder in their 40s and 50s. The study found our bodies also become more sensitive to ingredients like sulphites and tannins in wine, often resulting in nausea or headaches after drinking, according to the Daily Mail.