Hangovers are caused by a variety of factors including the direct effect of alcohol on the systems of the body as well as other factors associated with drinking behavior.
Although the direct effect of excessive alcohol consumption on the body produce the most unpleasantness, other symptoms can result from the withdrawal of alcohol from the body, the effects of metabolites produced when alcohol is consumed, other chemicals in alcoholic beverages, behaviors associated with drinking, and personal characteristics of the drinker.
There are several ways that alcohol directly contributes to hangover symptoms:
There are factors other than alcohol that can contribute to a hangover. Some of them include:
Although many factors can contribute to hangover symptoms, the two main factors are dehydration and the poisoning (toxic) effects of alcohol on the body’s systems. Dehydration can quickly be reversed, and its symptoms relieved, with water or sports drinks that replace electrolytes, but only time can reverse the toxic effects of alcohol on the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal systems.