As we head into the festive season, worrying new research reveals Aussies in their thirties suffer from drinking hangovers more frequently than any other age group. Nearly a quarter of Aussies in this age group have a hangover at least every week, and nearly half suffer from a hangover at least once every month.
The findings come from a survey of a nationally representative panel of 1,008 Australians—commissioned by Entity Health, a line of Australian-made natural health supplements that address specific health and skin conditions at a cellular level. Entity Health’s best-selling liver-health supplement, LiviUp contains the key active ingredients of Hovenia dulcis and Milk Thistle, traditionally used in Western herbal medicine, to support natural liver and body cleansing and detoxification. It can be taken prior to alcohol consumption to reduce the negative effects caused by alcohol build up in the cells, including red flushes.
Through the survey, Entity Health found that a fifth of Aussies experience hangovers—even a mild one—at least once a month. However, the prevalence was highest among respondents in their thirties. Around 25% of this age group admitted to having a hangover at least once a week—compared with just 13% of 18-29 year olds who have a hangover at least once a week, while 44% of respondents in their thirties admitted to suffering a hangover at least once a month, compared with 35% of 18-29 year olds.
Consulting dietitian at Entity Health, Teri Lichtenstein, says: “The results indicate that drinking peaks in our thirties, and this may be a time in our lives when our bodies suffer the effects from excess alcohol more easily. Further data from the survey supports this: there is a significant drop in hangover rates among respondents in their forties: just 9% had a hangover at least every week, and 20% had a hangover at least every month.”
What are Aussies’ go-to hangover remedies—and do they work?
Respondents were asked to choose which cures—out of eight variables—they turn to for alleviating negative symptoms of a hangover: drinking extra fluids, eating greasy or fatty meals, eating carbohydrates, taking aspirin or ibuprofen, drinking tea or coffee, taking a liver tonic or supplement, sleeping for longer, or just waiting it out and doing nothing.
Drinking extra fluids such as water or an electrolyte drink is the most common hangover cure, with 69% of Aussie drinkers turning to it, and 36% sleep for longer to alleviate negative symptoms, while29 % take aspirin or ibuprofen. A further26 % turn to eating a greasy or fatty meal.
Respondents were also asked which ‘treatment’ methods they find don’t work well to cure a hangover. A significant 34% of Aussies think eating greasy or fatty meals does not cure a hangover. Despite most drinking extra fluids to cure the hangover, 29% of respondents feel that this method of treatment does not help, while a further 29% say having coffee or tea also doesn’t reduce hangover symptoms. Other ‘cures’ Aussies think don’t work well include sleeping longer and eating carbohydrates, at 22% and 21%, respectively.
Entity Health asked what preventative means Aussies take to avoid a hangover. Consuming water or non-alcohol beverages between drinks is the go-to measure for 58% of respondents who have experienced hangovers. Ensuring they’ve eaten well prior to drinking was the next common response, used by 51% of respondents, while 40 % eat between drinking. Not mixing different types of alcohols is another preventative method to avoid a hangover, used by 30% of Aussies who drink.
Teri continues: “The best way to minimise hangover symptoms and not feel the negative effects is to cut back or avoid drinking altogether. However, we understand that drinking is a common part of events and parties during the festive season. Keeping drinking to a minimum—two or three glasses, with food and water in between each—helps to keep the hangovers at bay. Make sure you intersperse the alcoholic drinks with glasses of water to stay hydrated and be aware of the size of your glass as often a drink served at a party can contain 2-3 standard servings of alcohol in one go! To help manage the festive season, make sure you eat well, exercise regularly and have at least a few no-alcohol days during the week.”