Updated on December 28, 2022
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How Long Can Hangovers Last?
When you’re dealing with a hangover, it can feel never ending. Trust us, we know. You may be suffering from the dreaded 2 day (or more) hangover. Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place.
It’s possible for hangover symptoms to linger for 2 days or more, but they will still pass. It’s important to remember that there’s no cure for a hangover, but enough time clears up your symptoms.
Dealing with a hangover for more than an exceptionally long morning can put a damper on your life. Let’s talk about how long hangovers can last and what to do to avoid it.
Can a hangover really last more than a day?
The short answer to this question is yes, they can. A hangover is what happens when you drink too much alcohol at a pace your body can’t keep up with. Your liver can metabolize about one drink an hour, so if you’re drinking more than that you’ll likely end up with a hangover.
There is no set time frame to how long they can last. Everyone experiences hangovers differently, and each of your own can have different symptoms. Research has shown there are at least 47 different hangover symptoms, and they can last a couple hours up to a few days!
Think of a hangover like a snowflake. Every single one is different! While 2 day hangovers are possible, they are unusual.
What are the symptoms of a 2 day hangover?
While hangovers will always look different, the main symptoms are the same. You’ll typically deal with nausea, headaches, fatigue and brain fog. Feeling thirsty while your head is pounding is a classic hangover feeling, and it’s the worst. The headache, however, will usually disappear by midday.
If you’re experiencing a 2 day hangover, certain symptoms may linger, including:
- Trouble focusing
- Brain fog
So, a 2 day hangover usually means feeling weak and tired for a few days. You’ll have trouble focusing, but you shouldn’t be hugging the toilet for 48 hours. If you’re still vomiting and nauseous on the second day, it may be related to another concern.
The biggest question drinkers have is what causes the 2 day hangover? Why doesn’t it happen every time? Well, we’re going to explain.
What causes a multiple day hangover?
Just like your usual 1 day hangover, the 2 day version is going to also be related to drinking too much alcohol. You shouldn’t be getting a multiple day hangover from a cocktail or two at happy hour. We’re talking about throwing back shots all night or multiple bottles of wine.
Hangovers happen because your liver can only metabolize alcohol so fast. Generally, your liver can process about one alcoholic drink at a time. So, if you’re throwing them back at the bar, your liver is going into overdrive trying to keep up.
The reason we feel drunk, and thus hungover later, is because we’re drinking too fast for our body to metabolize the liquor. It absorbs into your bloodstream, and it takes time and energy to get it back out.
As your body is trying to work to get rid of alcohol, other factors come into play that cause hangover symptoms, such as:
- Poor sleep
There has been research done on the common hangover, but the science can still be confusing. With no concrete answers, the one key takeaway is that there is no hangover cure. There are, however, some factors to look at when trying to figure out why hangovers may last more than one day.
We’re not calling you old, but alcohol might be. You’ve probably noticed as you’ve aged that you can’t hop out of bed for spin class on a Saturday morning like you could in your 20s. While alcohol is never GOOD for your body, as you get older the effects can be more damaging.
Another thing to consider if your hangovers are lasting multiple days are medications you’re taking. It’s always important to consult with your doctor about how alcohol can interact with your medications. Typically, the medicine we take is metabolized in the liver just like alcohol.
Without getting too technical, medications can also interfere with the enzymes that break down alcohol in the body. So, you could be feeling the effects more intensely. Make sure you check with your doctor to ensure your medications won’t interact with alcohol before drinking to avoid a potentially long hangover.
The supposed multi-day hangover may not be a hangover at all. When we drink alcohol, our immune systems don’t work as well, which increases your chances of getting sick. If you’re coming down with a cold, the symptoms can feel like a hangover. So, if you’re experiencing symptoms for multiple days it may be time to go to the doctor.
Have you ever felt like drinking to numb your feelings after a bad day? You’re definitely not alone. Unfortunately, when people are dealing with mental health problems they may turn to drinking way too much. Binge drinking can result in a hangover spanning over several days, especially if you continue drinking.
Another concern is something called ‘hangxiety.’ Hangxiety is the feeling of anxiety you get after drinking alcohol. It can linger for days, and start to affect your life. If you’re experiencing mental health issues resulting in drinking a lot, you may want to speak to your doctor.
If you’re unfamiliar, congeners are a pesky byproduct of the alcohol fermentation process. They’re found in high concentrations in darker liquors, which have been linked to more severe hangover symptoms. Stay away from large amounts of red wine, whiskey and rum if you want to avoid a longer hangover.
How can I avoid a multi-day hangover?
Simply put, there’s no concrete answer on how long a hangover can last. Once you have a hangover, it’s going to take time for it to pass. All you can do is take steps to potentially avoid severe symptoms. We recommend that you:
- Stay hydrated
- Pace yourself
- Get plenty of sleep
- Eat a nutritious meal
- Take hangover supplements
What else should I consider with long hangovers?
If you’re experiencing a long hangover, you should not drink more alcohol to curb it. This is only going to delay the hangover process, and it may be worse when it finally hits. Grab some water and get some rest. You should also stay away from greasy foods, and eat protein and simple carbs.
The bottom line is that there’s no way to avoid a hangover, and they can definitely last for more than one day. You typically won’t see them last more than 2 days, but again there isn’t concrete evidence to back that up. If your symptoms aren’t going away, consult with your doctor to make sure there isn’t something else going on.
At the end of the day, a longer hangover is going to be caused by drinking too much. If you’re experiencing them regularly, it may be time to cut back and start pacing yourself. As always, please drink responsibly. Cheers!