Science and Health

Hangovers Don't Deter Drinkers: Study

A study out of the University of Missouri suggests hangovers don't have much effect on when someone chooses to drink again.

Hangovers Don't Deter Drinkers: Study
Wikimedia Commons / Sgt. Ian Forsyth RLC/MOD

Headaches, nausea and fatigue — all symptoms of the dreaded hangover. But regardless of how painful it can get, a new study out of the University of Missouri shows a hangover doesn't have much effect on when some people will knock back their next drink. 

Now keep in mind, the study included 386 young, resilient college students from the university, many of whom were frequent drinkers. About two-thirds were also smokers. (Via YouTube / MizzouAlumni)  

For 21 days, the participants kept a diary. Each morning, they were required to record whether they drank alcohol the previous night, if they were hung over and if they planned on drinking again that day. (Via YouTube / msrelaxicab)

The researchers did admit some entries were missing because participants were too hung over to complete the log. At the end of the experiment, researchers looked at 2,276 drinking episodes and 463 hangover experiences.

The results showed that on average, a hangover delayed the participants' drinking by about six hours. One of the researchers said the findings suggest other factors play into the decision to drink, including the day of the week and social plans. (Via LiveScience

A professor of public health explained to WebMD"​People who drink heavily generally experience pleasurable effects while drinking, and that is what drives the decision to drink heavily again. ... The pain of hangover is temporary, and may be considered a nuisance rather than an important negative consequence."

But the researchers also stressed that having hangovers is not something that should be taken lightly. "Experiencing frequent hangovers is a warning sign that should probably prompt you to reflect upon your drinking, and to consider seeking help if you are having difficulty drinking within safe limits." (Via The Independent

The researchers said future studies should be expanded to see whether having a hangover reduces the number of drinks the participant will have rather than the time it takes for them to drink again.