The hangover definition may vary, depending on who you ask. Some people may say they’re just worn-out from drinking, while others may admit they definitely drank way too much and are paying the price for it today.
The Free Dictionary defines a hangover as:
1. Unpleasant physical effects following the heavy use of alcohol.
2. A letdown, as after a period of excitement.
3. (Medicine / Pathology) the delayed aftereffects of drinking too much alcohol in a relatively short period of time, characterized by headache and sometimes nausea and dizziness Merriam-Webster describes a hangover as the “disagreeable physical effects following heavy consumption of alcohol or the use of drugs.”
Dr. Gemma Prat defines a hangover as a “state of distress which occurs after Blood Alcohol Content has reached zero.”
UC-Davis Professor Alyson Mitchell calls a hangover “a metabolic storm.”
Medical News Today reports the definition of a hangover as: “A hangover is a collection of signs and symptoms linked to a recent bout of heavy drinking. The sufferer typically has a headache, feels sick, dizzy, sleepy, confused and thirsty. Hangovers can occur at any time of day, but are usually more common the morning after a night of heavy drinking. As well as physical symptoms, the person may also experience elevated levels of anxiety, regret, shame, embarrassment, as well as depression.”
Despite the widely agreed-upon symptoms of a hangover, the root cause remains elusive. Is it dehydration? Is it an overload of toxins? Is it a vitamin deficiency? No one knows for sure. What we do know is that the best way to avoid a hangover is not to drink too much in the first place.
If you do plan to drink for a sustained period of time, filling your body with antioxidants is perhaps your best recourse against the alcohol.