The legend of the champagne hangover has been told for generations, but is it true? How could such a happy, celebratory drink lead to such devastation the next morning? Unfortunately, it is true that champagne can lead to a horrific hangover, but there is science behind it!
Before we dive into the science behind a champagne hangover, it’s important to understand the difference between champagne, prosecco and sparkling wine. That’s right, there is a difference. Sparkling wine is simply wine with high levels of carbon dioxide in it. Champagne and prosecco are both specific types of sparkling wine. Champagne is must be produced in the Champagne region of France. Prosecco, originates from the village of Prosecco, located near the city of Trieste in northeastern Italy. If it’s not champagne or prosecco, than it’s just normal sparkling wine.
Ok, now that our brief geography lesson is over, let’s dive into why a headache from sparkling wine is particularly brutal. Predictably, it has to do with the carbon dioxide in the drink. Carbonated beverages cause alcohol to be absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly. This is why you hear a lot of people describe champagne as “going straight to your head”. This quicker rate of absorption leads to what we call the champagne hangover.
A study at the University of Surrey in 2001 found volunteers given two glasses of fizzy champagne had an average of 0.54 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood after five minutes, while those given the same amount of flat champagne had 0.39 milligrams.
Not only that, but champagne drinks tend to have a higher sugar content than many other forms of alcohol. Consuming drinks high in sugar content results in having to deal with a sugar crash on top of the normal hangover symptoms—it’s not enjoyable. If you are planning on drinking champagne all evening, look for bottles labeled brut or extra-brut. Brut means that there is less than 1% residual sugar in the drink. While many people find this kind of sparkling wine less tasty than others, it will help you avoid a sugar crash later on.
In addition to the carbonation complication, champagne acts like any other alcohol beverage! Meaning it acts as a diuretic, which means you have to urinate more often, which leads to dehydration, which leads to exacerbated hangover symptoms.
The bottom line is this—the champagne hangover is real, but it is avoidable. For the nights where you didn’t avoid it, there’s Intelligent Drinking’s Primer product. Primer is a supplement that works to considerably lessen hangover symptoms when combined with alcohol. Visit www.intelligentdrinking.com for more information. Remember, the best way to avoid a hangover is to say hydrated and consume responsibly!