Anyone who has experienced a hangover will tell you that it’s not an experience they wish to repeat. Nausea, headaches, vomiting and more are all common symptoms of hangovers, but there is one side effect that some people have reported experiencing after a night out of drinking that is worse than all of those–getting a cold. So, is it just a coincidence? Are people just whiny? Or can a hangover actually give you a cold? As it turns out, the truth is a little bit of both.

To accurately answer this question it’s important that we are all on the same page regarding the exact definition of what a hangover is. A hangover is a collection of symptoms that are presenting themselves as a result of alcohol consumption. Most commonly, a hangover includes drowsiness, headache, concentration problems, dry mouth, dizziness, gastrointestinal complaints, fatigue, sweating, nausea, hyper-excitability, anxiety, and a feeling of general discomfort.

Using that definition the answer to this larger question of colds becomes more clear: no a hangover cannot cause you to get sick. However, excessive alcohol consumption certainly can. Remember, a hangover is a collection of symptoms derived from excessive alcohol consumption. Symptoms cannot get you sick, but the cause of those symptoms (in this case alcohol) certainly can.

Alcohol is an immunosuppressant, which means the presence of alcohol in your system actually causes your immune system to run less effectively. That means if you had been fighting a cold, then drank a lot, you can very easily become sick because your bodies defenses were weakened. Alcohol actually thwarts both the production of disease-fighting cells and reduces the function of the cells that already exist.

There are a lot of studies out there that also show that alcohol actually produces an inflammatory response in your system. Inflammation has increasingly been tied to all kinds of problems, including cancer.

Drinking alcohol will not get you sick on its own, but it will make you more susceptible to any colds or viruses floating around. So in answer to the original question: no a hangover can not give you a cold, but that doesn’t mean it won’t make you more likely to get sick!

It is worth noting that everything we have been talking about is centered around binge drinking. The jury is still out regarding the effects of moderate alcohol consumption. Some studies have gone as far as to claim that moderate alcohol consumption actually has health benefits. Unfortunately, the science surrounding moderate drinking is too conflicting and early for us to give any meaningful kind of recommendation.

Regardless of whether a hangover can get you sick, we all know that a hangover is a horrible experience that should be avoided. The best way to avoid a hangover is to stay hydrated and use Intelligent Drinking’s LAUNCH. LAUNCH is an all natural blend of vitamins, minerals and amino acids which fortify your body and help expel toxins through liver detoxification. Reclaim your mornings and enjoy life hangover free. Visit www.intelligentdrinking.com to learn more. 

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