Anyone who experiences hangovers on a regular basis knows that not all hangovers are created equal. Red wine is known for gifting those who enjoy it with splitting headaches the next day, whiskey is known for a nauseous morning after while tequila, the greatest culprit of all, combines all your favorite parts of a hangover for a brutal morning after. What is it about tequila that makes a hangover so intense? Is it the way you drink it, or does it have to do with the liquor itself? As it turns out, it’s a bit of both.
Let’s start by talking about congers. Congeners are the toxins that get left behind during the fermenting and aging process of alcohol. Unfortunately, aside from scotch and whiskey, tequila tends to have the most amount of congeners in it. Those congeners are what contribute to shakiness, nausea and dehydration the next day, which makes tequila a tough choice for those trying to avoid a hangover.
Ethanol is another big reason that tequila can cause such a horrific hangover. Ethanol is the alcohol part of booze, it’s quite literally what gives you a buzz from imbibing your favorite liquids. However, ethanol is the double-edged sword of drinking because it’s also the primary contributor to the severity of your headache the next day. With ethanol, it’s all about how much you consume and how quickly you consume it. Tequila tend to go down easy, particularly in a margarita, which means it’s easier to overdo it, which leads to brutal hangover the next day.
That leads us to the next component of this tequila hangover recipe—how you drink it. There are two ways most people enjoy tequila: either as a shot, or in a margarita, both are problematic when it comes to hangovers. While margaritas are delicious, they also tend to be high in sugar. The inevitable sugar crash that comes after consuming large amounts of sugar only serves to compound hangover symptoms. A night of margaritas is likely to lead to a morning of advil and water.
The reasoning by shots leading to a hangover is a bit more self-explanatory. Taking shots is a quick way to get drunk. Since taking a shot is so quick, it’s more conducive to accidentally drinking past your limit. This is even worse with tequila since the shot, salt and lime combination actually makes a shot of tequila delicious. Remember, if you are taking shots keep count of how many you’ve had.
So yes, tequila can make for an incredibly rough hangover, but it doesn’t have to! If you remember to drink responsibly and stay hydrated you can seriously mitigate hangover symptoms the next day.
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