I turned the big 4-0 on February 13th. Now it might be all in my head, but my body responds to a night of drinking a lot differently than it did when I was in my 20s, early 30s, or even late 30s. In university, I could tie one on into the wee hours of the morning, go home and write a 20-page paper, sleep on a friend’s floor, and get up for an 8am class—no trouble! However, now an early morning makes me question a few glasses of wine with dinner.
Is it all in my head or does my body respond to drinking more severely with age? Let’s see what health experts have to say about age-related drinking, alcohol and metabolism, and hangovers as we age…
1. The Morning After
Research from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) provides the reality check we need in a post-alcohol induced haze. With age, naturally our body’s systems slow down. That means the liver produces less antioxidants and flushes our system more slowly, and metabolism is sluggish compared to what it was in our 20s.
Even the fact that we may have gained a few pounds (compared to what we were in our 20s) it takes more booze to get us tipsy. Drinking more overall compared with less efficient systems (i.e., liver processing and metabolism) cause us to bounce back with less zeal.