The Type Of Alcohol That Will Give You The Worst Hangover

Having those three gin martinis didn't seem like a bad idea while you were celebrating a night out with those awesome friends that you haven't seen IRL in ages. The next morning, however, your body is telling you that it wasn't such a great idea.

The concept of the hangover has been around for over 3,000 years and is first ascribed to a Sanskrit medical textbook called the Sushruta Samhita. According to The Guardian, the Sushruta Samhita describes "a post-drinking condition characterised by thirst, pain in the head and joints, and heaviness of the body, with no known cure." The connection of the word "hangover" and alcohol, however, only emerged in the early 1900s.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), drinking too much alcohol sets off a cascade of chemical reactions in the body that lead to the symptoms of a hangover. These include the suppression of the hormone vasopressin, which normally directs the kidneys to retain fluid. This leads to frequent urination and dehydration. Symptoms of a hangover are also due to gastrointestinal irritation, inflammation of the liver and other organs, and disrupted sleep, among others. Consider yourself very lucky if you enjoy drinking alcohol but are among the 28% of people who have never experienced a hangover (via The Guardian).

The best way to avoid a hangover

If you drink alcohol and tend to experience a hangover the next day, drinking clear alcohol may be a way to reduce the symptoms. This is because scientists also attribute hangover symptoms to congeners, chemical compounds found in alcohol. According to the experts at the Mayo Clinic, "Congeners are found in larger amounts in dark liquors, such as brandy, bourbon, darker beer, and red wine, than they are in clear liquors, such as vodka, gin, and lighter beers. One particular congener –- methanol -– breaks down into the toxins formaldehyde and formic acid, which can worsen a hangover."

Because congeners also give spirits their inherent aromas, some experts believe that smell, more than color, may be an indicator of a bad hangover. "The more aromatic the drink, the more likely it is to cause a hangover," Lewis Nelson, chair of the department of emergency medicine and chief of the division of medical toxicology at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, tells Mic. For example, gin is more likely to give you a hangover compared to vodka when consumed in the same amounts because it is more aromatic.

Unfortunately, there is no scientifically supported hangover remedy. Despite common beliefs that sports drinks, coffee, "hair of the dog," or a hot shower alleviate hangovers, no research backs up these claims. The body simply needs time to rehydrate and rebalance. Of course, the most effective way to avoid a hangover in the first place is to drink alcohol sensibly or refrain entirely (via NIAAA).