Drinking 'heavyweights' suffer more from hangovers

June 15, 2015, 4:38 PM GMT+0

49% of drinking 'heavyweights' have had a hangover in the past year, and sleep and water are seen as the top helps for hangovers

For as long as humans have been drinking alcohol the nasty after effects of excessive consumption have plagued habitual drinkers. Science, however, may be coming to the rescue. Certain companies now offer to give you a 'restorative' IV drip after a particularly heavy night. And a drink for sick babies and children, Pedialyte, has seen sales increase significantly among adults, largely because it is perceived as a hangover cure.

Research from YouGov shows that hangovers are not a usual part of life for most Americans. Overall only 22% of Americans say that they have been hungover in the past year while 27% say that they have never even had a hangover. 34% of Americans don't drink and among the two-thirds of the public who do only 16% describe themselves as 'heavyweights', people who are able to drink large amounts of alcohol.

This group of 'heavyweights' are much more likely to have experienced a hangover recently, however. 28% of heavyweights have had a hangover in the past month while 21% have had one in the past year, proving that even if you think you can drink a lot the night before you may still pay a price the morning after. Among 'lightweights' only 21% report having had a hangover in the past year while 58% say that their last hangover was at least a year ago.

Wealthier Americans are noticeably more likely than poorer Americans to describe themselves as 'heavyweights' and are significantly less likely to say that they do not drink. While 46% of Americans whose household incomes are under $40,000 a year do not drink only 15% of people in households with incomes over $80,000 say the same. Only 13% of the under-40k group are 'heavyweights' compared to 24% of the richest Americans.

When it comes to getting over your hangover, sleep (58%) and drinking lots of water (58%) are the only things which most people say really help with hangovers. Having a bath or shower (33%) is seen as helpful by a third of people but apart from painkillers (23%) fewer than a fifth of Americans see things such as exercise (18%) or eating fatty foods (13%) or drinking sugary drinks (4%) as helpful. Only 14% think that the 'hair of the dog', drinking a bit of alcohol in the morning, is an effective help.

Full poll results can be found here and topline results and margin of error here.