Why Vodka Is Less Likely To Give You A Hangover Than Other Spirits

While you might think that overindulging in any kind of spirit will result in a horrid hangover, think again. The colorless, odorless and flavorless spirit known as vodka is actually less likely to give you a hangover than any other spirit. The reason behind why relies on science.

Weighing in at 40% alcohol by volume (ABV), vodka is made by distilling liquid from fermented grains, fruits or even potatoes, notes Liquor.com. While it can be sipped as is, it also works inside a range of cocktails, which believe it or not, may also help reduce the symptoms that follow a night of drinking. These symptoms, as outlined by Scientific American, can include anything from nausea, sweating, drowsiness, dry mouth, problems concentrating, upset stomach or anxiety. 

While avoiding drinking all together is the only way to truly prevent discomfort, Food & Wine advises that a general rule of thumb is to avoid darker alcohols as they will lead to more intense hangovers. But why exactly is this the case?

It's all about vodka's chemical compounds

It's a common misconception that dehydration causes the effects of hangovers to be experienced, reports Oxford Academy. In fact, several factors are currently being studied like sleep deprivation and function of the immune system. However, one of the most apparent indicators of why certain alcohols seem to leave us ill while others don't relies on the chemical compounds found in specific spirits.

Along with alcohol (ethanol), congeners are chemical substances that are produced during fermentation, explains CNN. While they can contribute to an alcohol's composition, they can also wreak havoc on our bodies when consumed in large quantities.

According to Healthline, congeners can trigger inflammation and may even take longer for the body to break down, which is particularly unfortunate for brandy drinkers as the spirit may have close to 5,000 mgs of congeners per liter, in comparison to the awe-inspiring vodka that boasts between 0 and 102 milligrams. Interestingly, that means the misconception of cheap liquor worsening a hangover can be disproved as a cheap vodka will always have fewer congeners than a high quality rum. 

While congeners might help you make better choices at the bar, the best way to avoid a hangover is to enjoy alcohol (preferably vodka-based cocktails) in moderation.