The reason your hangovers get more and more horrific as you age.

If you’ve ever found yourself uttering words to the effect of “I swear I  just don’t seem to recover the way I used to after a big night out,” you’ll be happy to know it’s not just in your mind.

Elite Daily recently invited Dr. Kevin Soden and fitness expert Ricki Friedman to delve into exactly why our hangovers seem to become more nausea-inducing and head-throbbing every time we blow out another birthday candle. And science (as always) seems to have the answer.

Firstly Soden and Friedman explained that a lot of our hangover torture is due to the way our bodies process alcohol.

Generally, we’re capable of processing one standard drink per hour. If you spend the night knocking back the bevies at a much faster speed, you’re asking a hell of a lot of your system. Because the process of metabolising alcohol turns a highly toxic chemical into a non-toxic one, the toxicity levels build up as your liver struggles with the process, therefore leaving you effectively poisoned with alcohol.

We’re sure we don’t need to remind you that this results in you feeling dehydrated, nauseous and fatigued.

Related: You can get drunk without actually touching a drop of alcohol. Seriously

So why is does this process seem to get worse with age? Friedman explains our livers aren’t quite up to the task anymore. “As we get older, our livers produce less antioxidants, and the toxins end up passing through our bodies causing headaches, vomiting and all those other really fun hangover experiences.”

In addition, ageing livers often become fatty due to changes in lifestyle and diet. A fatty liver is one which is inefficient in processing alcohol, therefore leaving you with a much worse hangover than you would have experienced in your younger years.

Back in the day you used to be able to party all night, throw back shots like no ones business and after a quick shower, turn up semi-presentable to work. Nowadays your hangover seems to be a prolonged journey of pain and torture which often lasts the entire duration of the day. We know, it’s not fair.

Bottoms Up! Image: istock

Alcohol also disrupts our sleep patterns which can, in turn, affect the way we bounce back after a big night on the turps. Drinking alcohol, claims Soden, affects the REM patterns of sleep, which enable the body to recover and repair.

Related: Which alcohol gives you the worst hangover? 

Perhaps it's time to hang up your card carrying membership at happy hour and stick to the recommended amount of drinks per night. Your 'tomorrow self' will thank you for it.

Have your hangovers become more and more horrific with every year you age?