Why Champagne Hangovers Are the Worst

The bubbles. Oh, the bubbles.

ByABC News
January 1, 2015, 4:37 PM

— -- It's New Year's Day -- and for those that rang in 2015 with a little too much champagne, that can only mean one thing: a hangover.

The bubbly New Year's Eve treat gets a bad reputation for bringing on a killer hangover the next day, and there may be some science to why that is, said Boris Tabakoff, a pharmacology professor at the University of Colorado.

"The carbon dioxide in carbonated beverages like champagne helps absorb the alcohol," he said. "You get a faster rate of absorption, higher blood alcohol levels -- and brain levels -- if you drink champagne as opposed to something non-carbonated."

As a result, most people -- about two thirds of them -- get drunker faster when they drink champagne or other carbonated alcoholic beverages.

Because of that, the hangover is worse, Tabakoff said. Hangovers, in theory, are caused by two things: the brain inflammation that alcohol consumption causes, and the brain's lingering overcompensation in the face of alcohol's depressant mechanisms. That's why bright lights and loud noises seem exaggerated (and torturous) the day after a night of heavy drinking, he said.