Why Can Drinking Red Wine Cause an Almost Immediate Headache?


It’s a perfect time of the year for staying in, pulling on your softest sweater, and uncorking a bottle of red wine. Unfortunately for many people, raising a glass of red wine to their lips can feel like a toast to their next headache, one that could come on in a matter of minutes.

Why can red wine cause headaches, even in people that usually don’t have alcohol-related headaches? A new study published today in Scientific Reports suggests it could be due to an antioxidant found naturally in red wines that interferes with the proper metabolism of alcohol.

Red Wine: The Drink Most Likely to Give You a Headache

Red wine is the type of alcohol most likely to cause a headache in people who have alcohol-triggered headaches, according to a meta-analysis on alcohol use disorders — more likely than spirits, white or sparkling wine, and nearly 3 times more likely than drinking beer.

And you don’t have to drink too much wine to get a headache; it can come on in 30 minutes or less after just one or two glasses, per the study.


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