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Tis' the season to indulge

Dr Sapna Parikh reports on how aging can affecting your hangover
December 24, 2013 3:27:18 PM PST
If you feel like your holiday cocktail hits you harder the older you get, there is science to back that up.

But if lately it seems like two drinks feels like four, it could be because of the sad but true scientific fact that alcohol hits you harder the older you get.

Some customers at the Central Park Boathouse explained how they felt after a night of drinking.

One man, Tad Drouet, said he needs more and more sleep.

As we age, our body composition changes. More fat, less muscle and less total body water.

Susan Foster, Vice President of Research at CASA Columbia, elaborates on how aging affects the way you feel after drinking.

"Water dilutes alcohol in the bloodstream so with the same amount of even less, we end up with more alcohol concentrated in the bloodstream," Foster said.

And people take more medications too.

"There can be a dangerous interaction with those drugs compounded by the slowing of the metabolism," Foster said.

Metabolizing alcohol is not easy.

First your body breaks it down to something called Acetaldehyde, and then to substances you can get rid of.

I know it feels like science class but there are two enzymes that make that process happen and it's thought the body makes less of them as we age.

You can also become more sensitive to the sulfites and tannins in wine which means a bigger headache. Tad says he can no long drink inexpensive beer or wine.

"It's not a snob thing, my body just doesn't process it the same way," Drouet said.

But as Merry Carter said, it doesn't mean the fun is over.

"We still have fun like we're 20. It's just not as fun the next day," Carter said.

Just make sure it is all in moderation. You might just have to redefine moderation every year.


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