Hangovers from brewed and distilled spirits! Fight off a hangover with a hair of the dog?

April 9, 2021

Hangovers from brewed and distilled spirits! Fight off a hangover with a hair of the dog?

The day after you drink wine or sake, your hangover is worse than usual! Isn’t it true? It depends on your constitution and physical condition, but I have often heard people say that the hangover the day after drinking wine is more intense than the day after drinking whiskey or shochu.

In this article, we talk about the relationship between types of alcoholic beverages and hangovers.

Brewed Sake and Distilled Sake

Wine and sake, both of which are known to cause severe hangovers, are both brewed liquors. Whiskey and shochu are distilled liquors.

Distilled liquors contain only fragrance and alcohol.

In the case of brewed sake, for example, rice or grapes are soaked to make it, so a lot of the protein and amino acids that were originally in the rice or grapes remain in the sake.

What is related to the hangover is related to the manufacturing process of this brew and is thought to be caused by the miscellaneous flavors left in the alcohol.


Is distilled liquor less likely to get you drunk?

Sake is good for you because it contains amino acids?

The case of wine

Wine is made from grape juice that has been squeezed from the first pressing of the grapes. This is the juice that is used to make wine, and it is very good.

However, when the grapes from the first pressing are pressed two or three times, the second and third presses contain a lot of miscellaneous flavor components, or proteins and amino acids from the skins and seeds. If there are too many of these miscellaneous ingredients, some people may get drunk.

The Case of Sake

There is a type of sake in which the outside of the rice, the raw material, is scraped off and only the core of the rice is used as the raw material. This is called ginjo junmai-shu or daiginjo junmai-shu, and is said to be less likely to cause bad drunkenness.

There is also sake that uses all of the rice, not just the core, although the process of shaving off the outside is called milling. This type of sake has a very high level of amino acids and other miscellaneous flavors, which can cause hangovers in some people.

If you get a worse than normal hangover from wine or sake

If you get a worse hangover than usual when you drink wine or sake, you can solve the problem by choosing a brewed sake with less miscellaneous flavors, a wine made from the first pressing, or a sake made only from the core of the rice, or by drinking a distilled spirit such as whiskey or shochu instead of wine or sake. 

Fighting off a hangover with alcohol?

When you are hungover, a method known as “hair of the dog“, where you “drink more alcohol”, may be effective in relieving hangover symptoms.

This is when you have a hangover headache. At this time, the blood vessels are constricted and there is not enough blood flow to the brain.

If you have a headache like this, drinking a small amount of alcohol may help to relax your blood vessels. This is because alcohol has a relaxing effect on the blood vessels, so the constricted blood vessels relax and widen, improving blood flow and sometimes stopping the headache.

However, even if the headache disappears after drinking, it is not recommended to do so because the blood vessels will contract again when the relaxing effect of alcohol disappears.

It is recommended that you eat enough water, carbohydrates, and protein, a food that activates mitochondria to metabolize acetaldehyde.


It would be sorry to have a hangover the next day after having a good time and end up regretting drinking alcohol. In order to have more fun drinking alcohol with your health in mind, it is important not only to refrain from excessive drinking, but also to make it a habit to drink in a way that suits the type of alcohol you drink and your constitution, to avoid drinking on an empty stomach when drinking with good hangover prevention, and to adjust the amount you drink according to your physical condition.

Although it varies from person to person, the amount of alcohol that is considered appropriate is 1 medium bottle (500ml) of beer, 1 gou (180ml) of sake, 1 double shot (60ml) of whiskey or brandy, 0.4 gou (72ml) of shochu, and 2 glasses (240ml) of wine per day. Please use this as a guide.