Why Do You Hiccup After Drinking Too Much? There's A Scientific Reason For This Annoying Side Effect

There are plenty of ways to tell if you've overdone it on the drinks — slurring, calling all your friends (or worse, your ex), the list goes on. But one of the most annoying, surefire signs that you've had one too many? Hiccuping. Why do you hiccup after drinking too much? At some point or another, all of us have succumbed to the dreaded attack of the hiccups after too many beers — and it turns out, there's a specific reason for that.

According to Shape, drinking too much alcohol makes you particularly prone to hiccups because it promotes acid reflux, and can aggravate the esophagus. It can also exacerbate the vagus nerve, which then causes those irritating bouts of non-stop hiccuping. Drinking large amounts of carbonated alcohol, like beer, champagne, and other bubbly products, is also further irritating, as you're swallowing extra air.

It's not just alcohol that causes this reaction — eating a huge meal that leaves you too full, drinking super hot beverages, and periods of intense emotional stress can do the same.

Unfortunately, while hiccups are annoying, they're usually normal. It's only if they persist for a full day or two or longer that it should become a cause for concern.

As for trying to stop the hiccups? If you're drinking, you can try avoiding carbonated drinks, and opt for wine instead. There's also the standard tricks, like drinking a lot of water, holding your breath, and covering your ears. But the truth is, hiccups are pretty involuntary, so your best bet is just avoiding the triggers altogether. That might mean sticking to just one drink at happy hour — but hey, at least you'll be able to get through a sentence without a hic.

For more great ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.

Bustle on YouTube

Image: Joshua Resnick/Fotolia; Giphy