We're all familiar with that painful dehydration, pounding headache, and unpleasant nausea that results after a night of consuming alcohol. But those aren't the only effects of too much booze — there are a number of other weird things that can happen to your body after a night of drinking. The classic symptoms of a hangover are the most obvious, but there some other effects of drinking that can happen all throughout your body, even if you aren't fully aware of them.
"When a person consumes more alcohol than they can handle, their blood alcohol level (BAL), can quickly rise to toxic levels," says Edison de Mello, MD, PhD over email. "And since that alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is quickly diffused into all the tissues in your body — including vital organs."
It's quite obvious, but to avoid these negative effects, you're best limiting the amount you drink each time you indulge in some beverages. "The recommended maximum intake of alcohol is one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men," says de Mello. "Four or more drinks per day is believed to be the beginning of binge drinking."
A night out can cause all sorts of crazy things to happen — besides just drunk texting your ex. Here are nine weird things that happen to your body after a night of drinking.
1You're More Likely To Get Sick
A study published in the journal Alcohol found that drinking alcohol affects the immune system immediately, sometimes as quickly as 20 minutes. "Frequent drinking can lead to more colds, flu, or other illnesses," says de Mello. "This is because alcohol makes the body more susceptible to infections."
2Your Heart Races
"Heavy drinking affects your heart’s ability to regulate its rhythm," says de Mello. "In most cases, it dies down after a day or two — but for anyone with underlying heart problems, it could lead to hospitalization, or more severe problems down the road."
3Your Sleep Is Disturbed
Although a night of drinking might knock you out by the time you're ready for bed, you're likely to wake up feeling much more tired than if you hadn't hit up happy hour. Drinking alcohol reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is the restorative part of sleep, according to a review published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. This disruption in sleep leads you to feel more drowsy and less well-rested.
4You Experience Tummy Troubles
Drinking alcohol can lead to digestive distress. "For one, over-consuming can throw of the balance of good bacteria in your GI system," says de Mello. "Even worse, it can break down the mucous lining in your digestive system, making it easier for waste and other particulates to enter your bloodstream — and cause long-term health issues."
5You're More Likely To Feel Anxious
That stress you feel after a night might be more than just regret. Alcohol changes levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which can worsen anxiety, according to Healthline. This can make you feel even worse once the alcohol has worn off.
6Your Face Swells Up
The next day after a consuming a few drinks, we don't usually look our best. This is because alcohol causes bloating and inflammation in the body, which can lead to red eyes and a puffy face, according to holistic skincare expert Paula Simpson, who spoke to Fox News. All that dehydration can also cause your body to hold on to water weight.
7Your Brain Doesn't Function As Well
After a night of drinking, your working memory can be impacted, and you might find that you have a diminished ability to perform basic tasks, according to research from Keele University. "Studies have shown that even a single night of binge drinking can kill brain cells, cause brain shrinkage, and even cause frontal lobe damage," says de Mello.
8Your Blood Sugar Drops
Ever felt shaky and weak after a long night? You can thank alcohol's effect on blood sugar for that. Alcohol causes your blood sugar levels to drop, as quickly as immediately or even up to 12 hours later, according to Livestrong. This can lead to feelings of dizziness and fatigue.
9You Sweat More
Because alcohol is so dehydrating, your body has a hard time regulating temperature, which can lead to increased sweating. If you're feeling yourself perspire much more after a night on the town, you can blame it on the alcohol.