While it may taste delicious while drinking it, wine can cause some of the worst hangovers. Some believe this is a result of the sulfites in the wine, but now experts say this is not the case.
According to experts, the culprits which cause the wine headache are actually tannins, histamines and sugar. Some people are understood to be more suscepible to headaches from drinking tannin-rich red wine than others.
Those who want to know if they are particularly susceptible to the tannins are advised to brew a tannin-rich tea bag for around 10 minutes before drinking. If it causes a headache, then it could be the tannins in the red wine and not just the alcohol which causes a headache.
Sugar and histamines
The other cause of wine headaches is understood to be sugar. When alcohol and sugar come together, it means the body can struggle to process them, so it’s vital to stay hydradted. Histamines, the chemicals which are released in an allergic reaction, also play a part. Certain aged food and drinks, like vintage wines, can lead the body to release histamines, with red wines containing more than whites or sparkling wines.
How to avoid wine headaches
So, what is the best way to avoid wine headaches, during the festive season? The NHS advises drinking slowly and drinking one glass of water for every glass of wine. Dr Seymour Diamond of the National Headache Foundation, meanwhile, says that drinking two cups of coffee before any wine can help because caffeine constricts the blood vessels.
Expert Dr Roshini Rajapaska also suggests taking an antihistamine before drinking as well as choosing your wine carefully. Dry wines, which don’t contain as much sugar will be less likely to give you a headache and white wines will be better for those more likely to get tannin-related pains.