Ever Wondered Why Do You Get Headaches After Drinking Red Wine? Scientists May Have The Answer

While wine consumption is generally associated with relaxation and enjoyment, red wine headaches have been a longstanding mystery

Red wine
by Tejashee Kashyap

Wine has been a staple in human culture for centuries, a beverage that transcends time and borders. However, despite the rich history and myriad options available, there exists a peculiar preference among many individuals who do not tend to favour red wine.

Why This Wine Is Not Preferred Much?

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Wine enthusiasts often find themselves caught in a perplexing dilemma: the allure of a rich, velvety red wine juxtaposed against the throbbing discomfort of a red wine headache. While wine consumption is generally associated with relaxation and enjoyment, red wine headaches have been a longstanding mystery.

According to US researchers, they may have uncovered why some people develop a headache after just one tiny glass of red wine, despite being alright with other types of alcohol.

Researchers believe they have discovered why this wine, creates such sudden and unjustified headaches. When the liver degrades a specific component, it produces a chemical with the same effects as a drug intended to make us feel a throbbing headache.

According to the University of California study, this is due to a chemical found in red grapes that can interfere with how the body metabolises alcohol. The ingredient is quercetin, an antioxidant or flavanol. It is abundant in Cabernets from the sunny Napa Valley. When red grapes are exposed to sunlight, they produce more quercetin. That indicated that more costly red wines, rather than cheaper reds, would be worse for headache sufferers.

Several explanations have been proposed to explain red-wine headaches. They can occur within 30 minutes after even small amounts of consumption.

  • Some speculate that the cause could be sulphites, which are preservatives used to extend shelf life and keep wine fresh.
  • Another likely reason is histamine, which is found in red wine more than white or rose wine.

While some people are allergic to sulphites and should avoid them, there is no evidence that they cause headaches. Histamine can widen blood vessels in the body, which can cause headaches. However, there is no absolute confirmation.

Also Read: From Sipping To Storing, What Is The Right Champagne Etiquette? 

The Red Wine Headache Phenomenon

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In the world of wine, preferences are subjective and diverse, influenced by personal taste, cultural background, and individual experiences. From histamines and sulfites to tannins, tyramine, and individual sensitivities, the reasons behind red wine headaches are multifaceted. The researchers want to put their theory to the test by conducting a clinical investigation on the headache-inducing effects of varying quercetin levels in red wines. The findings may help people prevent these headaches in the future.

Drinking excessively, fast, or getting intoxicated can have substantial short- and long-term health repercussions. It’s important to note that while certain compounds in this kind of wine may contribute to headaches. But, responsible consumption, hydration, and an understanding of personal sensitivities can mitigate the risk.

By unravelling the mysteries surrounding these headaches, wine enthusiasts can continue to savour the rich flavours. Hopefully without the unwelcome companion of a throbbing headache.

What do you think of the Red Wine Headache Phenomenon?

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