Why Does Wine Give Me a Headache?

Why Does Wine Give Me a Headache?

When you drink wine, the alcohol in your system triggers the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers. The more you drink, the higher the levels of endorphins become.

A headache is often triggered by withdrawal from this high level of endorphins after drinking too much or drinking on an empty stomach.

A headache may be also caused by dehydration, which can occur when drinking alcohol because it’s a diuretic that can cause loss of water from the body.

Lastly, histamines in the wine can trigger an allergic reaction which leads to a headache.

Reasons Why Wine Gives You a Headache


Histamine is a chemical that triggers allergic reactions in the body, and it is the reason why so much red wine causes headaches. It is found in grape skin and can be absorbed into the bloodstream when someone drinks wine.

The histamine causes a release of inflammatory chemicals, which can lead to a headache. Histamines are also found in foods like strawberries, cheese, and citrus fruits.

In order to drink wine without getting a headache from histamines, you have to pick wines that have been aged for less than 10 years.

Histamine makes head pain when you drink wine. The source of the pain may be a combination of two things: an allergic reaction to sulfites or a histamine-release reaction to alcohol.


The chemical compounds called “tannins” in grape skin can cause headaches and other symptoms of a hangover when consumed, which is why most wines contain sulfites to prevent this from happening.

Tannins are a group of compounds that occur naturally in many plants. They also occur naturally in wine grapes and give red wines their color and flavors. It is the tannin in the grape skin which makes you feel like your head is hurting when you drink wine.


Some people are allergic to sulfites. This is the reason that they have a headache or feel sick when they drink wine.

Can Wine Trigger a Headache More Often Than Other Types of Alcohol?

There are many factors that might lead to wine headaches. One is the sulfites in wine. Another is the tyramine in wine. Tyramine is found mainly in foods like cheese, soy sauce, and eggplant, but it can also be found in aged alcohol like wine and beer.

Wine headaches are due to a chemical reaction between tyramine and sulfites that occurs when your blood pressure drops. The headache usually lasts for about an hour or two and then goes away on its own. If you’re worried that you may get a wine headache, you can drink only small amounts of wine over a long period of time instead of larger amounts all at once.

Although red wine is thought to cause headaches less often, it can still happen. Wine triggers headaches because of the sulfites that are used in the process of making the wine. Sulfites are also used in preserving food and to keep food looking fresh.

Drinking on an Empty Stomach

The blood vessels in your head will get narrower when you drink alcohol on an empty stomach. This is because the alcohol will depress the blood flow to your muscles and brain. This can result in a headache.

When your stomach is empty, it gets more blood than normal which means that the alcohol will reach it faster than usual. This can cause headaches or dizziness.

Your Stress Levels

Many people believe that drinking wine is a relaxing activity. However, the reality is that the alcohol in wine can lead to an increase in your levels of stress. Alcohol increases your levels of the hormone cortisol which then triggers headaches that are brought on by increased stress levels.

Some people will drink wine to soothe themselves after a stressful day, but they may notice that their headache gets worse and worsens. This is because the negative emotions and hormones from stress get released when we consume alcohol and can lead to headaches.

Your Level of Fatigue

It is important to be aware of the effects of alcohol on your body. While it can make you feel great initially, it can also lead to negative consequences in the long term.

Drinking alcohol, while feeling good at the time, leads to dehydration and headaches in the future. The risk increases when you drink wine.

Tips to Treat a Wine Headache

A wine headache is a type of migraine which is caused by the consumption of wine. It can be treated using certain medicines or by limiting the amount of wine consumed.

The first step to treating a wine headache is to stop drinking alcohol. Avoiding drinks like these for several days can help prevent future headaches. Those who experience severe cases of this should seek medical advice as soon as possible because they need further diagnosis. Treating a wine headache is not as hard as it sounds. It is recommended to drink water, take aspirin, or nap.

There are many natural remedies for this condition, but not all work as well as others. Here are some of them:

  • Yogurt with black pepper and ginger
  • Honey mixed with apple cider vinegar
  • Ginger tea

Tips to Avoid a Wine Headache?

Avoiding a wine headache is not as easy as it sounds. There are a number of things that can cause a headache after drinking wine. The main culprit for headaches from drinking wine is sulfites. Sulfites are found in white wines and wines that have been frozen or unfrozen, but they are used to keep unpasteurized wine fresh.

In addition to sulfites, there are other factors that can lead to headaches from drinking wine, such as dehydration and lack of sleep, or food allergies or sensitivities.

Here’s how to avoid a headache from drinking wine:

  • Drink water regularly while you drink wine
  • Eat food before and during your evening with your favorite bottle of red
  • Get plenty of sleep before the night
  • Avoid processed foods

Wine is a drink that has been around for a long time. It comes with a lot of benefits but it also has its fair share of disadvantages.

One thing to consider when drinking wine is the temperature. Wine should be served at a temperature between 59- and 64-degrees Fahrenheit. If you are drinking chilled wine, it should be about 39 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperature does not only affect how wine tastes, it also affects how fast its molecules break down. The more the molecules break down, the more alcohol will enter our bloodstream, making us more intoxicated faster. There are other factors like color and tannin levels that may make your headache worse too.

Final Thoughts

There are some common reasons for drinking wine at the wrong time. Reasons like an increased desire for more alcohol, or if you are not practicing great self-care. When you drink wine in moderation you will minimize the chance of getting a headache.

Some people don’t realize that the first glass of wine has higher levels of sulfites than subsequent glasses. The problem is that once someone has an allergic reaction to sulfites it can cause painful headaches. Alcohol increases the amount of acetaldehyde your liver produces which causes you to have a headache too.

To prevent a wine headache, drink in moderation and take breaks between drinks. Some people find that eating certain foods before and during drinking helps them avoid such headaches.

About the author

Johnny is dedicated to providing useful information on commonly asked questions on the internet. He is thankful for your support ♥

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