Two-day hangover becomes the norm as stressed workers are going on marathon drinking binges
Two-day hangovers have become the norm for office workers as staff relieve stress by going on weekend-long drinking sessions.
British employees under record levels of pressure are relieving the tension with marathon alcohol binges, which start on Thursday night and continue until Sunday evening.
It means that many workers then face extended hangovers that do not disappear completely till Tuesday afternoon.
Under pressure: Office workers are having to cope with hangovers that last until Tuesday after weekend-long drinking sessions (file picture)
Scientists say that stress actually reduces the intoxicating effects of alcohol, meaning those feeling tense tend to drink more to feel the same sense of inebriation.
But the binges can make the pressure feel even worse, because alcohol decreases the level of a hormone called cortisol, which the body produces naturally to combat stress.
Drinkers are then left less able to cope with stress over the next few of days as the alcohol works its way out of their systems.
Campaign group Drinkaware revealed last year that three-quarters of women and a quarter of men admitted to having a drink at the end of the day because they were stressed.
Self-medicating: Three-quarters of women admit to drinking after work to help relieve stress, but many of us are intolerant to some ingredients found in alcohol (file picture)
Six in ten women said they drank two or more large glasses of wine on a typical night, more than double the recommended daily guidelines.
The two-day hangover is also caused by the fact that nearly half of the population is intolerant to chemicals and toxins found in some cheaper wines and spirits served in pubs.
Dr Gill Hart, scientific director at YorkTest, a food intolerance laboratory, said: 'When you don’t have that much to drink, but you feel like the effects are going on for several days, that’s more likely to be food intolerance reactions.
'These intolerances affect 45 per cent of the population and they can take two days to show up.'
She said there has been a 10-fold increase in intolerance to ingredients found in alcohol in the UK over the past 25 years.
It could be a particular fruit juice used in a cocktail, a type of potato used to make vodka or the yeast in a glass of wine, revealed Dr Hart.
She said that people can be intolerant to up to five different ingredients in alcoholic drinks. These reactions are exacerbated when people mix their drinks – for example, by having grape- and grain-based drinks on the same night.
James Schaefer, research professor of anthropology at Union College, New York, said: 'Inexpensive beverages are that way because not much investment or care is put into the fermentation or distillation.
'Poor filtering of various ethanal compounds detracts from the overall quality of the beverage. Higher levels of these compounds and other junk are more difficult for the body to break down. And an extreme, longer, hangover is more likely to ensue.'
Scientists advise drinkers to stick to premium spirits and avoid red wine, which contains more chemical compounds than white wine, to reduce the chances of a painful two-day hangover.