Why Do You Get A Headache When You Drink IPAs?

Having a hangover after a night of fun and beer is a common phenomenon among beer drinkers especially those who consume IPA (Indian Pale Ale).

As you may have noticed, alcohol which is heavily present in this drink is usually blamed as the major cause of the hangovers that come after the consumption of beer. But other factors might be contributing to this ill feeling and we are going to be discussing that.

Causes of hangovers can be grouped under two main categories which are;

  • The Beer Recipe
  • Your body’s natural Intolerance
  • The presence of other health-related conditions

The Beer Recipe

The following ingredients in your IPA might be causing your discomfort


IPA is generally known for its high level of ABV. The level of alcohol in IPA is usually more than that in other beers; it usually starts at 6.5% and can go as high as 12% or even more and this makes it easy to drink and keeps you ordering for more which leads to overindulgence.

First-timers to this type of beer may have discomfort, because of the high level of alcohol in it. It is advisable not to consume too much if you are new to this.

Hop Oils 

This type of beer also has high levels of hops concentration which is responsible for the bitter taste.

Yeast and Glutes

Yeast when present in a beer can result in headaches for some individuals.

Your Natural Intolerance

The reason you are the only one among your friends who have discomfort after partying with IPA all night is that the human body reacts to things differently. The human body are varied in nature.

Some of the headaches that result from drinking IPA is as a result of the body being intolerant to certain ingredients.

It is worse for persons who have an intolerance to certain ingredients in a beer to consume one. Because apart from headaches there might be other side effects such as beer could cause to a body that can’t tolerate it.

People who have the following allergy would react negatively to IPA

Yeast Allergy

Although yeast tends to cause discomfort, some people might have it worse than others. Those who have a yeast Allergy would find that they have a headache alongside other symptoms when they indulge in beer.

Gluten Allergy

One of the symptoms of intolerance to gluten is a headache. Just like yeast allergy, a gluten allergy also presents other symptoms such as a feeling of indigestion.

You might have this discomfort after your night of beer because of the gluten present in your IPA. Those with this allergy may not experience the symptoms until after a while because gluten allergy is known to develop suddenly.

Hop Allergy

Those who have this allergy although it is not common would find that they have symptoms when they consume other hoppy beers, not just IPA. Hop extract is known to cause a range of symptoms in those who are allergic to it.

Health Related 

Apart from allergies, other health conditions can be worsened by alcohol consumption.

High Blood Pressure 

Alcohol consumed at high levels would lead to high blood pressure and a resultant headache. The thing with this type of alcohol is that it is easy to drink and drinkers are almost always tempted to overindulge.


Alcohol can worsen the effect of dehydration. Alcohol which is heavily present in this drink would naturally make your body pass out more water than it stores, leading to dehydration because your body would lose more water that it needs to function.

Those who suffer dehydration would find that they have other symptoms apart from headaches.

What To Do If You Experience Headaches From IPA Consumption

Find Out The Cause 

Find out the content of the beer. You may be reacting to one of the recipes, knowing the exact cause is the first step toward finding a solution.

Drink Water 

If you must consume alcohol make sure you drink as much water to avoid dehydration which is a serious condition.

Eat well

Do not drink on an empty stomach. Moderation is the key, don’t drink too much.

Most hangover symptoms are usually a result of overindulgence. Some people handle alcohol better than others, you should understand how much your body can tolerate and stop before it goes over.

If you drink in moderation you most likely won’t experience most of the alcohol-related discomfort.

Change Your Brand

Some brands of beer have less concentration of alcohol and other ingredients, if you must drink you should consider changing the type of drink you consume to a milder one.

Go For A Check-Up

If the symptoms persist check with your doctor don’t assume it is a hangover and hence it would pass, it might be something more serious and requires treatment.

For Immediate Relief From IPA Headaches, Try This;

  • Stop drinking in order not to worsen your symptoms.
  • Drink water.
  • Drink fruit juice or anything with natural sugar.
  • Drink ginger tea.
  • Take Antihistamines.

Types of IPAs And Components

The hazy ones and bottled conditioned ones would pose a problem for those with yeast allergy, hops allergy, and gluten allergy.

Those who can’t tolerate too much alcohol should avoid the Imperial ones as they have a high ABV.


The most common IPA headache is due to less serious issues like too much drinking and lack of water. These can easily be fixed by limiting the amount you drink and taking in more water.

Although some IPA-related headaches may be mild and may subside with time and taking more water, we still prefer not to have them. Not to mention some might be dangerous and have serious long-term effects.

If it often happens even when you drink a small quantity of beer then you should be searching for other causes of the headaches.

Drinking should be fun and not cause health issues, if it is, then you have to investigate the cause. Good luck and have fun.



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