Have you ever experienced an excruciating headache after the consumption of red wine? If you haven’t, count yourself lucky since it is extremely rampant across the world. We have all heard about the benefits drinking red wine entails, but that is usually accompanied by headaches. These headaches have become so common, that they’ve been given a name now popularly known as ‘red wine headaches’ or RWH. It is surprising to note that over consumption of red wine is not the only cause of these headaches. There are many other factors and causes that need to be taken into consideration, here it goes.



People usually think sulfite allergies are responsible for red wine headaches, since sulfites are an important preserving agent in virtually every red wine. However, sulfites are not the cause of red wine headaches. There are two possible causes for these headaches. Research proves Tyramine and Histamines guilty; both are present in red wine. While Tyramine constricts the blood vessels in your body, eventually dilating them, your blood pressure consequently rises. Histamines also dilate the blood vessels causing flushing sensations. The two when paired together induces a headache. Histamines are also found in white wine, but the content is higher in red wines hence the name RWH.


Substances like sugar when combined with alcohol induce severe headaches. Plenty of water is needed to aid in the processing of sugar and alcohol. When you are dehydrated, the body begins to pull the required water from various parts of your body like your head. It is important to prevent consumption of cheap wines that have higher sugar content.



There are a variety of ways you can prevent red wine headaches, most importantly drinking a glass of water for every glass of wine that is consumed. When it comes to such headaches, water is your savior as alcohol tends to cause dehydration. Taking anti-histamines is also a good idea before consuming red wine to make you feel less drowsy. Taking a Vitamin B6 or Aspirin can also be of great help in preventing headaches.


So the next time you are thinking about ditching that glass of red wine because of the headaches that are accompanied with it, keep a glass of water handy. The solution is merely in your cabinet of medicine. It is always advisable to consult your doctor first before popping a pill.


By: Chris Hartland