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Most often, wine, especially reds, get blamed for a headache. Some people experience a headache even after drinking small quantities of red wine but there's no scientific evidence that pinpoints a link between headaches and red wine.

Sulfites, tannins, histamine, and tyramine levels in wine have been cited as probable causes for wine headaches. But consider this: higher amounts of sulfites are present in fruits (and dried fruits), chips, pickles, soy sauce, soda, and cured meats; higher doses of tannins are also in tea, dark chocolate, some berries, and nuts. Histamine and tyramine can be found in other alcoholic beverages; more in fermented foods (tofu, sauerkraut), aged cheeses and packaged/processed foods, legumes, etcetera.

If you are not sensitive to these foods, it is less likely that the wine alone will trigger a headache.

It would rather be a good idea to:

  • Avoid drinking wine on an empty stomach

  • Stay well-hydrated

  • Reduce fatigue/stress

  • Have healthy sleeping habits

And if these practices do not give relief, then make a note of the grape varieties, styles, or brands that trigger your headache and avoid them in the future. Or, switch to lighter red wines.

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