A German court has ruled that a hangover counts as an illness

Hangovers are an illness, a court in Germany has ruled, with judges claiming that the “disruption of the body’s normal condition” caused by heavy drinking is a legitimate reason to say you are unwell.

The verdict was made in a Frankfurt court case against a product that was being marketed as an “anti-hangover” drink.

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The firm behind the product lost the case, which saw them fall foul of a law banning people from marketing food and drink products in a way that claimed they could cure or treat illnesses.

Broad definition of an illness

Judges said that the definition of an illness should be broad, so as to best protect people’s health. They ruled that the term "illness" encompasses "any, even a slight or temporary, disruption of the body's normal condition or normal activity."

This includes the typical hangover symptoms - headaches, sickness and tiredness.

The company which breached the law claimed that their product was a remedy for these symptoms.

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A court statement said, "Information about a food product cannot ascribe any properties for preventing, treating or healing a human illness or give the impression of such a property.

"By an illness, one should understand even small or temporary disruptions to the normal state or normal activity of the body."

What causes a hangover?

The main cause of a hangover is ethanol, which is the alcohol in your drinks.

It works as a diuretic, which means it makes you urinate more often, resulting in dehydration. This is the most common causes of hangover symptoms like headaches.

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The best way to treat a hangover is to drink lots of water. Fresh juice also gives you a vitamin boost.

Painkillers and antacids can help if you really need them, as can rehydration sachets, which replace lost minerals and salt. Foods which contain high potassium, like kiwis and bananas, can help you to feel better, too.