Recently I posted a question (here) regarding adding flavor to vodka. In my usual exuberance and non-scientific approach to matters I thought 'I know, to cut a few calories I will add Splenda'. OK, the taste was OK, the orange and lemon peel that I steeped in the vodka gave the drink a nice, if not bitter taste. I added splenda - and then experimented on myself (can't find anyone stupid enough to join me in these ventures!). I drank the 'vodka' in the same manner (volume) as I would a standard vodka or gin. Now, first morning after, the raging headache should have been sufficient - but looking for a more conclusive scientific result I tried the 'experiment' for a couple more nights, with the same results each following morning. So, my question is: Does adding an artificial sweetener to alcohol increase the chance of a hangover?

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    Can't find a tag for stupidity! Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 13:59
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    My comment, as I'm no expert on sweeteners, but am on headaches :D, many artificial sweeteners are vaso-constrictors,so that may be the issue.
    – Giorgio
    Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 16:21
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    Really, compared to alcohol, sugar isn't going to add all that many calories. Why don't you look up a recipe for limoncello?
    – Eric S
    Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 19:58
  • @Eric Shain - Oh great now I feel really stupid, as I have one! Commented May 1, 2017 at 6:04
  • @Dorothy. Hadn't thought of that - (this explains why no one else joins me in my 'experiments'!) If I use my 'infusion' in something hot (cooked), will that reduce the effects of the vaso-constrictors. (I've even managed not to come up with any snake jokes) Commented May 1, 2017 at 6:07

1 Answer 1


Certain people can have very individualistic headache triggers. For me it is second hand smoke. There are quite a few references on the internet tying Splenda to migraines so perhaps it so for you, at least in combination with alcohol. In any case, I'd pitch your experiment. Vodka typically has 65 calories per ounce. Sugar is about 111. However, you probably don't add that many ounces of sugar to your bottle of vodka so most of the calories will come from the ethanol. Some people substitute agave nectar which supposedly has a lower glycemic index than granulated sugar and may be healthier.

  • Many thanks for the agave nectar reference - that in itself is worth everything. Commented May 2, 2017 at 16:13
  • @dougal3.0.0 Indeed, agave nectar is intriguing. Here is a link to its use in cocktails instead of simple syrup: thespruce.com/what-is-agave-nectar-p2-760283
    – Eric S
    Commented May 2, 2017 at 18:12
  • @dougal3.0.0 If you found my answer suitable, it would be great if you would accept it. Otherwise, feel free to request any improvements you would like.
    – Eric S
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 22:59

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