The dreaded hangover. The thought of waking up in the morning tired with a headache, cotton mouth and nauseousness makes most of us cringe. They only seem to get worse as we get older. A little common sense will tell you how to prevent a hangover, don’t drink yourself into an oblivion. However, we sometimes slip up and have to pay for our fun so in this class I will teach you the best way to cure a hangover and get fast relief so you can have a productive day.
There are a number of factors that will determine if you will have a hangover after a night of partying. Many of the causes are common sense, such as you went beyond your limitations. Some common symptoms of a hangover are the following:
- Dry mouth, aka cotton mouth
The ethanol in alcohol has a dehydrating effect which is noticeable by the amount of times you use a bathroom when you’re out drinking. Your liver breaks down the ethanol using enzymes produced by the liver cells. As your liver is working breaking down the ethanol it impairs it’s ability to properly perform other functions such as supplying glucose to your brain. As a result you will feel tired when hungover and more irritable.
Smokers tend to smoke more when they are drinking which can lead to nicotine poisoning and increase the effects of a hangover. It’s also true that hangovers seem more intense or worse as we get older. As we age are bodies aren’t able to metabolize alcohol as fast leading to a slower recovery.
Methods to Cure a Hangover
- Drink plenty of water. As you probably noticed from your frequent pit stops to the bathroom, alcohol is a diuretic which causes dehydration. You need to drink as much water as possible to rehydrate yourself. Plenty of H2O is the most effective natural way to cure hangover.
- Eat some carbs. As your body tries to metabolize the alcohol in your system your blood sugar will drop. Getting some crackers or toast into your system will help increase sugar levels helping relieve feeling tired and irritability.
- Take some pain medication. Take the recommended dosage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Avoid acetaminophens like Tylenol.
- Vitamins. One night of drinking isn’t likely to throw off the levels of nutrients in your body, but taking a multivitamin won’t hurt.
- Wake up and get active. Although there is no medical studies that prove this, I find my hangovers to go away faster and be less intense if I get up and am active rather than laying in bed all day.
- Exercise. Everyone has heard of the “sweat it out” theory and although it may not speed up the metabolization of the alcohol it will release endorphins which can improve your mood. A lot of a hangover can be psychological, and working out tends to make us feel good about ourselves which possibly could make you feel better.
- Eat a banana. Diuretics such as alcohol will deplete your body of potassium. Replenish your potassium and electrolyte levels by eating a banana.
- Sleep. Getting plenty of rest is important anytime our body is trying to recover whether it’s from physical activities or a rough night of drinking.
- Rent a movie. Anything you can do to pass time and take your mind off being hungover will help.
- Prevention. The best method to cure a hangover is to prevent one. We will look at some preventative tips to help eliminate a hangover.
Things to Avoid When Hungover
- Avoid drinking coffee and other caffeinated products. Before you grab a cup of joe at your coffee shop to wake up, realize that coffee can cause further dehydration and lead to migraines or intensified headaches.
- Don’t drink more alcohol. (AKA “Hair of the dog”) Drinking more alcohol only provides a numbing effect and just prolongs the inevitable. This can also lead to a serious problem of abusing alcohol, so I highly suggest against it.
- Avoid acetaminophens. When your body is working overtime to metabolize the alcohol, products such as Tylenol can lead to liver damage or failure.
Methods to Prevent a Hangover
- 1 Drink 1 Water – Staying hydrated during and after drinking will help reduce hangover symptoms in the morning. I suggest you order a glass of water with every drink. Not only will this keep you hydrated but it will help slow down your drinking. This is hands down the most effective method I have found to help prevent a hangover.
- 1 Drink per Hour – Your body can process one drink an hour on average. Allow your body to keep up with your drinking and you will feel a lot better in the morning.
- Eat a Meal – Make sure to fill your belly before you go out drinking. Food will help absorb some of the alcohol dampening the effects of liquor.
- Common Sense - Don’t become the sloppy drunk at the bar. Monitor your drinking and place limits such as you only order one drink per hour.
- Avoid Excessive Smoking - If you’re anything like me you will smoke double when you’re out drinking. This can lead to a soar throat, nicotine poisoning and increase your withdrawal symptoms from nicotine which will lead to increased headaches the next day. Better yet, quit smoking.