The Truth Behind Hangover Cures
If you’re a drinker, it is likely that at some point you will have experienced a hangover. Even light or social drinkers tend to have that one occasion when they overdo things a bit and wake up the following meaning feeling like Armageddon has taken place in their body.
Managing hangovers comes in many forms, but the two primary ways to get around a hangover are either to approach it by implementing some preventative measures or by cure – shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.
The first and primary reason that you feel so awful the morning after the night before is dehydration. Copious consumption of alcohol causes dehydration and that pounding sound in your head much like the wild horses of the Camargue taking a detour in the space between your ears through your sinuses and tugging under the back of your neck.
Drink lots of water – This sage advice comes both as prevention advice and a curative action. By drinking a glass of water between drinks, you are automatically providing a replacement for the fluid loss your body experiences during the wild hours at the party. Even if you skip that preventative measure during the night out, then at least consuming around twenty ounces of water before you go to sleep, will help your body as it tries to recover. While you may fear how it will increase your bathroom visits, alcohol is a diuretic and more likely to make you need to go.
Another good reason to drink water as an inbetweener while you’re out – you don’t want to miss anything by repeatedly having to spend a penny. As an absolute last measure, waking up to that deep bass thumping on your inner skull is relieved relatively quickly by consuming that twenty ounce bottle of water that you were too drunk to pour down your throat the night before. Remember it’s not only possible to drink too much alcohol, but drinking too much water is also bad for your health.
Greasy Food – it’s interesting that a fry up remains a popular approach to curing a hangover when in fact, it’s more likely to be an effective form of prevention. With a stomach filled with slow to digest food, you slow the process that involves alcohol absorption into your blood stream. Of course, a good fry up in the morning stimulates your digestive system and consequently will also help to work that alcohol sloshing about in your cells right out of your body. So, if you’re into the greasy food solution, it’s a bit like contraception – a lot more effective before the act.
Sugar and Carbohydrates – Your liver takes a pounding from alcohol and will work very hard to metabolise it, detoxify your body and cleanse your system. A direct consequence of this will be a drop in your blood sugar. This what causes that tired and irritable feeling that accompanies a hangover. Dry toast the age old favourite to settle the stomach as you yell profanities down the large porcelain telephone is a tried, tested and effective solution. The carbs are converted to sugars that will rise as they are metabolised in the morning also increasing your glycogen stores. Do the toast thing, even if you don’t feel like eating. It really works
Rather than down a bottle of Coke, an isotonic sports drink, or even a few of those infant rehydration sachets will make a remarkably improved difference, because rather than giving you an immediate sugar rush and the insulin spike that comes with it – and the subsequent dip, Rehydration drinks provide you with those desperately needed electrolytes much like a fully charged battery. Your brain is far less likely to misfire, because although you will also get the sugars you need, those electrolytes will keep them in you, providing space to recover, with a small boost of energy.
Medications – believe it or not pain medication is not a good idea post alcohol of any sort. Your liver is already working overtime to try and detoxify and throwing analgesics at it, may cause it to shut down with potentially fatal consequences. If you must take something for the discomfort, non-steroidal anti inflammatories such as Ibuprofen, aspirin and Naproxen would be a better choice
Sex, Exercise and Vitamins are all favourites when discussing hangover cures. Sure, there are theories as to why they may work. However there is absolutely no scientific evidence to uphold those theories. One night on the town is not going to deplete your body so severely that taking vitamins before or after the fact will make much difference. It’s your overall lifestyle that will dictate the need to take vitamins, not a single rough night out on the town. A twelve-ounce beer takes about an hour to work its way out of your body, so sweating it out is a myth and sex is not going to sober you up, no matter how appealing an idea it may be.
In closing, this article would not be complete without mentioning the hair of the dog. Curing alcohol overconsumption with more alcohol is probably a severe distortion of homeopathic theories, and it is very bad for you. It cures/prevents hangovers simply by extending how long it will be before you’re hit by the hard end of it. In fact, those that opt for this cure are more likely to become alcohol abusers.