How To Cure A Hangover
Have you experienced this foul feeling at some point which made you swear that you'll never drink again? Sounds familiar right? Most of us break this promise soon though, and the cycle of binge drinking – hangover repeats itself. Not everyone gets affected in the same way, and lucky are those whose bodies are better able to expel alcohol. They don’t have to go through the agony of most folks around the morning after – an extreme headache, nausea, weakness, upset stomach, excessive thirst and what not.
Hangovers are not completely understood by the scientists because they depend on so many things – who’s drinking, quantity, type of drink, what was eaten along with the drink, etc. There’s no single reason for why a drink could give you a hangover one time and not some other time. And there’s no single remedy to treat all the effects of a hangover. Since the cause is so varied, so are the remedies.
Understand the effects to better understand the steps you can take to assuage the situation :
1. Alcohol is a diuretic and causes dehydration. This causes the organs to send desperate signals to the brain to replenish water and in the process absorb water from the brain. This can cause severe headache. Also, the dehydration can result in a loss of minerals and glucose from the body, and hence the weakness. So, drink a lot of water during the drinks and before sleeping. It will surely prevent a bad hangover. Having banana, glucose solution, coconut water, fruit juice the next day will help replenish the lost minerals and glucose and recover faster.
2. After quickly passing through the stomach, alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream. And when that happens, everything starts going wrong inside the body. Apart from everything liver does, now it is working overtime to metabolize alcohol. This puts it under pressure to process the unwanted substance quickly. One way to control it is to prolong the time it takes for alcohol to get to the small intestines and get absorbed into blood stream. So, make sure you eat well before or during your drinks. Fatty foods are more helpful as the fats help line the walls of the stomach and delay absorption by the blood. One popular tactic in the Mediterranean is to have a spoonful of olive oil before drinking!
3. Also, a by-product of metabolizing alcohol is the production of acetaldehyde, which is a toxic compound and has been known to trigger skin flushing, nausea and vomiting. Eat eggs the next day to help break down acetaldehyde faster.
4. Alcohol is known to cause inflammation of liver, pancreas, stomach and blood vessels, which can mess up the immune system and trigger responses like swelling, nausea, headache, muscle ache, etc. Having a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pill like aspirin and ibuprofen will help reduce pain.
5. The type of drink matters. Darker colored drinks like brandy, bourbon, etc. can increase the severity of the hangover as compared to lighter colored drinks like vodka, white wine, etc because of more congener in the former, a chemical by-product of alcohol production. This is also the reason why it is said that drinks should not be mixed, as a variety of congeners can have more serious effects. A variety of drinks anyway means you are probably drinking more than you should! Similarly shots of liquor can give a hangover because of the amount of alcohol in a smaller volume.
6. Lastly, often a night of heavy drinking also means lack of sleep. This also exacerbates the situation as the body is not able to heal itself during the deep phase of sleep. If you have the luxury of free time next day, enjoy a healthy breakfast in the morning and go back to bed for atleast 2-3 hours. We promise you will feel refreshed and ready to roll again.
What's even better than the cure? Prevention! So, drink in moderation, without mixing the drinks, along with water/lemonade, after a proper meal and none of us shall have to face the dreaded morning.