I won’t believe it if you deny ever having had a hangover. It’s happened to everyone I know, at least once and, for others, it’s a weekend staple; party on Saturday, recover on Sunday. With St. Patrick’s Day weekend just behind us, you might find these hangover cures useful. It might help to ice your head and sip some water as you read this!
WHY DOES YOUR HEAD ACHE SO?
Alcohol creates a chemical reaction in your body, which in small amounts is easily metabolized. In large quantities, your body reacts to what is, in effect, toxic poisoning. Alcohol causes dehydration, depletion of Vitamins A, B and C which in turn cause symptoms of dry mouth, headache, nausea and fatigue. Dehydration causes the blood vessels in your body to contract and the reduced blood flow results in a headache. Sound familiar? Now let´s get to the business of getting rid of the headache and the hangover.
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1. A big greasy breakfast high in carbs.
Some swear that a bacon, egg and cheese breakfast will set them right in no time. If your stomach is already irritated by too much alcohol, pass on the grease and go for starch: a baked potato or a bagel might work best. I’ll vouch for this one. Nothing like a good salty bagel to help the hangover dissipate. Or a sickeningly sweet donut will do the same and replenish glucose stripped away by alcohol.
2. Stock up on the vitamins leached away by alcohol.
Orange juice, tomato juice, or a mega vitamin C tablet will help restore the vitamin balance to your alcohol ravaged body. A banana or a fresh orange works just as well and the banana in particular will help your tummy.
3. Exercise to release endorphins to make you feel better.
If your balance is off or you’re dizzy, choose walking over jogging or using the treadmill. Also, sweating will help you eliminate toxins.
4. Drink pickle or sauerkraut juice.
Can’t tell you I’ve tried either and the thought makes me nauseous but, some folks swear it provides instant relief. It’s the vitamins again in the juice.
5. Eat soup.
There’s a reason Mom gave you chicken soup when you were sick. Soup contains many of the vitamins your body is missing after a big night out. It’s soothing on the troubled tummy and you can drink it right from the cup if your hand is still shaking. Plus, it replenishes lost liquids.
6. Sleep if you can.
Sleep is one of the best hangover cures there is. Your deep restorative REM sleep, is disrupted by alcohol’s effects. If you can pull the shades, put the phone on mute and sleep, do so. Your body will thank you.
7. Eat burned toast.
Your body needs carbs to raise blood sugars back to normal. The carbon in the charred bread acts like a filter. Your liver, which filters your blood, is still busy trying to deal with the quantity of alcohol you consumed. A little carbon will help the liver do its job and make your body feel a lot better. There’s a reason activated charcoal is used in a case of accidental poisoning.
8. Skip the hair of the dog.
If you’re hung over, will a little more alcohol alleviate symptoms? The better question is if you took a little poison, will more poison make you feel better? Alcohol acts like a toxin in your body, causing your liver (filtration system, remember?) to work overtime to clear up the blood. A nip of the same brew that laid you low will only prolong the process. And then the hangover will come back with a vengeance.
9. Water, water, water.
Alcohol dehydrates the body and water hydrates it. Adding salt and sugar to the process by drinking a non-caffeinated sports drink is even better as it rebalances the sodium and glucose depleted by last night’s excess. Caffeine constricts the blood vessels so don´t resort to energy drinks.
There are a lot of myths surrounding hangovers and the effects of alcohol on the body: a big man can drink more than a smaller woman, mixing alcoholic beverages makes a hangover worse, alcohol mixed with tonic water is easier to absorb than booze mixed with cola. The bottom line is that an excessive consumption of alcohol is always going to cause a hangover. You can alleviate the symptoms but you can only avoid the process altogether by drinking in moderation.
So hope the party was a good one. If you had one too many, keep a painkiller handy right next to a gallon of water and try the above tips. Let us know whether they worked for you!