We’ve all gotten carried away in a good time and drank way too much. Now we have to deal with the aftermath, the dreaded hangover. First there’s the pounding headache and the sensitivity to light and loud noises. Then we become distinctly aware of that sandpaper feel in our mouth that can only be quenched by gulping a half gallon of water. We spill most of it on our shirt which we probably wore last night. If we are lucky we won’t have to bolt to the nearest bathroom. This is the point where we stumble around a bit grasping at anything that may ease the pain. If we are due in at work and can’t go back to bed, then we’re in serious trouble!
What Cause a Hangover?
The science behind a hangover can get a little messy. Basically, alcohol is poison to your body. We all know it and this has never been debated. Your body treats alcohol like a foreign enemy and all systems go to work against it. Excessive alcohol consumption sends your central nervous system into overdrive. This is responsible for the mood altering effects, before and after the hangover. Alcohol is also a diuretic, which means you urinate twice as much as you drink. This is why most people have to visit the rest room twenty to thirty times (it seems) while they are drinking heavily. At this point, we are grossly dehydrated and our electrolytes are way out of whack (if we have any left at all). Our blood sugar is probably dangerously low, another result of alcohol consumption. Low blood sugar causes dizziness, confusion, and sweating among other things. This contributes to that “drunk” feeling. If we continue to drink at this point in the game our blood vessels begin to dilate. All of them do, including the ones that carry blood to the brain. Now we know the hangover will be there in the morning. That uninvited, overbearing, head pounding, turbulence that rocks our body hard the morning after heavy drinking.
There are hundreds and maybe even thousands of hangover remedies. Their effectiveness will depend on the tolerance level of the drinker, their overall health, and the type of alcohol consumed. Darker liquors will sometimes give us a worse hangover because of the extra additional in the alcohol.
Whatever the degree of your hangover, it’s safe to say that you should drink plenty of water. As our bodily organs are trying to cope with extreme water shortage, they will make you miserable if you don’t rehydrate.
Sports Drinks and Clear Soda
If you’re not a big fan of water, then sports drinks will do the trick and help replace electrolytes. Drinking clear soda such as sprite or ginger ale will help too. The sugary carbonation will help settle your stomach and help bring your blood sugar levels back to an acceptable range. Once your stomach is settled, you can probably keep some food down. Replacing those lost carbohydrates will do wonders for your hangover.
Vitamin B6 has been dubbed the energy vitamin, but for a hangover? Yes! Vitamin B6 helps regulate those glucose levels that were thrashed last night and is also involved in oxygen transport. It will help you get over that next morning “hump.”
Absolutely. Bananas will help to replace all that potassium lost during those twenty trips to the rest room. Most other fruits will give you that much needed boost from the natural sugar and many have a high water content which will also help you rehydrate. Honey on the other hand is a natural form of glucose, which your body could definitely use right about now.
If you are a regular java drinker then don’t skip your morning joe because of a hangover. You may end up with a worse headache due to caffeine withdrawal on top of the splitter you already have. If you’re not a coffee drinker. Try a cup of hot tea with honey and lemon, it isn’t just for the flu.
Epson Salt Bath
If you don’t have to be anywhere slip into a warm bath of Epsom salt. It will help pull the toxins out of your body through your skin. Not to mention the calming effects it will have on the rest of your body. It may even get rid of that splitting headache. The next time you decide to take the plunge and douse your liver in alcohol, try one or even all of these remedies to right the ship when you are done.