Sometimes a fun night out can get a little (read: way) out of hand. As you attempt to open your foggy eyes the morning after, you smile to yourself knowing you had a great time the previous night and that precious memories were created (albeit memories that you can no longer recall). A splitting headache overpowers you as the regret of knocking back the last shot (or the last ten shots) of tequila instantly swoops in.
As you start regaining all your temporarily benumbed senses, you feel like a shipwreck.
The symptoms of a hangover such as nausea, headache, thirst, lethargy, and dizziness (to name a few) can be taxing enough to make you swear off alcohol for the rest of your life (until the next big night of course).
As if getting out of get bed wasn’t bad enough…
…your ears work as amplifiers (everyone seems to be speaking through loudspeakers) draining you of the little energy you have left. Even the sound of your phone ringing startles you, and you just want to hide in a dark corner until it is all over.
Why Do You Get Hangovers?
As you indulge in some innocent carousing, your body copes by switching to ‘alcohol removal mode.’ Your blood acts like a sponge absorbing alcohol from your stomach and small intestine, causing your blood alcohol content (BAC) to rise. Alcohol leaves a person’s body at the rate of 0.015 percent of BAC per hour. 1 This means the higher your BAC the longer it takes for alcohol to leave your body. Sometimes this process can carry over to the next day.
Alcohol causes imbalances in your body that trigger the dreadful symptoms typical of a hangover. To our misfortune, these symptoms can manifest several hours after you’ve had your last drink and can last up to 24 hours (that’s a whole day of regret).2
How Can You Get Rid Of A Hangover?
An instantly effective hangover elixir is what most of us would wish for.
Alas! That wish is as true as a unicorn. Just as time heals broken bones and broken hearts, only time (and patience) can help cure a hangover completely. This, however, does not mean you have to go through the day walking around like a zombie. Here are ways you can lessen the intensity of some of the symptoms…
How Can You Treat Hangover Symptoms?
1. Fuel Up The Morning After
Amidst the babalaas, you might feel nauseous at the very thought of food. However, loading up on breakfast the morning after the night before reduces the time taken for alcohol to be eliminated from your body by a walloping 36 to 50%.3 Boy, those are huge numbers!
For caffeine enthusiasts, indulging in your addiction might actually help (drink coffee). Sometimes headaches are caused due to caffeine withdrawal.
2. Chug Water
You’ve probably noticed that when you consume alcohol, you tend to visit the bathroom more often than you normally would (sometimes for more reasons than you normally would). This is because alcohol acts as a diuretic (it causes you to urinate more). 4 You may feel dehydrated, which is why you need to rehydrate—glug, glug, glug.
3. Feed Your Liver Vitamin B
We do not give our liver much credit, but we should. The liver is the main organ in our body responsible for removing alcohol from our system. It does so by using B-vitamins in an elaborate detox process.5 When we hit the bottle, our body gets depleted of vitamins. Give your liver a well deserved helping hand and replenish yourself with B-vitamins. Normalcy will no longer be a thing of the past.
4. Charge Up On Electrolytes
Drinking too much alcohol causes electrolyte imbalances in our body. Consume liquids rich in electrolytes to help combat some of the symptoms of a hangover.6
5. Give Yoga A Go
Yoga helps detoxify the detox organ (the liver). This can hasten the removal of alcohol from your body. And no. You don’t have to be a yoga guru to try it.
6. Sleep In
If you were smart enough to drink the night before a day off, there is nothing better than sleeping in till the hangover wears off. If you give your body some time, it will get rid of the poison (read: alcohol) making you feel as good as new.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Abstention is the best way to prevent a hangover. But let’s get real. That is out not even an option for most of us. Here are some other ways you can prevent a hangover…
1. Eat Before You Drink
‘Eating before guzzling’ is a good mantra to follow. Food in your stomach helps lower your peak BAC and, hence, alcohol removal time. 7
A full stomach may be just what you need to have an unrestricted night out and without any memory loss.
2. Exercise Patience While Drinking
An outburst of Dutch courage or an escapist strategy to forget your sorrows—whatever be your motivation to bend the elbow—it will do you a world of good if you just pace yourself. Why? Our body takes at least an hour to get rid of one standard drink.8 Sip on your drinks (instead of partaking in endless drinking games) to give your liver time to cope.
You’ll wake up feeling fresh as a daisy.
Turn A Blind Eye To The Bar
Tradition, peer pressure, celebration, and sorrow can make it teeth-grittingly difficult to resist the bottle. Open bars at parties and happy hours at clubs don’t make it any easier.
But remember, excessive alcohol consumption is not a cause of concern only because of impeccant hangovers. It can cause life-threatening damage to your liver, too.
So, get a grip on yourself and keep close tabs on your drinking capacity (and tendency). There is nothing better than waking up wishing you could re-live the previous night rather than regretting it.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Crease et al. Hangover Remedy And Alcohol Abatement Composition. United States Patent Application Publication. 2005.|
|2.||↑||Robert Swift, Dena Davidson. Alcohol Hangover. Alcohol Health And Research World. 1998.|
|3, 7.||↑||Jones A., Jönsson, K. Food-Induced Lowering of Blood-Ethanol Profiles and Increased Rate of Elimination Immediately After a Meal. Journal Of Forensic Sciences. 1994.|
|4.||↑||Kathleen E. Roberts. Mechanism Of Dehydration Following Alcohol Ingestion. JAMA Internal Medicine. 1963.|
|5.||↑||Jeffrey G. Wiese, Michael G. Shlipak, Warren S. Browner, The Alcohol Hangover. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2000.|
|6.||↑||William M. Nicholson, Haywood M. Taylor. The Effect Of Alcohol On The Water And Electrolyte Balance In Man. The Journal Of Clinical Investigation. 1938.|
|8.||↑||Wilfred W. Westerfeld, Martin P. Shulman. Metabolism And Caloric Value Of Alcohol. Journal Of The American Medical Association. 1959.|