The 7 Best Ways To Cure Your Hangover
The fact that hangovers occur does not mean you won’t do everything possible to avoid them. Everything…well, almost everything. Stopping after your second martini was your best option, really. It’s inevitable that you have tried a “hangover cure” once you know you’re headed for one – you’re desperate, after all!
We experience hangovers when we overindulge, as if our bodies are trying to warn us about the dangers of drinking. There are a lot of symptoms, but diarrhea, fatigue, headache, nausea, and shaking are the most common.
A hangover occurs when blood alcohol levels fall. As a matter of fact, some experts believe that when levels reach zero, symptoms are at their worst. “Drinking to intoxication” appears to be the key; how much you drank to get there doesn’t seem to matter. Studies suggest that light and moderate drinkers are more likely to get a hangover than heavy drinkers. However, some research indicates that people with a family history of alcoholism suffer from worse hangovers.
What Helps With A Hangover
One of the few review papers on hangovers was written by Dr. Robert Swift in 1998 while working at the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Rhode Island. It remains one of the most frequently cited sources on the topic. This article summarizes hangover remedies based on that review, an interview with Dr. Swift, and other sources.
- Hair of the dog. The term “taking the hair of the dog” refers to drinking to ease hangover symptoms. It is believed that hangovers are a result of alcohol withdrawal, so a drink or two will ease them.
The theory may have some merit, says Dr. Swift. He explains that alcohol and certain sedatives, such as benzodiazepines like diazepam (Valium), cause GABA receptors in brain cells to be activated.
There are well documented withdrawal symptoms associated with short-acting sedatives as they wear off. As blood alcohol levels drop, perhaps the brain reacts similarly. Nevertheless, Dr. Swift cautions against using alcohol to treat hangovers. According to him, “the hair of the dog simply perpetuates the cycle and it doesn’t allow you to recover.”
- Drink fluids. Alcohol increases urination by inhibiting the release of vasopressin, a hormone responsible for reducing urine volume. Those with a hangover who experience diarrhea, sweating, or vomiting may even be more dehydrated. A few sips of water could help you with a hangover, even if nausea makes it difficult to swallow anything.
- Get some carbohydrates into your system. Drinking lowers blood sugar levels, so a hangover may cause fatigue and headaches due to the brain lacking fuel. Additionally, many people forget to eat when they drink, further lowering their blood sugar levels. Having toast and juice will gently nudge your levels back to normal.
- Avoid darker-colored alcoholic beverages. Studies have shown that clear liquors, such as vodka and gin, cause hangovers less often than dark ones, such as whiskey, red wine, and tequila. Alcoholic beverages primarily contain ethanol, but darker liquors contain chemically related compounds (congeners), including methanol. Methanol metabolites are especially toxic, so they may cause a worse hangover, according to Dr. Swift’s review paper.
- Take a pain reliever, but not Tylenol. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, other brands) may relieve headaches and pain. It is possible, however, that NSAIDs can irritate a stomach that has already been irritated by alcohol. Avoid taking acetaminophen (Tylenol). Alcohol may amplify the liver’s toxic effects when combined with acetaminophen.
- Drink coffee or tea. While caffeine may not be a cure-all for hangovers, it can help with grogginess as a stimulant.
- B vitamins and zinc. In a study published in The Journal of Clinical Medicine, diets were evaluated before and after excessive drinking. In this study, participants reported what they ate. People with more zinc and B vitamins in their food and drink did however have less severe hangovers.
While there is no one “cure” to fix all hangovers, these 7 tips should help alleviate symptoms. Click here to read Dr Swift’s research paper and learn more about hangovers. Nonetheless, Bellion Vodka addresses many of the common concerns of alcohol consumption without removing any of the desired effects. Make the smart choice and use Bellion in your next cocktail.
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