How to Prevent and Fight a Hangover
The New Year is here! This is the last night that you will party this year. And we all know that means you may just go harder than ever to celebrate. But don’t ring the New Year in with a pounding headache and queasy stomach. If you are reading this on New Year’s Eve, then please heed this advice. If you or a friend have passed the New Year’s threshold and are hovering over a bucket, then you need to read this more than anyone else. For the sake of the critical situation you may be in, let’s dive into the tips on how to prevent and fight a hangover.
Hydrate and Cleans
Alcohol is a diuretic, contributing to dehydration. It’s important to hydrate before, during, and after drinking. Typically an inactive person should drink about 8 cups of water a day. Make sure you have all 8 cups before your night begins. In between each alcoholic drink, have a cup of water. Just before bed drink one last cup. And then refill the glass with more water so it is ready for the next morning.
If you are feeling particularly toxic, jump in the shower to clean up and cool off some before bed. (Girls, don’t worry about that mascara that smeared while you were crying over the toilet. This is your chance to do a quick make-up removal and cleans that skin.) Use this time to take slow steady breaths. Oxygen increases the breakdown rate of alcoholic toxins. Trust me, you will feel much better. And a face moisturizer will pay off the next morning when you’re at work. You don’t want a dull grey complexion exposing your party-too-hard habits to your coworkers. If can't make it into the tub when you return home wait till the morning. No matter what, be sure to wear plenty of deodorant to work and take it with you! Alcohol is processed out of your body through urination and overactive sweat glands. You don’t want it to leave a lingering smell in the office.
You lose many electrolytes not just when you spill your guts out in the toilet, but as your body processes the alcohol in your system. Drinking pedialyte before bed will restore these electrolytes. In addition to a relaxing shower, get plenty of sleep. Alcohol disturbs sleep by scrambling brain hormones during sleep. This intrusive activity leads to sleep deprivation which makes you fatigue in the morning. Though you may be tempted, avoid your caffeine burst from coffee. This can actually worsen your sleep deprived hangover headache. Coffee will narrow blood vessels, increasing blood pressure. As it is, a hangover increases systolic blood pressure and heart rate. Don’t contribute to this with caffeine, simply stay in bed longer and hydrate.
Balance Your Vitals
Eat food before, during, and after drinking. Your body also loses minerals and vitamins when processing alcohol. For this reason, it's important to consume protein. It has a high concentration of amino acids and vitamin B₆ which help process the chemicals of alcohol. Take 1,200 milligrams before, during, and just after drinking. With a full stomach your body is able to slow the absorption of alcohol which reduces blood alcohol concentration. Hangovers are also associated with hypoglycemia. The simple sugars of the alcohol are processed into insulin which leads to low blood sugar. So, eating carbohydrates to restore these blood sugar levels. Eggs are the perfect breakfast because they contain taurine, which reverses liver damage. And you can add veggies like spinach. This leafy green is high in antioxidants and its potassium levels will restore your electrolytes.
There can be an effective compounds in your recovery, if you select correctly. The headache that comes with a hangover is due to neuro-inflammation in the brain caused by alcohol. Keep in mind that when taking a painkiller, you don’t want to mix the alcohol in your system with acetaminophen(Tylenol). Instead take an ibuprofen such as aspirin, which will combat the inflammation. To curb inflammation before you drink, take prickly pear extract 5 hours before drinking.
Have a Wise Drink Selection
If you have the choice to pick the drinks, avoid those high in congeners. Or, if you don’t, consider drinking the stronger stuff in moderation. Ultimately you are trying to avoid high doses of congeners. These toxic chemicals such as methanol, isopentanol, and acetone are formed in the production of alcohol. It occurs when the sugar-fermenting yeasts produce ethanol (the main active ingredient in alcohol). It is these congeners that increase the intensity of hangovers.
- The drinks high in congeners are darker:
- whiskey (especially bourbon)
- Red wine.
- Those with less are colorless:
- Vodka (almost none)
On New Year’s Eve it's particularly important to know the effects of all alcohol. You see, drinks with liquid calories like soda and sugary punch will reduce blood alcohol concentration. But carbonated drinks such as champagne does the reverse. The alcohol is absorbed more quickly in bublies.
The bowel inconsistencies, vertigo, sensitivity to light and sound, and shaking are just more symptoms of a hangover. These are the fight-or-flight reactions of the body. If you suffer from any of these it means your body is functioning properly to overcome. But, know this: a hangover begins when the alcohol levels start falling to zero (at this final point you will endure the worst of it). So, when that peak happens hold on to the fact that the pain will pass.