So you had a night out and woke up feeling hungover as hell. The first part of the solution is to stop drinking (that is until next week when it happens all over again). Let’s be honest. It’s inevitable and you know it. There are many pills and myths that claim to do the job, but here are the actual scientifically proven tips to help cure your hangover.
Before you start drinking make sure to eat fatty foods and carbs. Sure you want to look slim for your night out, but the fact is fatty foods slow down the absorption of alcohol into your body and help lessen stomach irritation. Carbs prevent low blood sugar and ease nausea, which helps you avoid vomiting. This also gives your body more time to process the harmful byproducts of alcohol (one of the main reasons for your hangover).
Next is water. Water is your best friend before, during, and after drinking. Alcohol is a diuretic which means you’ll be peeing out more fluid than you are taking in. With less water in your body your other organs start to steal it from the brain. This causes the brain to literally shrink and lead to those pounding headaches. So while you are drinking have another drink of water.
You can also do yourself a favor by choosing lighter colored liquors. Dark drinks like red wine, bourbon, brandy, and whiskey contain higher concentrations of something called congeners. These congeners act as extra toxic chemicals that your body has to eliminate. While beer doesn’t fit into this category, the age old rhyme “beer before liquor, never been sicker” does apply. Carbonation, like that in beer and soda, increases the rate of absorption of alcohol and can cause a worse hangover.
After the bar…..more water. You may be peeing all night, but it’s better than your head exploding tomorrow morning.
Aspirin before bed is also helpful. It’s not caffeinated and inhibits the release of something called prostaglandin (which has been known to contribute to hangovers). Make sure to stay away from Tylenol. The chemicals with Tylenol can be extremely harsh on your liver, and in combination with alcohol, can do some severe damage.
In the morning your breakfast can make all the difference. Eggs contain Cysteine, an amino acid which is required in the breakdown of alcohol to acetate. Bananas contain potassium which is essential for brain, muscle, and body function, and fruit juice contains vitamins and fructose (fruit sugar) which gives you energy and increases the rate at which your body excretes toxins.
But perhaps the most important rule is to know your limit. There are major differences between gender, races, and individuals when it comes to alcohol. Know that by using these simple strategies in the right order you’ll be on the road to avoiding those pounding hangovers, until next week…..when you do it again.