Easy Tips to get Rid of a Hangover Fast, also learn how to prevent one.
Social Drinking is an activity in with quite a few of us indulge in.
Sometime however, we might just take it too far and this is usually associated with a dreaded aftermath called a “Hangover”.
In this article, we will not only see what a Hangover really is, what we can do to avoid one, but also what we can do if we are caught in such a situation?
You can read the whole article or just jump around if you are interested in a particular section, from the tabs below:
So, let’s begin:
What Exactly is a hangover?
Ok, we might be aware of the symptoms of a hangover like the awful feeling, associated with too much drink the previous day. This could be associated with nausea, vomiting, a headache, grogginess, pain (especially in the liver or kidney area), etc. etc…
But, what exactly is happening in your body at such a time, that makes you feel that way?
Quite a few things happen in your body, when you consume alcohol in excess, as follows:
The whole process goes like this:
The Liver breaks down alcohol, and as a result toxins are formed, which not only cause inflammation but also damage Liver cells. (1)
Alcohol thus, causes the lining of your stomach and interesting to get inflamed and it takes time for this to dissipate from the system. Also, fat compounds tend to accumulate in the liver called fatty Liver.
This causes pain in the stomach, the nausea feeling and vomiting.
Reduction in Brain activity:
As seen earlier with the condition of fatty Liver, along comes a buildup of Lactic acid. This inhibits the production of glucose. Also, as we may be nauseous, we tend to eat very little. All this causes lack of Glucose in the blood. (2)
The Brain primarily feeds on Glucose, and with the lack of it in our system, we tend to feel tired and fatigued.
Loss of water:
Excess consumption of alcohol causes your body cells to lose water. Though the exact mechanism is still not known. (3)
Alcohol also causes your system to lose water through frequent urination. Thus, you can get dehydrated if you do not drink enough water along with the alcohol.
Alcohol causes you blood vessels to dilate, thus giving rise to headaches. This can range from Mild to severe.
Alcohol and smoking is even more of a potent mix when it comes to headaches. In a study of 49 patients with an “over drinking” problem, 79% noticed a reduction of headaches on controlling alcohol consumption. (4)
Loss of Sleep Quality:
Alcohol depresses the production of glutamate, an amino acid which keeps us awake. Thus, we might initially fall asleep fast with alcohol. However, when the alcohol in our blood is depleted, glutamate is overproduced and thus we tend to get disturbed sleep. (5)
Related Post : 15 Tips to help you fight Sleep Deprivation
So, the Symptoms of a Hangover will include:
- Loss of Sleep
- Pain (stomach or muscular)
- Unable to concentrate
And the List goes on….
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Now that we have seen what causes a Hangover, is it possible to prevent one?
A few measures taken before going on a binge can prevent the bad outcome associated with it.
Let’s see what precautions we can take to prevent a Hangover:
Eating something fatty:
This could mean a small meal, say a piece of pizza or even some soup. The idea here is that the fat lines your stomach and delays the absorption of alcohol.
Eating food high in Fiber:
Again, fiber in the food is known for breaking down alcohol and absorbing it. Thus, it takes longer for the alcohol to hit your blood.
Taking a multivitamin:
When we consume alcohol, as seen earlier, we tend to urinate more frequently, this causes loss of vitamins from the body. By taking a multivitamin in advance, we can protect our body for this drain.
Don’t go cheap
You must have noticed that your hangover is worse when you consume the cheap stuff. That is because, cheap alcohol has more of the unwanted elements from the brewing process. These substances are called congeners and are one of the reasons for enhanced hangovers.
Drink plenty of water
Before, whilst and after consuming alcohol, consuming a lot of water will minimize the hangover symptoms. As seen earlier, some of the symptoms of a hangover are caused by dehydration.
I would suggest consuming a glass of water after every glass of alcohol. Besides the water will keep you full, and so your rate of alcohol consumption should decrease.
Related article: Benefits of Drinking water and how to stay Hydrated?
Avoid carbonated drinks
Here the idea is that carbonated drinks cause your stomach to bloat and increase the internal surface area, which in turn will increase the alcohol consumption.
Preferably consume one type of drink
This will enable you to keep a better track of your consumption, and reduce any interaction between drinks, which could cause an upset stomach.
Stick to lighter drinks
The darker the alcohol, the greater the presence of the unwanted congeners, as discussed earlier. So, it might be prudent to stick with the lighter stuff.
Stick to your limits
Now I am assuming that you are aware of this. If you are not, just keep a track of what alcohol you have consumed and how it has reacted with you. Pretty soon you should be aware of what your limits are with a specific drink.
Once you know these limits, it is only prudent to remain within them.
Use of other substances (like cocaine, marijuana and others) along with alcohol, can increase the symptoms of a Hangover. These drugs themselves, can cause the hangover symptoms. So, it is advisable to stay clear of these substances. Also, not to mention that these drugs have unwanted effects that themselves, are detrimental to your health and well-being.
Now, assuming you have done all this and you still have a Hangover,
Things had just sprung up on you, and before you knew it, you had over done the alcohol
(I guess we have all been there before – a friend just walks in and the next thing you know you are a bottle down).
What can we do to rectify the situation and minimize the hangover symptoms?
Drink a lot of water:
Like we have been seeing before, dehydration will be the major cause of your hangover. So stay hydrated to minimize the effects.
Have a good breakfast when you wake up!
I know this might seem hard when you feel nauseous, but by consuming a good healthy breakfast you will cause any excess alcohol in your system to be absorbed by the fiber. Also, by doing so you will replenish the loss of nutrients and vitamins.
Get adequate rest
Now this might be hard to come by, because the alcohol will cause waxing and waning of your glutamate production (we have discussed this earlier). But, the more sleep you get the better are your chances of recovering from the symptoms.
Here a word of caution – Do not take sleeping pills when you consume alcohol. This combination can kill you.
A few questions that might arise are:
- Does hair of a Dog actually work in a hangover situation
Now, if you are unfamiliar with this expression, hair of a dog is the term used to consume more alcohol to alleviate the symptoms of a hangover.
This is a misconception, as you need to allow your body to metabolize the alcohol already in your system, to reduce the symptoms. By consuming more alcohol, you will be not only delaying this process, but this might actually cause you to feel worse.
- Should you Drive with a hangover?
The answer here is a resounding No. It takes about one hour for your body to metabolize one unit of alcohol. You can use this as a thumb rule for calculating when you should be sober. One unit of alcohol is about one glass of wine or one small peg of alcohol. But the final word here is to get someone sober to drive you around or just take the Bus. 🙂
There are many means to assist you from stopping a hangover dead in its tracks or minimizing the symptoms of one. But the bottom line is to drink sensibly and responsibly and avoid embarrassing yourself and your friends or family. So, Enjoy the season.
It would be wisest to stay off alcohol, itself…
But that is up to you as an individual…
Anyway, Cheers and Hopefully take it slow, not bottoms up 🙂 ….
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