Ever had a rough night you regretted severely in the morning?
Let’s talk about some tried and true cures to a hangover, plus some tips on how to avoid getting one in the first place!
1. Water! Lots of it!
Yeah, this one’s pretty much a universal fact. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes your kidneys process water a lot faster than they should. This leads to dehydration and a mess-up in your electrolyte concentrations. Science aside, you should be drinking as much as you can tolerate on a queasy stomach. If you’re feeling nauseated, a couple of sips every few minutes works, and if you’re feeling up to it, drinking a bottle every few or so until the headaches leave will do wonders to replenish what you’ve lost overnight. Dry mouth, sore throats, and headaches begone! Extra tip: because you’re losing salts from your body in the process, you could add a slice of lemon or rehydration salts (usually available at your local pharmacy) to your water to make sure you’re fixing up your electrolytes.
2. Paracetamol, painkillers, and drugs, oh my!
This one’s a bit of an easy way out but if you’ve got to be up and functional in the morning, an absolute necessity. However, you should be careful about the types of painkillers you take, as your liver is probably already pretty stressed from processing all the toxins that alcohol brings into your body. Some safe options to go with are Panadol, Ibuprofen, and Aspirin but definitely stay away from Tylenol, as it can be deadly on your liver when it’s still metabolizing alcohol.
3. Food is goooood (as long as it isn’t coming back up later)
While it’s important to fill up your stomach in the morning to help put you back into the world of the living, it’s no use scoffing down food that won’t stay down. Some safe options to go with when you’re feeling particularly queasy are: toast, crackers, and other dry biscuits, they’re good at replenishing low blood sugar levels that result from poor regulation because your liver’s probably out of commission. Also, it’s not as popular an option (but works wonders for me) but soupy foods like instant noodles, miso broth, and rice porridge are the gastronomic equivalent to a soft, warm hug. The carbs give you energy, and the soup keeps your stomach full for ages. Another food that’s good to snack on is nuts, which are rich in ions like magnesium, which would have been severely depleted by multiple trips to the bathroom from the night before.
4. Shower, ya fool.
This one’s less of a body thing and more of a mind thing. You’re not going to be getting any better with a gross, post-drunk state of chaos. Unless you’re a brave soul and ambitious enough to wake yourself up with a cold shower, I’d high-key recommend half-broiling yourself in the heat of a nice, hot shower.
Alright, so those were some cures but as the age-old adage goes, prevention is better than the cure. So, let’s take a look at some ways to avoid waking up dead!
1. A handful of food
I can’t remember where I heard it, but I was told a few years back that before knocking back alcohol of any sort, to snack on a small handful of food about 30 minutes beforehand. While I don’t remember trying this, I usually do eat a whole meal at least a couple of hours before getting turnt. Try to go for greasier, richer foods like fries or a burger, as the majority of the alcohol you’ll absorb gets into your bloodstream through the small intestines and your gut usually keeps food movement pretty slow upon absorption of fatty foods. It slows down you getting drunk, and while that might not be what you’re going for, pacing yourself is always the wiser option.
2. Hydration station!
Downing a bottle of water before getting drunk, and drinking water continuously throughout the night will work wonders in keeping yourself hydrated to prevent the dry mouth and nausea characteristic of a hangover, and sometimes can help you bypass those symptoms altogether!
3. Pick your poison wisely
So, all alcoholic beverages contain these chemicals called congeners, which are byproducts which are formed during the whole fermentation process when the drinks are being produced. Drinks with a higher amount of congeners have been scientifically proven to increase the severity and duration of a hangover. Not fun. With hard liquors, vodka, gin, and rum are safe options as they contain little-to-no amounts of congeners. On the other hand, tequila, whiskey, and cognac have pretty high levels of congeners. So, if you’re going to drink those, take precautions to stay extra hydrated throughout the night to flush the chemicals out of your body as best as you can.