Headache. Nausea. Cottonmouth. An achy, uncomfortable and just yucky sensation. What are these symptoms of? If you have to ask, then you’ve never had the dreaded hangover before.
It can be difficult to avoid a hangover after a long night of drinking once your head has already hit the pillow for the night. But can you prevent a hangover before it happens? And can you remedy it once you’ve woken up the next day? Fortunately I have a few tips that work for both. They may not be scientifically proven, but they have worked wonders on many a hungover person, and I hope they do the same for you.
The first fact to know before getting into detail about how to deal with a hangover is to know exactly what causes one. According to the Mayo Clinic, a hangover is the body’s reaction to alcohol, shown in several different ways. Alcohol causes your blood vessels to expand, which can cause that pounding headache. Alcohol also causes your body to produce more urine, which causes you to urinate more than usual, which can lead to dehydration, nausea, lightheadedness and dizziness. Alcohol also makes you sleepy, but will not necessarily lead to a good night sleep, leaving you feeling groggy and fatigued in the morning.
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Here are my quick and simple tips to not only kicking that hangover, but preventing it from even happening:
Eat - Make sure to eat something substantial before going out drinking. Carbs and protein are important--something that will “stick to your ribs,” so to speak. Don’t stuff your face, but make sure you are satisfied with your meal before you start to drink. This will help to soak up that alcohol so your empty stomach doesn’t suffer.
Hydrate - Throughout the night, it is incredibly important to stay hydrated. Alcohol will dehydrate you by making you have to urinate a lot and very often. That water needs to be replenished. After every one or two drinks, drink a glass of water. This will take the place of any water you are losing while drinking. This will also be effective if you are drinking a lot of sweet drinks; that sugar will go straight to your head. The best way neutralize and water down that sugar is to go heavy on the H20 throughout the night.
Medicate - Before I go to sleep after I’ve been drinking, I make sure to ingest two things before I fall asleep: two chewable vitamins and an entire bottle of Gatorade. The chewable vitamins work as a way to introduce some nutrients back into my body and the Gatorade replenishes my body of all the electrolytes that have been drained as I’ve consumed far too much alcohol throughout the night. When I remember to do this, I don’t wake up with even the slightest headache, let alone any other hangover symptoms.
Satiate - If you are unlucky enough to wake up in the morning after a night of drinking and you are cursed with the classic hangover symptoms, it’s important to get some food into your body as soon as possible to soak up all that booze that is just sitting in your stomach. Breakfast or brunch, depending on when you wake up the next day, is essential. I automatically go for an egg dish that includes one fatty meat, i.e., bacon or sausage, and a starch, such as home fries, potato hash, fries, etc. These three elements mixed together are the ultimate hangover remedy for me.
Bonus: Hair of the Dog - This may or may not be a myth, but for me it works like a charm. The school of thought for this remedy is that the only way to conquer that hangover is to indulge in the hair of the dog that bit you, aka, have another drink! My favorite hair of the dog beverage is a bloody mary, mostly because the spicy flavors and the thickness of the tomato juice always wake me up and soak up all that alcohol from the night before. Plus, they’re absolutely delicious! It really doesn’t take more than one drink to start to get your body back in motion. The point of hair of the dog isn’t to get drunk again but to introduce some new alcohol into your body so it ignores the alcohol from before.
Have any hangover remedies that work for you? Let us know in the comments!