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Hangovers and Cures

By: Elizabeth Hinds - Updated: 26 Jun 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Hangovers Avoiding Hangovers Hangover

You’ve woken up and you wish you hadn’t. Your head feels like it’s been kicked by a bucking jackass; your mouth resembles the floor of the circus ring; and as for your stomach you’re rather not think about the storm that’s raging in there.

You’ve got a hangover and you’re looking for something to blame. That dodgy cocktail, the last glass of tequila (that you remember), the cherry that tasted funny. Sorry, they may have contributed but it’s your own fault!

Okay, so we’re not very sympathetic but because we’re nice, we’ve got some suggestions that might help you.

First of All: Why do you Feel so Bad?

  • Because your body wants to protect you! It will try to metabolise the alcohol and remove toxins from your body, but if the toxin level exceeds its ability to remove them, then your stomach starts to complain.
  • Your kidneys and liver need water to ‘wash’ the toxins out and if they don’t get enough, they take it from other organs including your brain. A dry brain is a painful brain!
How to Avoid the After-Effects
Don’t drink to excess is the simplest answer! But there are other things you can do.
  • Avoid dehydration. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your night out.
  • Drink expensive alcohol. More expensive alcoholic drinks usually contain fewer toxins because they’re been subjected to more distillation and filtration. Also you can’t afford so much!
  • Ask for pale-coloured drinks. Darker spirits, such as red wine or brandy, also contain more toxins.
Dealing with a Hangover
There’s only one cure: time. Painkillers may help with the symptoms but they won’t get rid of the cause.

Old and Not-So-Old Remedies

  • Coffee wakes you up but doesn’t sober you up. So don’t drink it before going to bed. The caffeine in it will dehydrate your body further so if you must have it, drink plenty of water as well. If it’s your habit to start the day with coffee, make it a small one. Don’t go without completely as you’ll suffer withdrawal symptoms from that too!
  • The hair of the dog - drinking a little of what you had the night before - is an old favourite. You may start to feel better but it’s only a temporary relief. When you stop drinking, your body undergoes mild withdrawal symptoms making you feel rotten; by having more alcohol, you feel a little better but you’re just putting off the inevitable.
  • On the same principle as the hair of the dog, some people swear by a Bloody Mary. Mix together 1 part vodka with 3 parts tomato juice. Add a little lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce, with Tabasco and black pepper to taste. Drink.
  • Tomato juice helps your body to metabolise alcohol more quickly - it’s probably the juice in the Bloody Mary that does the trick - so try a non-alcoholic Virgin Mary. Or drink straight tomato juice.
  • Make yourself a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The milk soothes and rehydrates; the honey builds up your body’s depleted sugar levels; the banana contains vital elements, which are also depleted during heavy drinking.
  • Drink fruit juice. It not only replenishes your body’s nutrients, it rehydrates your body faster than water does.
  • Exercise gets the blood pumping and helps your body work more efficiently at getting rid of toxins, so an early morning walk helps – if you can get up out of bed.
  • Grab your hair and pull! Do this all over your head. It will increase blood flow to your scalp and help tone down the headache.
  • A very hot and powerful shower beating down on the back of your neck can help release the tension that will be contributing to your headache. If nothing else, it will make you smell better.
  • Research suggests that pinching your left hand between the thumb and forefinger will also release tension. Do it for 30 seconds every 2 minutes. We don’t guarantee it will work but it might take your mind off your headache.
Most people can put up with an occasional hangover but if you find you’re frequently suffering, it might be worth changing your lifestyle. Alcohol abuse destroys relationships as well as lives.

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