Kick-off the New Year feeling good, don’t let hangover headaches from New Year’s Eve drinking ruin your New Year’s Day.
Hangovers occur when an overburdened liver struggles to flush out excessive volumes of chemicals and toxins from drinking too much alcohol. It’s your body’s way of letting you know that it is becoming too toxic internally.
Here are some hangover tips and cures that will reduce your symptoms of fatigue, headaches, nausea, anxiety and overall sense of feeling like ‘crap’ the morning after some very heavy drinking.
Hangovers are a symptom of dehydration – a sign that your body is in need of more fluids and has an electrolyte imbalance. It will also speed up your metabolism, flushing out toxins from the alcohol more quickly. Rehydration is even more important if you are vomiting.
Drink lots of water and/or liquids with plenty of electrolytes such as sports drinks and coconut water. Ginger ale can also be consumed to help calm your stomach.
Coffee and tea is often consumed to make people feel alert and awake and to treat headaches and migraines following a night of drinking. However, caffeinated drinks will only continue to dehydrate you and will narrow your blood vessels which increases blood pressure. If you need the caffeine, be sure to drink plenty of water too.
Will “the hair of the dog” trick work? More drinks might make you feel good temporarily, but it will only make you feel worse later in the day or even the following day. Afterall, alcohol is a toxin and it dehydrates you – this is not what you need more of to get rid of a hangover.
Crackers, bread or anything loaded with carbohydrates will help ‘soak’ up the alcohol from your system and provide you with the glucose you need. When your liver is preoccupied with metabolizing the alcohol, it stops glucose production from your body’s stored carbohydrates. Low blood sugar levels contribute greatly to hangover symptoms of fatigue and nausea.
A solid breakfast with eggs, bacon, toast, hash browns and fruit is also often said to alleviate the symptoms of a hangover. It provides you with amino acids, cysteine, and other nutrients to replenish your depleted functional levels and assists with breaking down toxins.
It’s recommended that you avoid taking painkiller medication to get rid of your hangover symptoms, the natural remedies like the ones outlined above are the best course to take. However, if medication is greatly desired, take aspirin or ibuprofen.
Do not take acetaminophen, like Tylenol, as it could greatly damage your liver when combined with alcohol in your system. Your liver is already working overtime to metabolize alcohol.
Physical activity like running releases endorphins which improves a person’s mood and it also speeds up metabolism meaning the toxins from alcohol will be metabolized more quickly. Of course, proper hydration is required prior to physical activity so that you do not further dehydrate.
In addition to the above remedies, sleep will allow your body to ‘reset’ and readjust after a night of heavy drinking. Your body is working overtime to metabolize alcohol and produce glucose.
Hangovers usually wear off after 24 hours, so the best course of action might be to sleep it off in time for New Year’s Day.
Drink responsibly. Knowing your limit is the best course of preventative action against waking up to a hangover the following morning. Make sure you space your drinks to allow your body some time to digest the alcohol, it takes most bodies just over an hour to metabolize every single beer, wine or hard liquor shot.
Avoid mixing different types of drinks as it will most certainly lead to a hangover. Sugary drinks like margaritas should also be consumed with caution as the flavour masks the alcohol – it makes it difficult to tell just how much alcohol you have consumed.
Celebrate the New Year responsibly, and start it off on a good note!