Longer days full of sunshine mean evenings dedicated to alfresco happy hours and social gatherings of all kinds — BBQs, picnics, garden parties and all-night ragers (oops!). Unfortunately, this means you might be waking up a few times this summer with one majorly brutal hangover. But we’re here to help with tips on how to harbor that pounding headache and get on with your day.
Ever moaned “Whyyyyy?!” after a night of serious sippage? Here’s “why”: A hangover is caused by a combination of toxic by-product that your body creates in order to metabolize alcohol (acetaldehyde), dehydration and the depletion of vitamins A, B and C (caused by the chemical action of alcohol in your system). Treatment involves rehydrating the body so it can deal with the painful symptoms, meaning that glass of water before bed is kind of important. We all know that the best cure for a hangover is moderation, but if you do over do it, these 10 cures may help you function a little better the next day.
1. Sprite: According to Chinese researchers, the carbonated beverage was found to actually speed up the work up of acetaldehyde to metabolize alcohol. This means that Sprite could ease a hangover by shortening the body’s exposure to the enzyme. (Photo)
2. A Good Dinner: Although many believe that a greasy breakfast helps, the real question when it comes to food and alcohol is what did you eat before all those drinks? Food helps slow the absorption of alcohol, and the longer it takes alcohol to reach your bloodstream, the longer it is until you become intoxicated. Eating mineral and protein-rich food is your best line of defense. So have that burger! (Photo)
3. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is taken out of your body by alcohol, so you’ll want to put it back in as soon as possible. Orange juice, tomato juice or a 600mg Vitamin C tablet will all work. Over-the-counter painkillers can also help with headaches and muscle cramps in the AM.
4. Hair of the Dog: Sometimes, you just need a mimosa and a lively brunch spot. And that actually works!
5. Go for a Run: If you can muster it up, “sweating it out” actually does help a bit. Moving your body and getting some exercise, even when you don’t necessarily feel like exercising, can help stimulate the release of endorphins again, resulting in a better mood and a better state of mind as you recover from your hangover. Just make sure to drink lots of water before and after.
6. Miso Soup: Miso soup replaces a lot of the things our bodies need to feel better: water, sodium and other nutrients depleted by the diuretic effects of alcohol. Because it’s a fermented food that contains healthy bacteria, miso can also aid with digestion. Too much alcohol is known to disrupt the stomach’s lining, which can result in unpleasant digestive side effects. (Photo)
7. Sleep: This is probably the most appealing option of the lot, so thankfully it’s one of the most effective. Rest is your best friend at this point because your body needs an opportunity to recover. Some hangovers are caused due to a lack of REM sleep, which causes you to wake up early, making you more tired and irritable. Stay in bed and catch up on some Zzzs if you can.
8. Bananas: Alcohol actually draws water from your body’s cells, creating more urine and causing you to literally flush potassium down the toilet. Low levels of potassium causes weak, shaky muscles and high blood pressure — all common hangover symptoms. Eating a banana can shoot your potassium levels right back up to where they belong. (Photo)
9. Water: As you likely know from the frequent trips to the bathroom during a night of debauchery, alcohol is a diuretic that can cause dehydration. Before crawling into bed, try to down a glass or two of water. When you wake up, keep on gulping the H2O. Adding salt and sugar to water helps replace the sodium and glycogen lost the night before. You can also drink non-caffeinated, non-carbonated sports drinks to achieve the same effect. Queue the coconut water!
10. Prevention: The best cure is drinking in moderation. Limit your drinks to one every hour. Your body metabolizes each glass of wine (or beer or shot) in about 60 to 75 minutes. Drink faster, and your blood alcohol level rises faster. Order a glass of water with every drink and alternate between the two to replace lost fluids as you go. (Photo)
What’s your best cure to rid a hangover? Let us know in the comments below!