Mornings after a night of heavy alcohol consumption are usually the worst. It is in this situation that we usually hear the cliche ‘I will never drink again’ line. This is usually as a result of one the after effect of binge-drinking.
Truth is, too much alcohol consumption comes with a lot of side effects. But of all the effects, hangover is the most common. It comes with symptoms like fatigue, nausea, headache, thirst, sensitivity to light and sound, irritability, indigestion and dizziness.
Some theories say that alcohol disrupts biological rhythms; others are of the view that alcohol withdrawal is the culprit. Research suggests that impurities produced when alcohol is distilled can make you feel nauseous. The sweeter the drink, the higher the level of impurities. Malt liquors and red wine are especially toxic.
The headache that comes with drinking may come from dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, and your body’s adjustment to your dropping blood alcohol levels after you’ve stopped drinking, thereby resulting in dehydration, hence, headache. The only sure way to avoid hangover is by not drinking at all.
While time is the only true hangover cure, Below are various remedies that could make you less miserable when you OD on alcohol or forget to alternate between booze and water
How you can naturally cure your hangover
- Eat good breakfast
Eating a good breakfast can help maintain your blood sugar levels, provide important vitamins and minerals and reduce the symptoms of a hangover. Excessive drinking can throw off the balance of the chemicals in your blood causing metabolic acidosis, which is characterized by an increase in acidity. It could be associated with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and fatigue
Electrolytes in the food will help replenish your dehydrated system and get calories back into your body. But be sure to eat healthy. You might be needing hangover foods that are easy to digest, like toast and cereals.
Although there is no evidence to show that low blood sugar is a direct cause of hangovers, eating a nutritious, well-balanced and hearty breakfast the morning after drinking will help reduce hangover symptoms.
- Get enough sleep
Hangovers can act as impediments to getting your beauty sleep. It might not necessarily cause your lack of sleep, however, it could make it worse. Though low intake of alcohol may promote sleep, however, studies have shown that consumption of higher amounts can automatically disrupt your sleep patterns . Fatigue, headaches and irritability are all hangover symptoms that can be aggravated by a lack of sleep.
Getting a good night’s sleep and allowing your body to recover may help alleviate symptoms and make a hangover more bearable. It’s the body’s way of healing itself
- Stay Hydrated
Drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration in a few different ways.
First, alcohol has a diuretic effect. This means that it increases the production of urine, leading to a loss of fluids and electrolytes that are needed for normal functioning (13, 14).
Second, excessive amounts of alcohol can cause vomiting, leading to an even further loss of fluids and electrolytes.
Although dehydration is not the only cause of a hangover, it contributes to many of its symptoms, such as increased thirst, fatigue, headache and dizziness.
Increasing your water intake may help alleviate some symptoms of hangovers and even prevent them altogether.
When drinking alcohol, a good rule of thumb is to alternate between a glass of water and a drink. Though this won’t necessarily prevent dehydration, it can help you moderate your alcohol intake.
Afterward, stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking water whenever you feel thirsty to reduce your hangover symptoms.
- Try Taking Some of These Supplements
Though research is limited, some studies have found that certain supplements could ease hangover symptoms.
- Consume sugar while you’re drinking
Studies show that fructose may speed alcohol metabolism, thus reducing the risk of a hangover. It’s important to eat sugar while you’re drinking, not before, since fructose metabolizes quickly. Try plain orange juice between cocktails.
- Get Some Vitamins
Your body could really use some vitamins right now. The easiest way is to drink orange juice for a healthy dose of Vitamin C. If you have a multivitamin in the house, now is also a good time to take that as well.
- Get Some Exercise
When even standing seems like a challenge, it takes willpower to get up and move. However, there is some truth to the benefits of a little exercise. It is not a magic cure, but it can help restore your body and mind. It can also increase your metabolism, ridding your body of the toxins a little faster.
There’s no need to work up a sweat, either. A short walk in the fresh air can really do wonders. If your hangover is at the level where even that is not a good idea, take a few minutes to just sit outside and breathe. A little sunshine and a light breeze have wonderful restorative powers
- Take a Shower
Once you have slept as much as possible, take a cool shower. This will not only clean you up but freshen and wake up your senses as well.
Some people like to switch between cold and hot water in the shower and that’s not a bad idea. Don’t take this to an extreme as the shock could do even more damage to your system
- Avoid Caffeine
A weak cup of coffee may be okay, but an entire pot will only dehydrate you more and it may make your headache worse. This is the opposite of what you want right now. Even though it is tempting to grab a cup to wake up, it is not the best idea.
Alternatively, you could make a cup of sweetened tea. The sugar and caffeine will give you a little boost without dehydrating you too much. Most teas have less caffeine than coffee and the type of tea and the brewing method can reduce the amount of caffeine.
Don’t let your tea water boil, but gently warm it or brew a decaf tea. These are not actually caffeine-free but they do have much lower amounts. You can also try a naturally caffeine-free rooibos tea, which is high in antioxidants, and add some detoxifying herbs and spices.
If you insist on caffeine this morning, drink one glass of water for every caffeinated beverage. This will help counteract the dehydration side effects.