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Hangover Relief: Is There a Quick Fix?

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, laddies!

Oh, I’m sorry. Was I too loud? You’re head hurts? Too much St. Patrick’s Day fun? We’ve all been there, whether we’re Irish or pretending to be.

That hangover is your body’s way of saying, “please don’t ever do this to me again!”

Headache, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound — you know the symptoms. Is there a quick way remedy your hangover? The short answer is no. But there are things you can do to make your recovery a little less painful or avoid another hangover.

  1. Limit your alcohol intake. Thank you, Captain Obvious! The more you drink, the worse you’ll feel.
  2. Plan a morning workout with a friend. Having something active to look forward to or a someone to hold you accountable may keep you from overindulging the night before.
  3. Alternate between water and alcohol. Dehydration is to blame for some of your hangover symptoms. (Alcohol is a diuretic, and diuretics help rid your body of excess water). You can avoid dehydration by practicing the “sip-sip” technique. Have a sip of alcohol, then a sip of water. You may drive you server crazy by requesting water and alcohol, but you’re more likely to drink water if you have it right in front of you.
  4. Follow this pattern: Alcohol, water, water, alcohol. Doing this will help you stay hydrated and keep your blood-alcohol content at a manageable level.
  5. Choose quality over quantity. Drinking cheap wines and spirits that are high in sugar can lead to headaches and nausea. (Your body is working overtime to flush out the alcohol and the sugar). Choose higher-priced alcohols. Bonus: The higher cost may deter you from ordering seconds or thirds.
  6. Research has found that people who drink with or after a meal absorb alcohol nearly three times more slowly than people who drink on an empty stomach.
  7. Drink sports drinks or coconut water. Consume these before bed and throughout the next day. This will help restore your fluid and electrolyte levels.
  8. Have some carbs for breakfast. Your liver is working hard to metabolize all the alcohol you consumed. Because of that, it is producing a limited amount of glycogen (a substance that helps prevent low blood sugar). Eating carbs—bagels, pancakes, waffles, or potatoes—can help raise your blood sugar and settle your stomach.
  9. Limit your caffeine intake. Wait, what? Isn’t coffee supposed to help a hangover? In a sense, yes. But too much caffeine may have a mild diuretic effect and hurt your rehydration efforts.
  10. Eat a broth-based soup with veggies. This a great way to rehydrate and replace lost sodium and potassium. And who doesn’t feel better after a bowl of chicken noodle soup?

Try these tips to make this St. Patrick’s Day (and day after) a most enjoyable experience. And remember to be safe and always drink responsibly. Sláinte!