The only proven way to prevent a hangover is to drink in moderation, and oftentimes good intentions are thrown to the wind during a night out every now and again. There is no problem with letting loose, but the next day can sometimes feel like torture just to be awake. This is what you can do before, during, and after drinks so that the effects of a hangover will be minimized. Here are some great tips on how to cure the symptoms of a hangover.
Eat Something Beforehand
When a real meal is consumed before drinking alcohol, it lowers the amount of acetaldehyde that is in the body. Acetaldehyde is the chemical that alcohol is converted to within the body that is primarily responsible for hangovers. Opt for something more than just a handful of crackers—eat a real meal that will give satisfaction.
Prickly Pear Preparation
Consume prickly pear extract a few hours before drinking alcohol, and it may lower the effects of a hangover the next day. Though it is not absolutely clear how or why this works, it contains a protein that will reduce the inflammation that can happen when too much alcohol is consumed, leading to the hangover.
In order for the liver to process alcohol, it needs water. When too much alcohol is consumed, the liver pulls water from the body’s other organs, like the brain—familiar with headaches? The best practice is to hydrate beforehand, and then alternate alcoholic beverages with water, not only is this for hydration but it also slows the rate of alcohol consumption.
While drinking, opt for the clear liquids like vodka, gin, white rum, and tequila. Other alcohols have higher levels of congeners—these are the compounds that are anything other than alcohol and water— that bring on inflammation in the body.
Don’t Take Just Any Pill
Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen, as these are processed through the liver and that powerhouse has done enough for the big night out. Take something like paracetamol with a large glass of water, and use only as instructed.
Go for a Long Walk
Getting fresh air can actually make you feel a whole lot better. Why? Oxygen will fill your lungs and increase the rate at which alcohol toxins are dispelled from your system, leaving little chance for it to break down in the body.
Though it might feel like injections of straight caffeine are what is necessary to get through the day with a hangover, but it is advised to avoid tea and coffee when battling a hangover. This is because it irritates and dehydrates the bowel, may cause loose stools, and can lead to an overall nauseated feeling.
Eat Something After
Some people swear by a large greasy breakfast or brunch, but the best thing to do is to have a light meal that is easy to digest. This would be something like cereal or toast—the point is that the body needs to have the calories replenished.
Take Some Rehydration Salt
Replacing the lost salts will treat diarrhea and speed up recovery from a hangover. These sachets contain small amounts of electrolytes (body salts) that will replace lost body fluids faster than water. Mix one sachet of rehydration salt with water and drink right before bedtime and the morning after. Rehydration salt also contains calcium, magnesium, and vitamins B and C.
Sleep It Off, If You Can
Many people sleep quite poorly after a night of drinking, adding fatigue to the list of ailments on the hangover checklist. If you are able to, sleep as much as possible the day following the night of drinking. This will help an aching body and pounding head. The body recovers amazingly on its own.
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