If your plans to bring in the New Year may include a little to much alcohol. There are things you should know, and do, or not do, to help make you feel better in the morning. Be aware that a hangover is a bunch of symptoms not just one, so be sure to treat the right symptom. A headache or upset stomach each require a different treatment. Drinking more alcohol when you have a hangover, only works temporarily by raising your blood alcohol concentration. A hangover will return once blood alcohol concentration begins to drop. Also alcohol and caffeine are both diuretics, so lots of coffee just leads to more dehydration, which will make a hangover worse. Below you’ll find more information on what you can do before and after your night out
How to Treat a Hangover. Myths and Facts
MYTHS: How NOT To Treat a Hangover:
1. Hair of the Dog
Drinking more alcohol when you have a hangover, only works temporarily by raising your BAC (blood alcohol concentration). A hangover will return once BAC begins to drop.
2. Simple Sugars
1 g/k of glucose or fructose taken after intoxication produced no change in hangover symptoms in a clinical study.
3. Activated Charcoal
BAC was the same in test subjects after a few drinks whether or not activated charcoal was taken.
4. Lots of Coffee
Alcohol and caffeine are both diuretics, so lots of coffee just leads to more dehydration, which will make a hangover worse.
5. Herbal Hangover Pills
In a study of hangover pills with yeast, borage, artichoke, and/or prickly pear extract, no significant hangover benefits were found.
6. Fish Oil
Fish oil can decrease inflammatory prostaglandins, the same chemicals implicated in hangover headaches, but it doesn’t work overnight. It takes WEEKS to be effective.
FACTS: How You SHOULD Treat a Hangover:
Know that a “hangover is a bunch of symptoms, not just one,” so treat the right thing.
Say Yes to Ibuprofen. Take it before drinking prevents your body from releasing pain inducing chemicals. Its effectiveness peaks in 4 hours. A small cup of coffee can also make the ibuprofen even more effective.
Say No Acetaminophen!
When your liver metabolizes alcohol and acetaminophen at the same time, the liver shuttles acetaminophen differently and this can lead to liver damage.
2. Stomach Upset?
Take an antihistamine before drinking to block alcohol’s pro-inflamitory effects on your gastrointestinal lining and prevent upset stomach.
Antacids: Sodium bicarbonate in many antacids, neutralizes gastric acid.
Ginger tea or pills: Ginger can lessen nausea and vomiting.
Eggs and asparagus: They increase your body’s levels of glutathione and alcohol dehydrogenase. Both of these molecules are necessary for breaking down alcohol.
3. Get Your Nutrients!
Drink water: One glass between each beverage.
Drink electrolyte-rich fluids: Coconut water or sports drinks can help prevent muscle aches, nerve dysfunction, and nausea.
Complex carbs: Bread, beans, or oatmeal can help compensate for low blood sugar levels.