It's the next morning, you have spent the night drinking and now that you have woken up you are paying the price, you have a headache, and everything is too bright, too noisy. "I'll never drink again" you say, knowing it won't be true. But how can you speed this up and make this day after a little easier on yourself? How can you make that thumping headache go away?
What Causes a Hangover?
You may think it is a simple answer, and for the most part you are right in saying it is because you had drunk too much alcohol. But there are a few more scientific causes that just might help in finding the best cure:
- Alcohol makes you dehydrated by causing increased urine production (ever heard of "breaking the seal"). This in turn causes you headaches, a dry mouth and lethargy.
- Alcohol makes your blood vessels relax, and this can give you a headache.
- Depletion of vitamin A, B and C by the chemical action of alcohol in your body
There are quite a few more, but we want to concentrate more on how to cure the hangover, not why you get it.
What Can I Do?
So you are up (probably in the afternoon) after your big night, here are a few things that can help you feel a bit better and get you through the day:
- Don't drink in the first place â€“ although it might be a little late for this if you are reading this with a hangover (adjust your screen settings so it is not so bright) it may be an idea for next time. Prevention is better than the cure, and isn't it your turn to be the designated driver?
- Take some vitamins â€“ trawl though you medicine cupboard and see if you can find something to replace the lost vitamins from the night before. Look for vitamins A, B (particularly B6) and C.
- Rehydrate â€“ have some water or a sports energy drink. This will help your body replace some of the lost fluids and get you back on your way. The sports energy drink option is a great choice because they are engineered to rehydrate athletes, so will work great in getting you back on track.
- Pain killers â€“ a little obvious but really just a temporary solution; take some to get rid of the headache, then rehydrate so it doesn't come back after the painkillers wear off.
What Can I Do?
If you trawl the internet I'm sure you will find loads of other cures which people tout as the ABSOLUTE BEST for getting rid of a hangover, but how do you cut through all of the fuzz? Although some things work for some people there are some that you just really shouldn't do:
- Hair of the dog â€“ this doesn't really make too much sense, why would you try and cure something with the original source of the problem? We don't cure cancer by giving more cancer. So why does drinking more alcohol seem to cure a hangover? Because the alcohol relaxes you and puts you in the state you were in before the hangover, essentially delaying the effects until a little late.
- Black coffee â€“ yes this does wake you up and make you feel less lethargic, but what happens when the caffeine wears off? You have to have another one to feel good again. Now this seems good at first, coffee tastes good and picks you up, but it will also dehydrate you more and will eventually lead to more headaches.
- Greasy food â€“ although this is a good idea BEFORE you start drinking (because it will line your stomach and help prevent a hangover) having it after you have been drinking may well lead to the onset of nausea. And let's face it, it tastes great going down, but awful coming back up.