Does a hangover hit you like a ton of bricks? Now that St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us, want to learn the secrets of surviving celebrations…without all the suffering? Then read on. We have some time-honored hangover remedies that can you help you get back into the game.
Americans love to celebrate. And some turn partying into a spectator sport. But like most sports, there are amateurs and there are professionals. The amateurs tend to have the spirit, but not the endurance. But professionals keep their eyes on the prize, and prepare for each upcoming holiday event like it was an Olympic event. So what do professional revelers know that amateurs don’t? They know how to rebound after a big game!
What’s the definition of a hangover?
Simply put, a hangover is the result of a person’s overconsumption of alcohol. Symptoms may include: headaches, drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness, fatigue, vomiting, sweating, nausea, and other physical maladies. Needless to say, hangovers can be just plain awful. A bad hangover can make you feel like death warmed-over. No kidding. If you’ve ever experienced a hangover, you know that I don’t speak with forked tongue.
Are there things I can do beforehand to lessen the effects of a possibly brutal hangover?
Yes. According to Men’s Fitness magazine, if you take vitamin B6 before you drink, your hangover won’t be so severe. Vitamin B6 helps brain function and helps make hemoglobin, which is a blood protein that transports oxygen through the body. A good source of vitamin B6 is beef, poultry, fish, whole grains, and potatoes.
Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach is never a good idea. But there are some foods out there that you can eat beforehand that can help your body fight the worse side effects of a hangover. Another Men’s Fitness article lists the most popular remedies:
• Green juice (boost drink with spinach, kale, bok choy, and celery)
• Sweet potatoes
• Chicken breast
• Milk thistle
• Plenty of water
Once you have a hangover, are there any proven remedies?
Truth be told, there’s no certified secret concoction that can magically starve off the ravages of a ripping hangover. However, there are some natural products and creative cocktails available that can help curb the worst after-effects of a hangover. According to Inhabitat.com, here are some effective hangover combatants:
1. Bananas – One of the reasons a hangover is so bad is because your body loses valuable potassium. Bananas are a great source of potassium.
2. Honey – The fructose (or fruit sugar) in honey can help your body better absorb the alcohol you’ve over-consumed. Perhaps a banana/honey smoothie could be a tasty and healthy recuperative cocktail.
3. Water – Lots of it. When you’re hungover, your body loses a ton of water. For the record, your body is actually 60 percent H2O. A good rule of thumb is to drink a full glass of water for every drink you’ve consumed. And when you go to bed, you should gulp down a few more glasses of water as well. You’ll probably experience a few additional bathroom breaks, but you will probably avoid a humongous hangover.
4. Tomato Juice – A “Virgin Mary” (a “Bloody Mary” without the vodka) cocktail the morning after is good way to take the awful edge off your hangover. Tomato juice is rich in vitamins and minerals.
5. Wasabi Bath – Fill a tub with warm water and add a spoonful of wasabi (Japanese horseradish). A prolonged wasabi soak can help push those toxins out of your hungover body.
Since we did say at the top of this blog that there would be “7 Hangover Cures,” Men’s Fitness provides the final two:
6. Electrolytes – Drink fluid rich with electrolytes, like Pedialyte, coconut water, or Gatorade.
7. Unsweetened Tea – Add a little ginger too. Apparently, this hot drink reduces nausea in chemo patents by 40 percent, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center.
And if all else fails…have yourself a lemon-lime soda (like 7Up or Sprite). According to ABC News, this delightfully refreshing carbonated concoction can help speed up the breakdown of acetaldehyde into acetic acid, thereby minimizing the worst effects of a hangover. Or so we’ve been told.
So enjoy celebrating your favorite holiday with whatever favorite alcoholic libation your heart desires. But the best way to avoid a hangover is to drink responsibly. Unless you really like drinking coconut water.