Our society incorporates alcohol into festivities of many kinds, all around the world. This tradition dates back to when man first began to brew beer and wine (about 3500 BC in Godin Tepe, an archaeological site discovered in western Iran).
Now some alcohol is okay for you. In fact, your body can naturally produce alcohol from the digestion of sugars. Granted this natural production of alcohol is usually in small quantity. We usually celebrate by increasing that amount of alcohol with consumption of it.
Now as you may have experienced yourself, having too much alcohol can lead to “driving the procelin bus” (getting sick and hugging the toilet bowl) and/or the state of being messed up called a hangover. Now you could prevent a hangover by simply not drinking… but where is the fun in that? So then how to avoid a hangover is a big question that people have tried to understand. What follows are some tips to keep you in the game without calling in “sick”. The code is simple: Green dot – Good to try, Yellow dot – maybe but keep looking; Red Dot – danger zone.
Good to Go
Good things to try:
1. Sleep (and Time).
Getting enough sleep will help. If you can afford the luxury to stay in bed to “sleep it off” that would be great. Your body will thank you. Time is the paramount factor in allowing your body to recover to normal operating levels.
Let’s face it, getting a good night’s sleep after a night of drinking is not generally normal. You might have to get up in the night or ealier than normal to use the bathroom. You might have to get up and go do something like work, meet people, look after the pet, etc. Generally, you will be not well focused and dragging yourself around …if you are able. If not, maybe it is time to call in sick and allow your body enough time to fully recover.
2. Water, juice and sports drinks
Conventional wisdom holds that the dehydration caused by heavy drinking is what makes you feel so bad the next day. You should have a glass of water for every 3 drinks. Also follow up by having a glass or two of water before you go to bed. It is better to get up and use the bathroom to pee than to “drive the bus”.
A note about orange juice. Orange juice is good to have when you are healthy but it can tend to delay the effects of alcohol. So having a vodka and orange juice might seem fine initally but it can creap up on you and knock your “socks off”. Orange juice has natural sugars too that when broken down also produce more alcohol. Also orange juice is slightly acidic and may not sit well in your stomach. Just consume water.
Some so called ‘experts’ suggest that toxins found in dark alcohol such as whiskey play a role. While that may be partially true, the biggest poison you put in your body is the alcohol. Supplementing your body with water or a sports drink may help replace some of the electrolytes you have lost during your alcohol drinking session.
A night of drinking can cause a loss of nutrients from the body. What typically happens is friends get together, some with empty stomachs, and go out for a few drinks. The only product we found to add that nutritional value and simultaneously mitigate the symptoms of alcohol consumption (even in people of Asian decent who lack a particular enzyme to digest alcohol) was Booze Burner. Booze Burner is an all natural alcohol metabolizer. Unlike other products on the market, this was the only one to actually show any evidence of reducing blood alcohol content while allowing people to wake up without a dreaded hangover. Try this one as it does indeed work (take as directed) …usually with a glass of water or a few sips of light beer which is mostly water.
Proceed with caution—moderate things to try
A gentle workout might help, if you can manage it. (That’s a big if.) You may may be suffering from a bit of dehydration and you could be behind on your nutrition so approach exercise with a water bottle and a multivitamin. If your stomach is feeling up to it, have a nutritional energy bar. If you wake up with a hangover and exercising is not an option, then a little walk around a few blocks in fresh air would certainly help.
Despite the lack of scientific evidence that a heaping plate of bacon and eggs will ease a hangover, many people swear by it. Some doctors say that greasy food is just going to give you heartburn they suggest instead to go for easy-to-digest foods such as toast or cereal in order to get calories and nutrients back into your system.
“Eat lightly and stay hydrated,” agrees John Brick, Ph.D., an alcohol research scientist and author of “The Doctor’s Hangover Handbook.”
A lot of products out there claim to prevent or cure hangovers — such as Chaser and Hangoverstopper (which are loaded with activated charcoal to adsorb the alcohol), PreToxx, and RU 21 — but there is very little scientific evidence that they will make you feel any better. Of the “hangover capsules … studied (many) are not effective, or only help against a few complaints…but not all,” says Joris C. Verster, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychopharmacology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, who studies hangovers.
A 2005 review article in the journal “BMJ” identified eight peer-reviewed, placebo-controlled studies of hangover remedies, and concluded that “no compelling evidence exists” to support their use.
We suggest taking a multivitamin to replace nutrients your body may have expelled during drinking.
Stop – Don’t Do it!Things to avoid / Myths:
Coffee or Energy Drinks
If you’re a regular coffee drinker, skipping the java when you’re hungover may — or may not be — a good idea. You may wind up layering a pounding caffeine-withdrawal headache on top of your hangover woes if you miss your morning fix.
That said, caffeine can narrow your blood vessels and boosts blood pressure. So having caffeine via coffee or some energy drink may make the hangover worse.
Have another drink (aka. Hair of the dog)
Although the allure of a Bloody Mary to kick start the day may appeal to you, a Virgin Mary (non-alcoholic) is a much better choice the morning after. Charles Cutler, M.D., an internist in Norristown, Pennsylvania, and the chair of the American College of Physician’s board of governors says that “the worst thing to do is to have another drink.” The alcohol may temporarily take the edge off your symptoms but could hurt in the long run. Hangovers make you feel horrible because alcohol is toxic, Cutler explains, and you need to give your body a chance to recover. That morning drink could lead to an even worse hangover the following day. So you could just be prolonging the inevitable gut-wrenching super-hangover.
Think you can “sweat out” the alcohol and other toxins you may have consumed during a night of partying? Think again. A sauna can cause potentially dangerous blood vessel and blood flow changes in your body. You don’t want to alter the normal blood flow patterns by extreme heat.
If you’re already somewhat dehydrated, excessive sweating can be harmful and even deadly. Researchers from the Finnish State Alcohol Company’s Research Laboratories in Helsinki warn that sauna bathing while hungover carries “real health risks,” including dangerous drops in blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms.
Aspirin or ibuprofen
Over-the-counter painkillers can certainly help ease hangover headaches and the aches and pains you may feel elsewhere in your body after a night of heavy drinking—but choose carefully. If you’re a regular heavy drinker, you may have done some damage to the lining of your stomach. Taking aspirin or ibuprofen (such as Advil) can worsen this damage and even cause bleeding.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is also risky for habitual drinkers, due to the potential for liver damage. Check with your doctor about a painkiller that’s right for you.
Generally speaking, headache medicine is not recommended.
This famous fizzy medicine has probably been used to treat hangovers for decades … even my relatives have taken it! In 2001, the company even introduced a Morning Relief formulation specifically for hangovers. The key ingredient in all Alka-Seltzer varieties is sodium bicarbonate (also known as baking soda), which will help settle an acidic stomach by neutralizing the acid, but other ingredients, notably aspirin and citric acid, may irritate your stomach after a night of heavy drinking. Although it is somewhat helpful in providing temporary relief from the stomach imbalance, it is not very effective at reducing the residual alcohol the body. Not until the liver has totally processed all of the alcohol and byproducts will you actually begin recovering.
The bottom line is there is no one way to cure a hangover. Out of all of these hangover remedies there is one that might be good for you. It is highly suggested that you go with a mix of the top three: time, water and Booze Burner.