How best to cure a hangover?
Alcohol causes hangovers. Have you ever seen the film The Hangover, yep that is probably the worst hangover ever.
But how best to cure a hangover? Well I have got some good news and bad. Actually there will be no silver bullet here but as someone who not doesn’t drink at all I can tell you that never having a hangover is like another world.
It gives you part of your life back.
Especially after a night out on the tiles, a party or a few glasses too many after a TV binge where you said you would only have a glass of wine. Have you ever woke up to an empty bottle in the kitchen and thought “not me!”
It’s easy to do!
I took my bin out to the recycle area the other day and my neighbor who looked terrible from drinking said see you have been drinking but you look fine.
I told him it was alcohol free beer bottles from the week but you could see he did not believe it. It was that look that said how is this even possible in any alcohol dominated world.
What is a hangover
A hangover can range from “feeling just pure awful” to having very specific symptoms. There is never any doubt that you have told me via my blog that the main reason people believe they have a hangover is a headache!
That pounding in the head so much that you can’t even lift your head off the pillow.
Symptoms are the results of the cause, which is too much alcohol but I will explain in much more detail than that.
Let’s check out some of them symptoms :
- Very bad headaches with your eyes aching and a feeling of a cloud over your head.
- Sickness and you may not be sick but feel very nauseous.
- Stomach ache can be common as the lining of the stomach can be affected by the alcohol
- You may feel disoriented and dizzy
- A real sense of feeling thirsty.
Contrary to common thought drinking alcohol makes you pee more and yet people link it to being dehydrated. That of course is the reason that as you drink you may find yourself going to the toilet more to pee. The more you pee the less liquid is in your body so we get dehydrated.
Most experts say that not having enough fluid in your body is one of the main reasons for having a really bad hangover.
It might also be worth reading about : what color should you pee be? It’s a useful guide to if you are hydrated or if your liver is affected by drink. If you think you have a liver health issue, always consult a doctor urgently.
I’ll tell you a secret
Hangover cures are generally a myth.
Do a quick search online and there will be supplements for everything including the miracle hangover cure guaranteed to sort you out in minutes. Don’t do it!
Trust me there are no cures but hangovers so it’s down to us to manage the pain, stress and the feeling you get the morning after.
As an aside, since I developed liver disease I have been wary of taking supplements as I don’t want my liver to have to deal with non-natural sources of foods and vitamins. I am not knocking the industry but they never did me any good. In fact the best thing for me was where I was assigned a proper dietitian in the hospital.
No cure? Help, what can I do?
“Get some food down you” as they say in the North of England!
Now it won’t cure anything in terms of the amount of alcohol you drink but it can help with alcohol absorption. Remember the liver can only metabolize 1 standard drink per hour but your blood alcohol can vary depending on what you have had to eat, body size and muscle mass.
It is why one person can have a drink or three and still be standing and one person can have one and be on their back literally! If you want to check out more on the liver and how it metabolizes alcohol just click here.
Ever heard the phrase “it’s gone straight to my head” ?
Red wine and dark drinks
There is some evidence that some dark drinks contain “congeners”, which affect our blood vessels and tissue in the brain more than lighter drinks. When I come to think of it my worst hangover had been at a wedding where the Red Wine was flowing into the night.
I am pleased I don’t get them anymore!
So on one hand every drink is alcohol but there is some evidence that some drinks affect our alcohol blood levels more than others.
It seems the advice is cloaked as :
- Deep dark drinks like brandy, ports, sherry and deep red wines increase the effect of our alcohol as far as a hangover is concerned.
Yes it’s the old-fashioned recommendation to have more pop in between alcoholic drinks. Fizzy drink, diet colas, soda water topping up your wine, they will all add up.
However, do remember that contrary to it being a myth drinking with bubbles ends up transporting the alcohol faster around your body so be aware of that as well as the dark heavy drinks.
There is now a wealth of alcohol free options that are served in most places that matter. These can even be alcohol by volume of around 0.0%.
Both of which are supplied by excellent affiliate partners but read the reviews first and do let me know what your favorites are and if you managed to drink them as part of an alcohol free or alcohol reduced lifestyle.
Quick tip though:
Start alcohol free at the beginning of your night out nor half-way through or at the end. Just saying based on reality. I
t’s not the quality but your mindset will have changed once you have a few drinks and the alcohol will be in control.
After all it is a drug no matter what we say!
Pint of water in you not on the side of the bed!
Why do some people take a pint of water to bed with them and leave it there? They are out for the count anyway!
Drink it before you go to sleep. At least it will provide some hydration.
Be aware of taking alcoholic drinks to bed even though you may not have finished them. I was once on a course with a guy who took a gin and tonic to bed fell asleep and downed it the next morning thinking it was water. He could not drive to his appointment. Duh!
And of course the cycle continues!
Water is really key here as your body is dehydrated so it is the one thing you can do that really makes a difference to the effects of your potential hangover.
Next Morning -Eat!
When you wake, try to eat. Your body may have been lacking in vitamins and maybe having a sugar crash so very often a veg soup or broth is ideal as it can be gentle on the stomach.
Sugary drinks may help short term but you may come crashing down later and also get advice if you are or think you are diabetic. The more hydrated and fed you are the better you will feel but there is no shortcut to a bad hangover!
Having a “hair of the dog”, so another alcoholic drink in the morning does not help and you could be building a nasty habit that may be difficult to get out of later.
Anyhow all it does is delay the symptoms and add even more pressure to your body and especially your liver.
In reality the advice is to stay off booze for at least 48 hours which I know if you are on a party weekend it’s hard to do but the alcohol free option such as gin may help you. Trust me it could save your life and create a new lifestyle change!
So how much should I be drinking?
Probably less than you are is the answer to none of us what to hear. However, I know my liver nearly failed completely from just being a social wine drinker so you just never know.
Alcohol after blood pressure is turning into the hidden killer. People dismiss it even more than cigarettes.
In the UK and its generally considered right access the world, 14 units a week is the top end of drinking. So even a few glasses of large wine would get you close!.
If you think about it, the magic number of 14 units is just 6 pints of average beer or 10 small glasses of wine. And with the wine by the way I am talking yes a standard size not a large.
It is actually quite rare to see people drinking a standard glass nowadays.
In fact at the British pop group’s concert, Take That I saw people drinking it out of a bottle with a straw. I had to look twice. Hardly Sophisticated! 🙂
I know some people and I would include myself in this who think nothing of turning on a Netflix box set and drinking a 750ml bottle white wine with let’s say alcohol by volume ABV of 13.5%. That is 10 units done by the end of one episode let alone a series!
Here is the table of drink and units used by the NHS in England UK as a guide and it certainly makes you think
- Single small shot of spirits* (25ml, ABV 40%) 1 unit
- Small glass of red, white or rosé wine (125ml, ABV 12%) 1.5 units
- Bottle of lager, beer or cider (330ml, ABV 5%) 1.7 units
- Can of lager, beer or cider (440ml, ABV 5.5%) 2 units
- Pint of lower-strength lager, beer or cider (568ml, ABV 3.6%) 2 units
- Standard glass of red, white or rosé wine (175ml, ABV 12%) 2.1 units
- Pint of higher-strength lager, beer or cider (568ml, ABV 5.2%) 3 units
- Large glass of red, white or rosé wine (250ml, ABV 12%) 3 units
If you are looking at the heavy stuff such as Gin, rum, sambuca, tequila, vodka, whiskey. A single large (35ml) measure of spirits is around 1.4 units. Again it’s the volume you need to watch out for here,
So it seems prevention is better than cure.
How best to cure a hangover is definitely in the prevent category. Water and water plus food and remember the hair if the dog is a myth and potentially dangerous.
Of course, I am sure a painkiller is in there together with a hot bath, a smelly essence but let’s stick to reality. Alcohol free options could be a lifesaver as well as decent on the calorie front.
Please be aware of magical cure, urban myths, or long baths with herbs of ancient times, I am sure they have their place but there is only one solution and for goodness’ sake you owe it to your liver heath if nothing else.
And what ever you do avoid searching for a solution when you have had a few drinks. It never works!
How to cure a hangover really does have only one answer.
I once bought a short book on dieting and it said on its one and only page “calories in and calories out”. It probably the best bit of diet advice I have ever had! Despite that the price it was really expensive!
So good luck and I would love to hear about your ideas on how best to cure a hangover. Have you tried alternating drinks or maybe an alcohol free beer? Please leave your comments below and I respond and message back