How To Lessen The Effects of a Hangover

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A hangover from drinking too much can have several symptoms, including headache, stomachache, dry mouth, and nausea. Drinking large amounts of alcohol can cause you to become dehydrated. Your liver also needs to work hard to process all the alcohol. Anything you can do to help in these areas will speed up your recovery.

The best way to attack a hangover is to take steps before it arrives. If you have chosen a drink of choice, like beer, don’t switch and mix in wine or hard liquor. This will definitely make the hangover worse. And don’t drink red wine to excess. It seems to cause a ‘heavy’ hangover including more stomach aches in addition to a wicked headache. Everyone reacts differently though, and the same drink can affect 2 people in different ways.

Try to eat something if you are drinking a lot. This seems to help soak up some of the alcohol, so you are not drinking on an empty stomach. Your body may crave salty foods. This is caused by the onset of dehydration. Your body is telling you to add salt, which helps retain moisture. Along the same lines, if possible, replace one or two drinks through the course of the evening with a big glass of water. This will definitely help stave off dehydration and the headache that comes with it.

If that’s not possible, then at least remember to drink water before you go to bed, one or two big glasses if possible. Also take a pain reliever at this time. Tylenol (acetaminophen) is not really good for your liver at any time, but after drinking a lot, your liver has a hard enough job. For that reason I recommend aspirin or ibuprophen (Advil, Motrin). But take something before you turn in. These two steps are the most important in lessening the effects of a hangover.

The next morning, if you can get any extra sleep, good for you. Get up, drink more water, take 2 more aspirin, and lay down for another hour to let your body process the alcohol. This will help a lot also. A friend used to swear that taking B vitamins in the morning helped him, you might want to try it, I can’t swear to that one. However, during dehydration, you excrete electrolytes as well as water. For this reason, try to drink a bottle or two of Gatorade to help replace them. This does seem to help lessen the effects.

For stomachache or nausea, take some Tums if you have any. I have also found that if you can go outside for a walk, it helps quite a bit. You probably won’t be up to any vigorous exercise, but the oxygen seems to help lessen the length of a hangover. If it’s hot out and you can get yourself to sweat, that’s even better. Your skin acts as a filter to help the liver get rid of the alcohol. When you come back, take a long hot shower to get your pores open and continue the release of toxins. If you can’t go out, at least take the shower to help you feel human again.

Hope some of these tips help. The best advice is don’t get in this situation in the first place, but you know how that goes. Good luck.

Additional tips—

-Coffee wakes you up, but is a diuretic like alcohol, so it will worsen your dehydration. Have a cup of coffee if you need it, but start replacing fluids as soon as you can.
-Hair of the dog is a cure that some recommend. It means having another drink in the morning to stop the withdrawal symptoms. It works to some extent, but I think it just makes you feel drunk again, and just delays the hangover’s arrival. I wouldn’t recommend it.

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