A night out can be the best of times, but the morning after is all too often the worst and the problem only escalates as you age. It would be great to be able to shortcut the hangover and skip straight to the rest of your day, and a whole mythology of hangover cures has built up that promise that perfect result. Unfortunately most of these cures, from raw eggs to strong coffee to intense exercise will only leave you feeling worse. Today we’re looking at the hangover problem, and helping you find a cure that really works.
What Causes a Hangover?
There are lots of different causes that go into the uniquely unpleasant set of symptoms that make up a hangover. For one thing, alcohol – specifically ethanol – is a diuretic, which means it encourages your body to drain away its fluid reserves. When you drink you sweat more and you urinate more! This causes immense discomfort the following day – that hangover headache could be caused by your brain literally drying out and shrinking within your skull!
Alcohol can also irritate your gut and stomach lining, and increase acid production leading to the upset stomach and vomiting all too common in the wake of a night out. On top of that it affects your blood sugar level, causing a dip which in turn causes the fatigue, brain fog and dizziness the morning after.
The best thing you can do is try to prevent a hangover in the first place: eat before you drink to slow the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream, giving your body more time to process the toxins.
Drinking water or a soft drink between each alcoholic drink helps you maintain your hydration levels, and avoid the headache and dry mouth the next day.
The most important step is, of course, not drinking too much in the first place! Look at the NHS guidelines and try to stick to your recommended number of units each week.
The most important part of the hangover cure is rehydration – this doesn’t just fix the problem of your body being dehydrated, it also boosts your ability to deal with your hangover problems – to process the toxins and restore balance to your stomach.
Don’t forget that when you get dehydrated you also lose the electrolytes that you need for some of the important processes in your body, from maintaining hydration levels in your cells to controlling your mood! Taking a rehydration product like ORS after drinking alcohol gives you an advantage -it tops up your electrolytes as well, helping you recover faster, and get back to business as usual!