Five Great Cures for Hangovers

By Martin Brown

hangoverWe’ve all done it: awakened to a slam banger of a hangover.

Hangovers don’t appear on any reliable timetable. They vary from one individual to the next. For some, two appletinis, and a hangover is assured. For others, they may have to consume four drinks or more before the head banging morning hangover makes an appearance.

For those of you who have yet to experience one, here are some common hangover symptoms:

  • A feeling of fatigue even though you’ve gotten seven, eight, or more hours of sleep.
  • Great thirst.Alcohol leaves you greatly dehydrated so don’t be surprised if your first thought is to quickly get out of bed and drink a tall glass of water. That’s your first smart move. A lot of those bad feelings you have first getting up with a hangover come from dehydration.
  • Heightened sensitivity to light and sound, dizziness, or a sense of that the room is spinning
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Shakiness

The one aspect that is consistent from one individual to another is that hangovers are usually gone within 24 hours. But if we could, we’d rather not wait for the passage of time to work its own cure.

That said, here are some quick tips of reducing your chances of getting a hangover the next time you go out to party:

1. Try to eat before you drink.

This way, your body has a better chance of absorbing the alcohol you consume.

2. Remember that not all alcoholic beverages have the same potential to cause hangovers.

Vodka or gin, are less likely to cause a hangover than whiskeys or brandies. Carbonated drinks speed alcohol into your bloodstream, and are more likely to cause problems than drinks not mixed with soda.

3. Don’t switch from one type of alcohol to another during the course of the evening.

Starting with vodka, and switching to rum, is an invitation to trouble. Finally, pace yourself during a party trying to consume no more than one drink per hour, and if at all possible try to drink two or three glasses of water during the night to keep your hydration level high.

Okay, let’s just say you were a bad girl and decided to ignore these tips. Should a hangover hit you over your cute li’l noggin, here’s a few more steps to follow that should lessen the pain, and hasten the cure:

1. Avoiding that morning cup of coffee.

For many, this is counter-intuitive, since a cup of coffee is what you commonly take to get you going when you are groggy in the morning. But after a night of too much alcohol, coffee can add to your problems.

First, the caffeine will only dehydrate you more, since coffee commonly acts as a diuretic, and second, it will not help your stomach, which is already unhappy with the amount of alcohol you’ve consumed.

2. Stay away from milk, too.

Since most hangovers are accompanied by mild to significant feelings of nausea, milk and other dairy products are also not a good idea; they will only add to that sense of morning after queasiness.

3. Instead, take a tablespoon of honey and mix it into a cup of hot water.

Honey, and/or fruit juice can help your body burn off the lingering effects of alcohol.

4. Eat dry plain toast or plain crackers.

That will help settle your stomach.

5. After that toast, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, like Tylenol or Advil.

However, avoid aspirin, which will most likely add to your stomach distress.

6. Also, stay in bed and get some additional sleep.

However, do not lie on your back, but rather lay flat on your stomach, which for most of us reduces our feelings of nausea.

Final tip: As with all things, in drinking, moderation is the key to leaving you stirred, but not shaken. Happy New Year!

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