There are many steps you can take to keep the effects of a hangover to a minimum. However, when it comes to hangover treatments, it may be hard to differentiate fact from fiction especially if you are relying on the internet for your information.
Whether you are hungover right now or merely planning ahead, here’s what you really need to know about hangovers and how to cope with them.
What is a Hangover?
A hangover is defined as a group of symptoms that develop after drinking too much alcohol in a short amount of time. The amount of alcohol you drink determines the effects of a hangover the more you drink, the more likely you are to be hungover the next day.
What Causes a Hangover?
The causes of a hangover are complex and still not completely understood. However, most studies attribute the causes of hangovers to drastic changes in metabolism, dehydration, and responses by our immune system to alcohol consumption.
Since hangovers are entirely dependent on how much you drink, the severity and overall symptoms of a hangover vary per individual case. The symptoms of a hangover usually begin when your blood alcohol level goes back to zero, or close to zero. Generally, hangovers symptoms include:
- Feelings of weakness
- Dry mouth
- Excessive thirst
- Nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty sleeping
- Dizziness or disorientation
- Problems concentrating
- Mood changes like depression and irritability
- Increased heart-rate
How Long Does a Hangover Last?
While most hangovers are tolerable and usually go away on their own in less than 24 hours, some hangovers may need medical attention. If someone who has been drinking shows signs of confusion, seizures, or passing out, they may be suffering from alcohol poisoning. If this is the case, call your local emergency number as soon as possible.
Hangover Easy Cures
Even though the internet is filled with dozens of self-proclaimed experts offering hangover “cures,” there is really no such thing. Most “cures” only lessen the symptoms of a hangover, while some don’t work at all (i.e., hair of the dog method.)
If you wish to prevent or minimize the effects of a hangover, follow these guidelines:
Avoiding a hangover is much, much easier than treating one the next morning. Obviously, the best way to prevent a hangover is to not drink, but if that option is off the table, try the following tips:
Eat Before and While You Drink
Alcohol enters your bloodstream faster if your stomach is empty. Eating before and during drinking, can reduce the rate at which alcohol is absorbed.
Sip Water Between Drinks
Water keeps you hydrated. Holding a glass of water may also keep you from feeling empty-handed and getting a new drink.
Drink in Moderation
The less you drink, the less likely you are to get a hangover the next morning. Try deciding how many drinks you will have before you go out.
If you didn’t take any preventive measures or if you simply drank way too much, consider these tips to lessen the effects of a hangover:
Many of the symptoms associated with a hangover are the result of dehydration.
Fill Up on Carbs
Alcohol destabilizes blood sugar levels. Foods like bread, crackers, and pasta can help normalize your blood sugar.
Foods Rich in Vitamins
Vitamins can help bring balance back to your systems by replenishing essential nutrients. Try foods rich in vitamins like avocados, fish, and eggs.
Some pain medications like ibuprofen and aspirin can alleviate aches and pains that come with a hangover.
Natural Hangover Cures
For thousands of drinkers, over-the-counter pain medications have become the go-to remedy for hangover pain. However, they are not always safe, especially if taken frequently after a hangover. For example, acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause severe liver damage if there is alcohol in your system. For safer, effective hangover remedies stick to natural treatments such as homemade hangover food, water, and herbal supplements like CBD for hangovers.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, can be particularly helpful the morning after a night of drinking. This hemp-derived extract is used by many to help them with many of the signs of a hangover such as physical discomfort and aches, inflammation, and nausea. Most importantly, CBD for hangovers is completely non-psychoactive and produces no side effects, unlike most pharmaceutical medications used for hangovers. CBD hangover products include CBD oils, edibles, and beverages like CBD coffee and tea.