During the holidays there are parties and all types of joyous celebrations where alcohol is available for those who may choose to imbibe. How you decide to conduct ourselves before and after such events determines how “under the weather” you are going to be the next day or so.
About 75% of those who drink enough to get drunk will experience the mental and physical symptoms that are called ‘a hangover’. Those are: headache, sensitivity to noise and light, thirst, dizziness, rapid heart beat, sweating, nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, fatigue, shakiness and tremors, muscle aches, difficulty concentrating, decreased quality and quantity of sleep, difficulty concentrating and eye redness. You may also feel some irritability, anxiety or depression. Of course each individual is different.
Theorists figure that a hangover is probably caused by a combination of the direct effects of ethanol, it’s breakdown products, effects of other ingredients in the alcoholic beverage and personal characteristics and behaviors associated with the alcohol use.
There are several things a person can take into consideration before going out for an evening of partying and drinking. These things can make the fluey-like feeling of a hangover not be as severe and, in some cases, make it so you don’t experience one at all. The difference between no hangover and time spent hugging the toilet bowl.
1.Eat a meal first. Be sure to eat something substantial before going out for the evening when you know you will be drinking alcohol. Drinking on an empty stomach is a sure way to end up sick. Eating a good meal will help the alcohol to take more time to read the blood stream and brain. Eating pasta or fatty foods will help to minimize the effect the alcohol with have on the body. Juice, even milk is good to drink before drinking but water is the essential component that will keep your body from becoming dehydrated. It is not a good idea to drink diuretics such as coffee for this can deplete the body of liquid and actually add to the possible dehydration.
2.Don’t mix your drinks. Drinks with bubbles such as champagne will carry alcohol to the blood stream faster. It is said that drinking clear liquors such as white wine, vodka, etc. won’t make you get sick. Stay away from sugary and carbonated drinks because they speed up the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. Darker alcohol like bourbon and red wine contain more toxic by-products which helps to give you a hangover. And the cheap stuff from the well has more of those toxins too.
3.Drink water. Alcohol dehydrates your body. Try to drink water during your evening out, before going to bed and the next day. Your body will retain water to make up for that lost so drink as much as you can. And your organs have to work harder if the body isn’t kept hydrated.
4. Driving home after drinking. Your body burns alcohol by about one ounce an hour. Don’t drink and drive. Give yourself at least an hour and a half from the time you have your last drink before doing any driving. It is a smart idea to have a designated driver for the evening you will be drinking. Better safe than sorry.
As the AA says: ” If you are going to drive, don’t drink. If you are going to drink, don’t drive.” So plan ahead. If you know you are going to be out and you plan to drink have a designated driver along or take a taxi.
5. The day after. Ideally when you know you are planning to drink you can have a few days off afterward to recover. The inner circadian clock is effected by alcohol so be sure you are able to get plenty of rest or you will probably feel like you have a case of jet lag. So get plenty of water and rest. Don’t make any big plans the day after for you probably won’t feel like doing much.
6. Hangover remedies-and replenishing the body. Researchers feel that the hangover may be a form of withdrawal although not as severe. Alcohol stresses the body and depletes B vitamins. Taking a Ibuprofen and a B complex will help your body get back to normal.