As a doctor, I’ve been approached and asked by friends countless times how to cure a hangover.
I always give the same advice (short of offering them promotional products):
1.) drink lots of water before, during, and after drinking.
Hangovers are mainly thought to be a result of dehydration. I say thought because a lot of scientists are still in contention as to what really causes them. Some say it is a combination of the effects alcohol has on your digestive, nervous, and circulatory systems while others say that vascular spasm and “shrinkage” of neurons from dehydration is the main reason why that invisible guy still keeps hammering away on your head the morning after drinking. That said, drinking lots of water and preventing dehydration could help keep away that nasty hangover.
2.) Eat or snack on something while drinking.
Food in the stomach helps dilute the alcohol and prevents it from being absorbed too rapidly into your bloodstream. Snacking after a night out with friends (the so-called night-capper), aside from diluting the alcohol from that last toast, gives your body the nutrients that it needs to rest and rebuild.
3.) Get lots of sleep.
According to scientists, the neuronal effects of alcohol prevent you from getting that REM sleep that your body needs every night. That’s why you wake up feeling tired and run-down the following day even after that dreamless 8-12 hours you got after you’ve crawled into bed the night before. So get lots of sleep the following day when your body has detoxified and gotten rid of some of the alcohol still in your system. This would give your body time to catch up on the REM sleep that it missed.
So there you have it. Three solid ways to prevent a hangover.
Unfortunately, based on that pesky guy still pounding away at my temples as I write this, I think I’ve violated the first two rules last night (hadn’t had much water, didn’t go for that night cap, now I’m paying the price). Fortunately, I’ve got the time for rule number 3. Exactly the reason why social drinking should be done on a weekend, where work wouldn’t interfere with sleep at all. :)Tags: Detoxins