New Year’s Eve is fast approaching, and many Americans are all too ready to bid adieu to 2021. But if your holiday celebration leads to imbibing a bit too much alcohol, there are steps you can take to ease the morning-after misery.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, hangovers are the consequences of over indulgence. The symptoms are wide-ranging from diarrhea, fatigue, and headache to nausea and shaking. Your blood pressure can soar, and your heart may beat faster than normal. Some people become super sensitive to light and sound and others may develop migraines.
Hangovers begin when blood alcohol levels fall, and some researchers say that the worst hangovers occur when the levels hit zero. And it is not how much you drink that determines the severity of a hangover, but your personal tolerance level. Light to moderate drinkers can suffer more debilitating hangovers than heavy drinkers.
Here are some remedies for hangovers based on research conducted by Dr. Robert Swift, a noted authority on the topic and a researcher at the Providence Veterans Affair Medical Center in Rhode Island, along with other experts:
- Hair of the dog. Drinking some alcohol the next day may ease the symptoms by diminishing the amount of alcohol withdrawal that causes these unpleasantries. This technique is called “hair of the dog” or “hair of the dog that bit you,” says Harvard Health. Swift says that alcohol and certain sedatives can cause withdrawal symptoms as they interact with GABA receptors on the brain, but he personally does not recommend the hair of the dog technique. “It doesn’t allow you to recover,” he says.
- Drink fluids. Alcohol can cause dehydration because it is a diuretic and promotes urination. Drinking even sips of water could help your hangover. Some experts suggest that when drinking alcohol, drink a glass of water after every alcohol beverage you consume.
- Take a B12 supplement. Taking a B12 supplement before a night of drinking, as well as the morning after, can help eliminate alcohol from the body, according to Spoon University. Sticking to this ritual can save you from horrible hangovers.
- Eat carbohydrates. Drinking can reduce blood sugar levels so some of the fatigue and headaches that accompany hangovers may be due to lack of fuel in the brain. Having a slice of toast and juice may do the trick.
- Avoid darker colored booze. Studies have shown that clear alcoholic beverages like vodka or gin cause fewer hangovers than whiskey, brandy, and tequila. Darker beverages contain more congeners, toxic substances that are by-products of the fermentation process, says Healthline. Some studies have shown that consuming drinks with a high amount of congeners could increase the severity and frequency of hangovers.
- Take a pain reliever. Painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen, along with other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSADS), can ease the discomfort of a hangover. But do NOT take acetaminophen (Tylenol) as this drug can further irritate an upset stomach, and if alcohol is still in your system, the combination can have a toxic effect on the liver, says Harvard Health.
- Drink coffee or tea. The caffeine may help ease your fatigue and grogginess.
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