Thursday, February 22, 2024

The Best Ways To Recover From A Hangover

The day before and after Thanksgiving are known for being HUGE drinking holidays. In fact the Wednesday before turkey day is known as Drinksgiving or Blackout Wednesday.  After Friday comes the holiday season with parties, brunches, and happy hours, and maybe drinks with dinner, all leading to at least one hangover.

Alcohol triggers an inflammatory response from the immune system. In turn, the immune system may trigger certain agents that commonly produce physical symptoms including a headache, inability to concentrate, memory problems and nausea. Not a pretty picture, but here are the best ways to recover from a hangover.

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There are two tracks to recover from a hangover – before and after.  Assuming you are going to drink heavily, you have to remember two things.  Drink plenty of fluids like water while imbibing to avoid dehydration. Next take a pain reliever — but not Tylenol. Aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, other brands), and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

A Hangover Pill
Photo by Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury/Getty Images

Also, avoid dark colored alcohol. Data has indicted  clear liquors, such as vodka and gin, tend to cause hangovers less frequently than dark ones like whiskey, red wine, and tequila. The main form of alcohol in alcoholic beverages is ethanol, but the darker liquors contain chemically related compounds (congeners), including methanol. The same enzymes process ethanol and methanol, but methanol metabolites are especially toxic, so they may cause a worse hangover.

But, if you still wake up with a hangover, there is a hope and here are potential cures.

People forget to eat when they drink, lowering their blood sugar. Toast and juice is a way to gently nudge levels back to normal. This should be followed by a a big brunch or brunch.

Consider a gummy. A dose like 10mg will not only get you out of the painful headspace, it will begin to work on your inflammation as you get a body high. Use something non-aggressive like tincture (glycerin), a hard candy, or a beverage. Anything baked or food-like may just be overwhelming taste wise.

Enjoy soda, coffee or tea. Caffeine may not have any special anti-hangover powers, but as a stimulant, it could help with the grogginess. Try it and go back to bed and sleep for a bit.

Pop some vitamin B or Zinc. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Medicine evaluated the diets for 24 hours before and after excessive drinking occurred. It was a small study and results were based on the participants saying what they ate. However, they did find that people whose food and beverage consumption contained greater amounts of zinc and B vitamins had less severe hangovers.

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Since the hangover is at it’s most painful as the last of the alcohol is leaving your system, you could consider the age old cure of “hair of the dog” and have a Bloody Mary.

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