Partying is a fun way to socialize and let off steam, and almost every party is sure to have alcohol in the mix. After all, it’s a great way to ‘let go’. However, when you drink too much, there’s a big chance you’ll get a hangover the next day. Hangovers are a natural response to alcohol consumption, and you may feel dizzy, achey, have nausea, a dry mouth or vomit. It’s important to know more about what causes hangovers so that you can treat it correctly.
What is a Hangover?
Hangovers are the body’s response to breaking down alcohol. The condition may range from mild fatigue, reduced cognition and a slight headache to an unrestrained migraine, inability to think clearly, eat or get out of bed. It may also cause muscle soreness or aches, exhaustion, dizziness, light sensitivity, nausea, upset stomach and more.
The severity of the hangover mainly depends on various factors, including the type and the amount of alcohol you drank, how much you ate, the amount of water you drank, your general health, your weight, the speed of your metabolism, your liver functionality and more.
When you have a particularly nasty hangover, you may find it hard to concentrate on anything other than overcoming your discomfort. Many treatments suggested by people may sound strange, and some are not even useful at all. However, there are some proven and well-documented treatments that can help you.
What Causes Hangovers?
One factor that plays into hangovers is that alcohol acts as a diuretic, which causes the kidneys to pass more liquid than you’re consuming, thus dehydrating you and damaging your electrolytes. Alcohol also decreases your blood sugar levels, making you tired, and can even dilate your blood vessels, which causes disrupted sleep, headaches, nausea and more.
Certain alcoholic beverages may cause worse hangovers than others. 1.5 ounces of most spirits, 5 ounces of wine and 12 ounces of beer contain the same amount of alcohol. Some beverages, like brandy and whisky, have small amounts of methanol, which are soaked up much slower by the body. Other beverages, like red wine, contain substances that increase the strength of a hangover.
The body takes about 2 hours to burn just 1 ounce of alcohol, so even drinking at a rate of 1 drink per hour will steadily increase your blood alcohol content. How alcohol affects you is also dependent on your size and weight.
Treatments for a Hangover
Here are some of the best treatments for a hangover:
- Eat healthy: eating junk food can simply raise your sodium levels and make you more dehydrated, so be sure to eat nutritious foods.
- Natural juices: drink fresh and natural juices to replenish the lost blood sugar.
- Water: because hangovers are really caused by dehydration, drinking water is actually the best way to prevent or cure them. It’s recommended that you drink at least two glasses of water before going to bed if you’ve been drinking excessively.
- Chicken soup: this has long been the go-to recommendation for most ailments, and hangovers are no different. The significant number of nutrients, vitamins and minerals in the soup help reorient the system and balance the nutrients in the body.
- Ginger: nausea and vomiting are the most weakening parts of a hangover, but ginger reduces nausea and vomiting in just a small amount of time.
- Bananas: this fruit is rich in potassium, which lowers blood pressure, provides energy and can help get rid of headaches.
Having an occasional hangover is perfectly fine, but remember that alcohol can have a long-term effect on your overall health, so it’s important to control your consumption lest you worsen your conditions. Practice moderation in social situations. Remember, you don’t need to get drunk to be happy or have fun!