For centuries untold, people have pushed the boundaries of how much alcohol their bodies can tolerate and come up with countless ways to cure the inevitable hangover. Drink a beer when you first wake up, take a couple of aspirin, and force yourself to throw up are a few that you have probably heard over the years.
While much of this wisdom has little to no scientific basis, there is actually some sound advice out there that can help lessen the symptoms of a hangover and get you back on track as quickly as possible. For more in this regard, keep reading for 5 of the best hangover bounce-backs out there!
Anyone who has ever had a few too many to drink has undoubtedly experienced the need to use the restroom seemingly every 10 minutes. “The seal is broken” is a common quip used to describe this frequent need to urinate while drinking.
These frequent bathroom visits can leave you severely dehydrated at the end of the night. As the symptoms of dehydration–dry mouth, clammy skin, lightheadedness, and muscle cramps–are all prime symptoms of a hangover, it is clear that the dehydrating effect of alcohol is one of the primary culprits behind a hangover.
Therefore, hydrating as much as possible is the fastest, most scientifically proven way of recovering from a hangover. However, getting water down is not always easy the morning after drinking, as the thought of consuming anything can exacerbate the feelings of nausea common to a hangover.
“Due to the dehydrating effect of alcohol, the body can be left severely lacking in crucial nutrients and electrolytes that promote normal bodily functions. Unfortunately for those experiencing nausea and vomiting, replenishing these nutrient levels will occur more slowly than desired, prolonging the effects of the hangover. The best way to revitalize your body following a hangover is with intravenous therapy crafted specifically for your body’s electrolyte needs.” ~ Vanessa Cabrera of Las Vegas Mobile IV Therapy.
While it is best to consume a glass of water with each drink you take, most people forget to do this, and dehydration is inevitable. Therefore, pounding fluids and using innovative electrolyte therapies is the best way to get normal bodily functions back on track.
Surprise, surprise: just as the symptoms of dehydration overlap with hangover symptoms, so too do the symptoms of sleep deprivation. Some of the common symptoms of lack of sleep–unclear thinking, irritability, poor decision making, and lack of energy–are all prime symptoms of a hangover. There are several reasons you will be sleep deprived following a night of drinking:
- You were out drinking until the wee hours of the morning
- You got up every 10 minutes to use the restroom
- Alcohol suppresses rapid-eye movement, the deepest and most restorative type of sleep
With this in mind, getting extra sleep is another scientifically proven way to reduce hangover symptoms. If your schedule allows for it, a great idea is to get up at your normal time, chug a couple of glasses of water, eat a piece of toast, and head back to bed to catch up on the hours you missed the night before.
Although there is no scientific evidence that a shower has any physiological effect for improving a hangover, it can have a positive effect on improving the psychological effects of a hangover.
One of the worst feelings during a hangover is the stink from the night before and the stickiness of spilled drinks that you only became aware of upon awakening. So if you have to get up and head to work while hungover, a shower will definitely go a long way toward making you feel like a decent human again.
The prevalent wisdom circulating through your frat house probably taught you to “eat some grease” to help cure your hangover. Such wisdom probably helped usher in the era of Taco Bell breakfast.
If grease helps inhibit your urge to nauseate (it doesn’t for everyone), then frying up some bacon or ordering fast food may not be the worst idea in the world. However, there are better options for refueling during a hangover. Because many people forget to eat while drinking, their bodies will experience low blood sugar levels the morning after. This can prevent mitochondria in cells from functioning properly. Therefore, carbohydrate-dense foods are usually the best option during a hangover, making toast, oatmeal, a bowl of soup, and fresh fruit some good go-to’s if your body can stomach them.
Similar to taking a shower, a cup of coffee does not provide a scientific remedy to a hangover. However, it can give you a boost of energy that can help you power through your grogginess. Just be aware that the caffeine may only postpone your hangover symptoms if you aren’t taking other measures simultaneously. Coffee is actually a diuretic, so be sure to be drinking plenty of water while experiencing your caffeine rush.
Although the best advice for a hangover is to not get one at all, there may be some times when you lose track and toss back one too many. When this is the case, use any of the 5 ideas listed above to make your hangover recovery as smooth and expeditious as possible!