Hangover Prevention & Remedies
If you are looking for hangover remedies and advice for prevention that are natural, yet effective, you have come to the right place.
A hangover is the experience of various unpleasant physiological and psychological effects following consumption of alcoholic beverages, which can last for more than 24 hours.
According to Mayo Clinic, depending on what and how much you drank, you may notice:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Headaches and muscle aches
- Nausea, vomiting or stomach pain
- Poor or decreased sleep
- Increased sensitivity to light and sound
- Dizziness or a sense of the room spinning
- Decreased ability to concentrate
- Mood disturbances, such as depression, anxiety and irritability
- Rapid heartbeat, sweating
When to see a doctor
Hangovers after a single night’s drinking go away on their own. Talk with your doctor if you’re concerned that frequent, heavy drinking may lead to serious alcohol withdrawal, or when regular hangovers affect your quality of life. Treatment for alcohol use problems such as abuse or dependence is widely available.
When it’s an emergency
More severe signs and symptoms that accompany heavy drinking may indicate alcohol poisoning — a life-threatening emergency. Call 911 or your local emergency number if a person who has been drinking shows signs of:
- Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
- Irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths)
- Blue-tinged skin or pale skin
- Low body temperature (hypothermia)
- Difficulty remaining conscious
The best way to prevent a hangover, of course, is to avoid drinking, or have only one or two cocktails at the most. Be aware that even a single drink can trigger a hangover in some people, as each person is biochemically individual in how they react to alcohol.
And of course it goes without saying that if you are going to party hardy, designate someone who will not be drinking and can drive you home safely. You could use the services of taxi or Uber to get you home. Auto Club is offering Tipsy Tow program, available to the public from 6 pm December 31 to 6 am January 1, 2017. Impaired drivers can get a free tow home up to 7 miles from the point of pickup. Towing beyond 7 miles is at your expense.
But let’s say you tend to get caught up in your celebrations and suspect you might have a few more than you normally do.
Fortunately, there are some natural preventative remedies that may help you to avoid hangover symptoms altogether, but the best time to take action is now, before you drink.
Tips Before Drinking
- Eat before and after drinking, especially fatty foods….good fats of course. Eating before you have a glass of spirits dilutes the alcohol.
- Get your electrolytes. The best way to consume your electrolytes is through raw coconut water or adding full spectrum minerals to your water.
- Water helps prevent dehydration. Drink plenty of water before consuming alcohol and before going to bed. Make sure your water is clean and pure.
- Stick with clear alcohol.
- Kombucha. According to Hannah Crum – the Kombucha Mamma – Kombucha creates healthy acids and vitamins that support the body when dealing with xenobiotics (harmful substances from outside of the body). Gluconic & glucuronic acid naturally detoxify the liver, while the B vitamins in living form offer nutrition that boost mood and energy.
- Drink Milk Thistle tea. Milk thistle is a natural liver detox that will help to clear out any toxins that may have accumulated while you were sleeping.
- Vitamin C. Studies show that vitamin C inhibits the toxic effects of alcohol. You may consume that in the form of freshly squeezed lemon juice in clean pure water.
- B vitamins are also known to support liver function, according to Dr. Mercola, and will help you process alcohol more efficiently.
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Drink your broth:
The Australian Government’s Health Direct website suggests trying bouillon soup. Broth (vegetable or bone), is a good source of vitamins and minerals, which can top up depleted resources. Its main advantage is that it’s easy for a fragile stomach to digest. It targets three of the biggest consequences of drinking: dehydration, nausea and liver burden. We already know that broth is loaded with minerals to conquer dehydration, it soothes the gut lining and quells nausea, and it detoxifies the liver, so it’s no surprise that it works so well for a hangover. It’s easy to make your own bone broth or mineral broth. If you don’t have time to make your own, you can purchase broth from this reputable source.
When you have a hangover
- Charcoal pills. That is where “burnt toast cure” comes from. It is the carbon, which is the charred part on the bread that filters out the impurities from the alcohol. It works best if you throw back a few capsules right before bed, but downing some charcoal the morning after a rowdy night can work too. It will help soak up the toxicity in your system, and it can ease an upset stomach and indigestion that sometimes strikes after a night of beer drinking. I like coconut charcoals. You may find them at your local health food store.
- Hydrate before bed or after that cocktail. Have a glass of clean water and another in the morning. Alcohol is diuretic. It suppresses the hormone that sends the message to release water by kidney back into your body. Sparkling waters with a twist of lime or lemon make a respectable replacement for a cocktail, preventing fluid loss associated with drinking alcohol.
- Breakfast with potassium like banana or coconut. Eating a banana will replenish lost potassium and other minerals after drinking too much alcohol. Bananas are soothing to the digestive tract for most people and provide something solid in the stomach.
- Wasabi. Along with being a delectable culinary delight, the spicy green paste known as wasabi also makes an excellent cleanse to remove toxins from the body. Wasabi stimulates blood circulation and promotes oxygenation of the cells, which helps remove waste. Infuse 2 to 4 tbsp. in a hot bath to allow the body to shed toxins through the skin to ease a hangover.
- Ginger. Ginger is the time-honored cure for nausea and stomach upset. The easiest way to consume ginger is by drinking ginger ale; however, it must contain real ginger and sugar, not artificial sweeteners. Sugar too helps settle the stomach, so this is a winning combination for hangovers. Alternatively, make ginger tea by cutting a dozen slices of fresh ginger root and boiling them in 4 cups of water for about ten minutes. Remove the ginger and add the juice of half a fresh lemon and honey to taste. Drink as much of the tea as needed.
- Lime or Lemon: Both lime and lemon juice help balance the body, stabilizing blood sugar and altering the pH. Add 2 tsp of fresh lime or lemon juice to 9 oz. warm clean water. Stir in a tsp of raw honey and drink it slowly.
What Not to Do
Here are some urban legends that are simply NOT effective.
“Hair of the dog”
Having a drink the morning after is an ancient remedy for hangovers. It can temporarily alleviate the symptoms, but it only postpones the inevitable. That dog will come back, and it will bite you – hard.
Drinking coffee for its caffeine effect is counter balancing. Caffeine is a diuretic, so it can make alcohol-induced dehydration worse. Even if you feel you need pepping up, it’s better to stick to water.
Moderation is Our Friend
We all want to be a part of the festivities and can easily get swept up in indulging in “adult beverages.” My hope is that you allow yourself to celebrate, and if you choose to step over the line of moderation, you will be equipped to conquer the hangover blues.
May you always be joyous and happy. You don’t need alcohol to make you feel good. But if you had some, be mindful and safe.
Would love to hear how you deal with hangover. Do you have a preventative practice that works for you? What do you do that works effectively naturally IF you do get a hangover?
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