Hangover Tips: How to Ease the Pain
The past several weeks may be a bit of a blur for many of you, as there have been plenty of reasons to celebrate: surviving finals, moving out of the dorm, and graduation! It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and go a bit overboard, and, unfortunately, we usually pay for it the next day. I can remember waking up on the cold tile floor of my bathroom on more than one occasion, and I certainly wish I knew then what I know now. So, if you find that you have been praying to the porcelain god lately, remember these simple tips to help expedite your recovery the next time you have a few too many.
Consuming alcohol causes dehydration. To replenish the lost fluids in your system, drink plenty of water before heading to bed and as soon as you wake up. To increase your electrolytes and replace lost vitamins, also consider drinking a sports drink (Gatorade), juice (orange or tomato), or Pedialyte to help hydrate your body. Avoid consuming drinks with caffeine (soda, coffee), as this will only dehydrate you further. And contrary to popular belief, consuming more alcohol does not help you recover. In fact, it can make the symptoms last even longer.
You need to replace the minerals (potassium) and fructose that was lost while drinking. Foods like pickles, bananas, tomatoes and honey are great for reducing hangover symptoms. If eating a whole banana is unappetizing, try making a banana smoothie with a touch of honey. Carbohydrates are also a good choice for the morning after. Plain pasta with chopped tomatoes, or some bread and butter, will work wonders. The starch and fructose will help burn any remaining alcohol in your system.
Probably the best remedy (and cheapest) is some good old-fashioned shut-eye. Allow your body the time to recover from a night of partying by getting a few extra hours of sleep than normal. Call in sick to work (that should be easy enough to fake) and turn your phone off. After a few hours of uninterrupted sleep, you’ll be feeling much better.
Of course, the best way to cure a hangover is to avoid having one in the first place. While I won’t even suggest not drinking anything alcoholic, there are a few things you can do to lessen the damage. Try alternating your alcoholic drinks with water or juice to dilute the affects and reduce the amount of alcohol consumed. It’s also wise to eat before you go out for the evening and try to limit your alcohol to one drink per hour. Always be sure to have a designated driver available, or the number to a local cab company, just in case you forget to follow these suggestions.
If you have some hangover remedies that have worked for you in the past, be sure to share them with us!