Four steps to getting back on your feet when booze hits back
By Edelrita Rizo
You know you have a hangover when you have: a splitting headache, a weird buzzing in your ears, a dull pain behind your eyes, a dry tongue, an urge to throw up, and a promise to never party that hard again.
Of course, you’ll live to party that hard – maybe even harder – again.
Getting drunk without the hangover is no doubt the common ground between occasional drinkers and expert tomadors. If only there was a magic pill to make it go away in two minutes or less.
News Flash, Zen loves, there are no cures for hangover – at least not clinically proven cures.
A hangover goes away on its own, but you can speed up the process and make the experience more pleasant in four easy and FAST steps:
Alcohol is an irony. It’s something you drink that removes fluids from your body. The best thing to do is to recover those lost fluids. To prevent further dehydration, drink water or soda water, fruit juice, or other liquids that are easy on the digestive system. Take it slow. Don’t take big gulps as it may upset your stomach further.
The best time to drink water is before you go to bed – that is if you manage to keep some of your wits after a drinking binge. It’s the best time to re-hydrate and lessen the effects of hangover.
Eat unflavored toast and crackers to help settle your stomach. Recover salt, potassium, and vitamins and minerals by eating bouillon soup, a thin vegetable-based broth. Have some sugary food and drinks like honey or fruit juice to bring blood sugar levels back up and to help the body process alcohol faster.
The trick is to take light, bland meals to help your body replenish what it lost without agitating your condition further. When you feel up to it, eat something more solid like a banana for potassium.
3. Consider Medications
There are some who take vitamin B and C supplements to help clear toxins. Consult your doctor for the medical alternatives especially if you have a medical condition.
An over-the-counter pain reliever may help ease your headache. Paracetamol is more ideal than aspirin as it may irritate the stomach and nauseate you more. If you’re acidic, try antacid to help calm your stomach and make eating easier.
If you believe you’ve drank more than you should, don’t risk taking Tylenol or Paracetamol at all because it may cause liver damage. Just ride it out and do the next step.
When all else fails, sleep it off. Your body needs rest anyway. Just remember to drink more water before you hit the sack.
Bust the Booze Before It Hits Back
A smart girl’s guide to avoiding a hangover even before drinking
So you’ve learned a really hard lesson on how to handle hangovers.
If there’s no cure for a hangover, then there should be something to prevent it, right? Because prevention is better than cure, especially when there’s no cure, here are ways to avoid a hangover:
1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
We can’t stress enough how much you need to drink a lot of water when drinking. Drink water or a non-alcoholic drink immediately after finishing an alcoholic drink to regain water in the body.
2. Eat First
An empty stomach absorbs alcohol faster. Have a square meal that includes carbohydrates and/or fats – this will help slow down the absorption of alcohol into your system.
3. Don’t Mix with Fizzies
Carbonated mixers increase the rate of alcohol absorption, according to the University of Manchester. Instead of vodka-Sprite, try vodka-pineapple juice. If carbonated mixers are a must, drink a lot of water. Have your drink on the rocks to dilute the alcohol. Strain it to keep the flavor of the drink.
4. Go Light or Expensive
By light, we mean lighter color. Congeners, chemicals that add color and flavor to alcohol, are found to be more likely to influence a hangover by irritating blood vessels. Bourbon, Scotch, tequila, brandy, and dark beers have higher amounts of congeners than vodka or gin. Try also premium drinks, which have lower amounts of congeners.
5. Know Your Limits
Drinking is not a contest. Decide ahead of time how many drinks you’re going to have and stick to that plan. Track how many alcohol units you are consuming. Ideal doses are three to four units a day for men, and two to three units a day for women. Here are a few common drinks and the alcohol units they contain:
• a can of standard lager, beer or bitter – 1.8 units
• a pint of standard lager, beer or bitter – 2.3 units
• a small glass of wine (125ml) – 1.5 units
• a large glass of wine (250ml) – 3 units
• a measure of spirits (25ml) – 1 unit
Try the NHS Drink Tracker app for your iPhone by UK’s National Health Service to calculate and monitor alcohol units.