How to Relieve a Hangover
If you're trying to find an herbal remedy, supplement, or magical food that will snap its fingers and eliminate your throbbing, swollen head of regrets, you're chasing a unicorn. The only "100% works every time for everyone" cure for a hangover is time. However, if you would like to get some relief from your hangover more quickly, there are a few things you can do to ease the process along!
- Avoid Darker Liquors A study conducted by the Center for Alcohol and Addiction at Brown University suggests that dark liquors like bourbon or whiskey will cause more severe hangovers than clear liquors such as vodka. This is because darker varieties of alcohol contain more congeners, chemical substances produced during fermentation that alter taste and aroma of alcoholic beverages. An oak-barrel aged drink like bourbon contains about 37 times as much congeners as a heavily filtered one like vodka.
- Eat Fatty Foods Prior to Drinking Eating anything prior to drinking helps prevent a bad hangover, but fatty foods in particular stick to your stomach lining longer which facilitates in slowing down the absorption of alcohol into your system and gives your body more time to process the alcohol's byproducts. Of course, this will also slow the alcohol's effect on you in general, so don't overdo it early on.
- Bananas Eating any nutritive food will be helpful in restoring your energy, but bananas in particular are great because they're full of potassium which your body often loses because of alcohol's diuretic effect.
- Fruit Juice The natural sugars in fruit juice make it a good source of energy, vitamins, and nutrients when all of yours is wasted away! Studies also prove that fructose increases the rate at which toxins leftover from alcohol metabolism will exit your system.
- Non-Caffeinated, Non-Carbonated Liquids Water and some sports drinks will hydrate your body and dilute the byproducts of alcohol still left in your stomach. Plus, drinking water in between every alcoholic beverage can also help prevent a hangover since it will give your body more time to process the alcohol.
- Non-Caffeinated, Acetaminophen-free Painkillers Even though acetaminophen and caffeine, which is found in Excedrin and other common painkillers, relieves headaches, studies have found that prolonged use of acetaminophen with alcohol can cause liver damage. If you want to take pills to relieve your hangover, Aspirin is the better choice because it's non-caffeinated and acetaminophen-free.
Commonly Used "Remedies" That Hurt More Than Help
- Caffeinated Coffee Avoid caffeine when you're rocking a hangover because like alcohol, it's a diuretic. Drinking it will ultimately dehydrate you more, increasing the severity of your hangover overall.
- Hair of the Dog Don't drink more alcohol! Even though it provides temporary relief, you're just filling your body with even more harmful toxins it needs to process.
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